Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Links Jun 22

Belgium will lift bank secrecy on 250 000 accounts held by non-residents Le Monde (In French)
Jun 15 - The Belgian tax administration is to provide automatic exchange of information on non-residents' bank accounts to tax authorities within Europe. Belgium has repeatedly called on Luxembourg and Switzerland to follow its example - both countries still refuse.

Zambia to audit more mining firms Mining Weekly

Jun 15 - Zambia will audit more mining companies after previous audits turned up as much as $200 million in unpaid taxes from the key economic sector.

Financial Stability Board: under the spotlight
GFS News
Jun 17 - The Financial Stability Board is charged with maintaining the openness and transparency of the financial sector, yet its own internal processes are shrouded in secrecy. hat tip: anon.

How to tackle tax havens DailyFinance
Jun 17 - The article rounds off a series on tax havens and how they distort the global economy, looking at what can be done to change the system, and quotes Nick Shaxson's Treasure Islands: "The final and most important thing is to change the culture. When pundits, journalists and politicians fawn over people who get rich abusing the system – getting around tax and regulation and forcing everyone to shoulder the associated risks and taxes – then we have lost our way." See also the related stories:

How tax havens poisoned the economy

Report criticises reach of City finance

Banks top list of tax haven users

US business groups oppose tax break

Green MP tables bill on tax evasion

US Amendment Would Grandfather In Pending Tax Strategy Patents Automated Trader

Jun 20 - 'An amendment filed by Rep. Jared Polis (D., Colo.) could double the number of patents issued for tax strategies--even if Congress passes a bill that would stop the practice entirely ... The amendment "provides a loophole in meaningful legislation that finally has a chance of passing," said Nicole Tichon, executive director of Tax Justice Network USA.'

Companies Push for Tax Break on Foreign Cash New York Times

Jun - From the NY Times series, 'But Nobody Pays That - Billions Offshore' : 'Some of the nation’s largest corporations have amassed vast profits outside the country and are pressing Congress and the Obama administration for a tax break to bring the money home. Apple has $12 billion waiting offshore, Google has $17 billion and Microsoft, $29 billion.' Hat tip - Chuck Collins.

See also:
Inside the Accountants' Playbook New York Times

Jun 20 19 - Video showing background on four strategies that American companies use to reduce their taxes.

FT: over 90 UK PFI projects moved offshore Treasure Islands
Jun 20 - Following Nick Shaxson's blogging on the UK’s Private Finance Initiative, the Financial Times has weighed in with some useful updates and details - "More than 90 private finance initiative projects have been moved into offshore tax havens, according to a report by the European Services Strategy Unit."

So now we know what the Crown Dependencies are for Tax Research UK
Jun 21 - Richard Murphy comments on an article in the Scotsman newspaper : 'So now we know: apparently it is UK policy that the Crown Dependencies provide a ‘different tax environment’. Official confirmation of all Nick Shaxson has argued in Treasure Islands if ever I heard it.'

SIngapore 'set to be top private banking centre' The Straits Times
Jun 21 - 'Singapore will become the world's top wealth management centre by 2013, thanks to growth in emerging markets, and the decline of Switzerland and London in the wake of tougher regulations. The findings came from a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report out yesterday that pointed to the changing balance of power in financial markets.' Hat tip Offshore Watch.

Switzerland: Party funding to remain shrouded in mystery swissinfo

Jun 21 - There have been calls for 'a more transparent funding system for Switzerland’s political parties, but virtually to no avail.' Much funding of political parties, in various jurisdictions, involves influence in issues of tax justice.


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