Thursday, March 24, 2011

Links Mar 24

The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI) Z/Yen
March 2011 - The aim of the GFCI is to examine the major financial centres globally in terms of competitiveness. Check out pages 22-23 on Offshore Centres, with commentary on their decline. A quote in this section from a Trust Fund manager based in New York. "I left the Caymans recently - business was going through the floor - and I'm happy to be working back on the mainland." London is top of the financial centres index, but intriguingly the report's authors do not seem to consider London a tax haven - we suggest they read Treasure Islands. Also that they check out the Financial Secrecy Index.

Everyone has a stake in US Uncut's fights The Nation

Mar 21 - "For the most part, people agree that rich corporations should pay their fair in taxes, namely because citizens have to pay taxes, so why should the lavishly wealthy get to avoid them?" On March 26, US Uncut, along with UK Uncut, Australia Uncut, Canada Uncut, Mexico Uncut, France Uncut, Netherlands Uncut and Sudan Uncut plan to collectively demonstrate as one in cities across the globe.

Protesters ask Swiss to return Ben Ali funds

Mar 24 - Demonstrators in Tunisia have called on Switzerland to hand over the funds of former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, which the Swiss government froze in January.

Argentina: 16 arrest warrants for tax evasion on grain sales Wall Street Journal

Mar 22 - More on this story we have linked to previously. The Argentine tax authorities
have launched a host of investigations against the farm sector -one of the country's most important industries- amid accusations by the government of widespread tax evasion. Multi-national grain exporters have been evading taxes by triangulating their grain trading operations through other countries, among other measures.

Evasion and waste The Economist
Mar 23 - "Eliminating tax evasion is something all finance ministers tend to promise but few achieve ... Evasion and waste are the Holy Grails of finance ministers. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for eliminating corporate welfare and preventing the wealthy from hiding their money offshore. I'm just not convinced it will happen without internationally co-ordinated efforts."

Tax defaulters could take HMRC to court Accountancy Age

Mar 22 - Tax evaders could launch human right court battles against the UK's HM Revenue & Customs for keeping them under scrutiny, warns a City law firm.

UK: Corporation tax giveaway eludes banks Financial Times

Mar 23 - From the UK budget, as other companies cheered the additional 1 percentage point cut to corporation tax, banks saw the benefit immediately wiped out by an unexpected £100m a year increase to the new £2.5bn annual levy on their balance sheets put in place earlier this year. So, how much creative accounting via tax havens will be employed to avoid this seeming imposition?
“The chancellor has once again chosen to raid the banks to pay for the cuts in corporation tax,” said the global head of tax policy at Ernst & Young - hardly, the tendency is that the less well off are the ones who pay disproportionately and feel the pain from the cuts.

Rapper Ja Rule pleads guilty to tax evasion Reuters

Mar 23 - Rapper Ja Rule pleaded guilty on Tuesday to failing to file tax returns and promised to pay more than $1 million in back taxes and penalties. "Each of us must pay our fair share to keep this country going," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.

Dolce and Gabbana may face a criminal trial for tax evasion New York Times

Mar 24 - The celebrity Italian fashion designers are caught up in a major tax evasion investigation, accused of failing to pay taxes on more than $1 billion in income."So far, the case has generated remarkably little fanfare in Italy, a country where tax evasion is regarded by many people, including some in the fashion world, as a national sport." Papers filed by prosecutors in a Milan court allege a “criminal design” to defraud the state, which involves the use of a holding company in Luxembourg.


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