Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Links Feb 8

Austria's contribution to the US$250 billion gap Tax Justice Network Germany (In German)
Feb 3 - The Austrian "Standard" reports on Austria's current crucial blocking role against the EU's drive towards automatic exchange of tax information. Encouraging to see journalists reporting on the real information. Hat tip Markus Meinzer.

The Art of Not Paying Taxes
Latindadd & Eurodad
Feb 4 - Carlos Bedoya of Latindadd comments on the impact of the wealth gap, tax dodging, and regressive taxation in Latin America. See also TJN's fairly recent Latin America edition of Tax Justice Focus.

Large Business Taxpayers Workshop - hosted by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA
) - from the site of the African Tax Administration Forum

The Forum aims to become a platform to allow African administrators to articulate African tax priorities, anchor good practices, and build capacity in African tax policy and administration through peer learning and knowledge development. Technical event focusing on large business taxpayers to be held 14-18 Feb in Nairobi, Kenya.

Pfizer forced to deny reports of stiffing German taxpayers
The Guardian
Jan 30 - Viagra maker accused of cheating the German government and taxpayers for EUR 300million. Commentary on big business engaging in massive tax dodging through tax havenry in "widespread and totally accepted practice". Hat tip Scott Klinger.

Tackling the banks policy of "divide and conquer"
Tax Research UK
Feb 8 - Richard Murphy comments on an article in today's Financial Times . Enhanced international cooperation is needed to bring the banks to heel, and country-by-country reporting is an essential component.

Taxes (as a Percentage of the Economy) Are Lowest in 60 years CBS News

Feb 8 - In the U.S., the lack of revenue, combined with big increases in spending, means the federal government will have to borrow 40 cents for every dollar it spends this year. The annual federal budget deficit is projected to reach a record $1.5 trillion. Hat tip TaxProf blog.

The Tax Cheaters' Lobby is Wrong about New IRS Proposed Regulations Citizens for Tax Justice
Jan 31 - Our friends at CTJ address and refute claims by the "Center for Freedom and Prosperity" that cracking down on tax evasion by foreigners and Americans posing as foreigners would break U.S. laws, cause a collapse of the American financial system, and result in kidnapping and deaths of people all over the world. The usual nonsense: try this instead.

OECD wants more Swiss help in tax cheat hunt-paper Reuters

Feb 6 - The OECD criticised current Swiss requirements for legal assistance in cases of tax evasion, saying they were too restrictive and an obstacle for an effective exchange of information. We have been highly critical of the OECD, but this is welcome comment. The OECD peer review is currently ongoing.

UBS ponders moving businesses from Switzerland
swissinfo
Feb 8 - The Swiss bank could relocate its risky investment banking operations to a more relaxed regulatory environment if proposed Swiss rules are significantly more stringent. The usual bankers' threats. Also note - ultra high net worth clients (the extremely wealthy) and institutional investors particularly in Asia more than balanced out continuing numbers of customers withdrawing their assets in Europe. We keep hearing how secrecy business is shifting around the globe as the squeeze is put on certain areas - rock on jello. Global cooperation is important, but local leadership can work wonders too.

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