Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Links Mar 23

Raising Government Revenue in Africa: A Road Out of Poverty istockanalysts
Mar 21 - Article written by Mark Plant, IMF Deputy Director African Department, in line with the conference on domestic revenue mobilization in Sub-Saharan Africa held in Nairobi 21-22 March 2011. "African countries that have had successes on this front demonstrate clearly the importance of stronger revenue performance for making in-roads into poverty reduction.

EU Corporate Transparency Financial Times

Mar 22 - As rising resource prices drive oil and mining company profits higher, Michel Barnier, the European Union’s internal market commissioner wants them to come clean about the full extent of their “financial relationships” with foreign governments.

The great tax heist is worse than we dared fear - 5.75% tax rate for big business Tax Research UK

Mar 23 - The new budget just announced in the UK brings in measures that mean large companies can shift large amounts of their profit offshore and pay just 5.75% on them. This is a massive tax cut for big business, and boost for tax havens.

See also:

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer shakes up corporate tax Financial Times
Mar 23 - In the budget, chancellor Osborne unveiled a package of changes for the corporate sector, in which he piled tax increases on to oil companies and banks while making an extra 1 percentage point cut in the main corporation tax rate.


Budget 2011: £1bn tax avoidance crackdown dismissed as 'token gesture' The Guardian
Mar 23 - George Osborne has been accused of making "token gestures" in his attack on tax avoidance after the chancellor pledged in his budget speech that a crackdown would boost receipts by £1bn. A proper attack on tax avoidance would raise £20bn, say experts.

Spain's offshore interests Gibralter Chronicle

Mar 23 -A recent report by the Spanish observatory on Corporate Social Responsibility (Observatorio de Responsabilidad Social Corporativa) reveals that nearly all companies listed in the Spanish stock exchange operate through offshore centres. Hat tip Offshore Watch.

Swiss financial regulator says crisis not over

Mar 23 - The president of the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (Finma) is asked: "When dealing with money belonging to the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, have Swiss banks respected due diligence concerning money laundering? And is the current system satisfactory?". The response: "It’s a bit too early to give the results of our enquiry. A dozen banks are involved, and we’re looking into whether they broke their obligations regarding diligence." A heartening comment, but can we expect to see anything in the way of real results? See our earlier blog Hypocrisy and High Corruption.

U.S. Congress should end "deferral" rather than adopt a "territorial tax system". Citizens for Tax Justice

Mar 23 -
Some corporate leaders are pushing Congress to adopt a "territorial" tax system, which would exempt the offshore profits of U.S. corporations. This new report from our friends at CTJ explains that Congress should move in the opposite direction and adopt a "pure worldwide" tax system, which taxes all profits of U.S. corporations the same while providing a credit to avoid double-taxation.


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