Monday, March 14, 2011

Links Mar 14

500,000 missing people: £16 billion of lost tax. How the UK mismanages it companies.Tax Research UK
Mar 13 - Richard Murphy's new report highlights the fact that only one third of UK companies actually pay corporation tax, and more than 500,000 may not do so each year when they have liability to do so. Richard has estimated the resulting tax loss at £16 billion a year. The Guardian covers it here.

Anti-cuts campaigners plan "carnival of civil disobedience" on 26 March The Guardian
Mar 14 - Student groups and tax avoidance activists will stage occupations to coincide with a Trades Union Congress (TUC) anti-cuts demonstration, when more than 100,000 people – including public sector workers, families and first-time protesters – are expected to take to the streets of London. UK Uncut is calling on its supporters.

Did Prince Andrew avoid a £6 million tax bill when he sold his home to his Kazakh friends? The Telegraph
Mar 14 - How the Queen's son used a complicated tax avoidance scheme to save up to £6 million in tax on the profit he made on sale of his home to a Kazahk billionaire for £15 million. Prince Andrew sold the property to an offshore trust which belonged to the billionaire son-in-law of the Kazakh president, who he had entertained as part of his Government role as Britain’s trade ambassador. See also Human Rights Groups demand review of trade with corrupt regimes The Guardian Mar 13.

Florida Banks, Lawmakers Fear IRS-Led Capital Flight -
On a disgraceful lobbying effort by the financial sector in Florida to preserve secrecy and continue to attract dirty money from Latin America and elsewhere. About $3 trillion is at stake, they say. Predictably, they blame the U.S. tax authorities for trying to increase trandparency, and not themselves for gorging on illicit loot.

His Majesty Kind Mswati III Speech on launching the Swaziland Rvenue Authority (SRA).
Swazi Observer
Mar 12 - "The setting up of the authority is clear testimony that, as a nation, time has come to strengthen our revenue collection mechanism. ... Where tax evasion and/or avoidance is detected the Swaziland Revenue Authority must bring the full brunt of the law against all those who do not pay tax. This you should do without fear or favour." Hat tip Attiya Waris.

Wisconsin: Aren't there better ways to spend US$36 million? Citizens for Tax Justice
Mar 11 - In the U.S. State of Wisconsin, the epicentre of the dispute over collective bargaining, capital gains tax breaks are proposed by the controversal Governor Scott Walker is in his biennial budget. Our friends at CTJ report on how capital gains tax breaks are costly and are extremely regressive because most capital gains income is received by the richest taxpayers.

Stephen King suggests he wants to pay more tax You Tube

Mar 11 - "Now you might say, what are you doing up there? Aren't you rich? The answer is: Thank God, yes. Because I grew up poor. I lived in a family where my mother asked donated commodities from a Republican administration and got turned down. That's where I came from. And you know what, as a rich person I pay 28% tax. What I want to ask you is whey am I not paying fifty?".

GE chief bullish despite rise in tax bill Financial Times

Mar 13 - General Electric, the largest US industrial group, expects to pay a “substantially” higher tax charge this year, its chief executive has said, as he argued that “GE’s best days are ahead”. GE hopes that the rising tax charge will bolster confidence in the stability of its business. While GE has a long way to go before paying its full fair share of taxes, we appreciate the step forward of this positive messaging.

The Nine Lives of Swiss Banking Secrecy Le Monde diplomatique
(In French, rough web translation here)
Feb 2011 - On how, despite recent serious challenges to Swiss banking secrecy, the classically opaque jurisdiction continues confidently with business-as-usual.

FT and Economist: bankers' threat are bluff: face 'em down Treasure Islands
Mar 11 - Nick Shaxson on bluffing and bullying by financial institutions threatening that further regulation would result in defections to less onerous jurisdictions.

Pay Up Now
While we have not checked the data reported here, we welcome yet another initiative - here by members of US Uncut - in the rolling protests against massive corporate tax dodging.

Public Worker Strike paralyzes Italy
Mar 12 - A nationwide strike of Italy's public employees shut operations from the Milan subway to the prime minister's office. Many cities were gridlocked. Amongst their demands, the unions are calling for a crackdown on tax evasion by the rich.


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