Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Links Mar 9

India: Stud farm owner Hasan Ali in court for $8 bln tax fraud Reuters
Mar 8 - Hasan Ali Khan, a high-rolling stud farm owner, accused of illegally stashing billions of dollars in overseas accounts appeared in a Mumbai court on Tuesday in a case seen as symbolising India's struggle against rampant tax evasion.

Mauritius: Tax and bend The Africa Report

Mar 9 - How Mauritius has become the "Switzerland of Africa". While Indian, and increasingly Chinese, multinationals have used Mauritius for round-tripping purposes, it is also a gateway for those wishing to springboard into Africa. For more on Mauritius murk, see also this and this. 

Indonesia: Government to track funds in Tax Havens The Jakarta Post

Mar 9 - "Several Indonesian businesses have been known to keep money in tax havens such as the Isle of Man, Guernsey, the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Bermuda, San Marino, Panama and the British Virgin Islands to avoid paying taxes at home." An assertive stance at recouping revenues and cracking down on tax dodging is welcome. Yet the tax information exchange arrangements represent fig-leafism. What is needed: outlined in On Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

Ex-chief executive of BDO Seidman on trial in tax shelter case Chicago Tribune
Mar 8 - Ex-chief executive on trial in a New York federal court, facing criminal fraud and conspiracy charges for his role in selling illegal tax shelters that helped wealthy clients evade more than $200 million in taxes.

Tom Cruise and Goldie Hawn considered "farmers" for tax purposes Denver Post
Mar 7 - Tom Cruise pays just over $400 a year in property taxes for his 248-acre property in Telluride by taking advantage of a tax break written to help struggling farmers. As Cruise lives virtually tax-free, the state may approve a $375 million cut to education funding.

Tax Evasion Case puts Credit Suisse in spotlight swissinfo

Mar 9 - A Credit Suisse client has pleaded guilty in a US federal court to evading taxes.The defendant, from Ohio, was originally charged with hiding assets in accounts at Swiss bank UBS, but he has now also admitted that he hid assets at Switzerland’s other big bank. US judge Dan Polster advised the bank client, who now lives in Switzerland, that his sentence was being deferred on condition that he provide "substantial assistance" to the US justice authorities.

The Rich Get 100 Times More Mortgage Subside Than the Poor Tax Analysts (Subscription required)
Mar 7 - Marty Sullivan writes on tax benefits of the U.S. mortgage interest deduction, which provides about $100 billion of tax benefits annually. The tax benefit flows overwhelmingly to rich families. The average annual per-person tax benefit provided by the mortgage interest deduction for the residents of Beverly Hills is $1,873, while for the residents of Clarksdale, Miss. - home of the blues - it is $45. Hat tip TaxProf.

Gauke's porkies, corporate taxes, and the 'incidence' hoax Treasure Islands
Mar 9 - Nick Shaxson on commentary by David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the UK Treasury: "So when Gauke states as fact (and he’s not alone) that economists generally agree that it’s the consensus among economists that the incidence of the corporate tax falls on labour, then he’s simply telling porky-pies." (Translation of 'porky-pies' for those not familiar with Cockney rhyming slang: 'untruths').

Why do HMRC underestimate the Tax Gap? Tax Research UK

Mar 9 - Richard Murphy on recent indications from the UK tax authorities that official UK estimates of the tax gap are understated.


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