Friday, September 09, 2011

Links Sep 9

Explain tax avoidance reports, ActionAid tells Glencore The Post Online
Sep 7 - ActionAid Zambia has challenged Glencore to "clear the air" on tax avoidance allegations in Zambia before embracing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Centre for Trade Policy and Development
Launches the Zambia Tax Platform Centre for Trade Policy and Development
Aug 31 - "Mr Torfinn Arntsen from the Nowegian Embassy Charg d’ Affaires in Zambia emphasised that Zambia has abundant natural resources which should benefit the ordinary people, which in this case can only be achieved by having a transparent and efficient tax regime."

Tanzania: Taxing the untaxed taxables-leaders should show the way MENAFN
Aug 19 - The author, Mr. Lyimo (a socioeconomic commentator based in Dar es Salaam) asks why Tanzania, a country still classified in the category of Least Developed Countries continues giving tax exemptions to ‘Constitutional Office holders’ such as the President. Hat tip Sandra Kidwingira.

Greece Releases List of Companies Owing Most Backtaxes Bloomberg

Sep 9 - "Greece released a list of 6,000 companies owing a total of more than 30 billion euros ($41.8 billion) in backtaxes and will release individuals’ names after completing procedures to override data protection laws."

See also:
Greece publishes names of top tax evaders Digital Journal
Sep 9 - "The Greek government has taken a bold initiative to deal with incessant tax evasion, by publishing the names of those who owe taxes to the state." But also note: "However there is the small matter of government cuts in the tax office which could hamper collections. The number of tax collectors is being cut along with salaries, and 130 tax offices are closing."

How I learned to avoid the taxman in the British Virgin Islands The Globe and Mail
Jan 2011 - A great story that we missed earlier. "While the Canada Revenue Agency hasn’t made an estimate of Canadian offshore money, it has, since 2006, increased the number of full-time employees working on international audits by 44%. In that time, from more than 6,700 cases, it claims to have found $3.5 billion in unpaid taxes." Interesting to consider this point against the UK's soft-pedal approach as well as the Greece situation noted above.

Singapore tells banks to be on alert for illegitimate funds Reuters
Sep 6 - Note: a) we will need more than 'guidance' - let's see them roll back banking secrecy, b) they are talking, presumably carefully, about assets here. But what about the structures - Private Trust Companies and so on - managed in Singapore? That could be a very different matter. Business as usual, it looks like.

Entrepreneurs don't migrate because of taxation Tax Research UK

Sep 9 - Richard Murphy on the threats of wealthy people moving to other jurisdictions to escape taxes.

On a related subject, more on the corporate side, see:
Testimony Of Prof. Reuven S. Avi-Yonah Hearing On International Tax Issues, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

Sep 8 - "The territoriality issue is not relevant to competitiveness".

Let's find progressive ways to tax the winners in our trickle-up economy Guardian
Sep 9 - "Property taxes cannot be evaded, and properly imposed are a fair generator of government revenue. Better, they are traditionally paid in anger. Any tax paid in anger is a good tax – the opposite of a stealth tax, because the payer demands to know how it is spent." But he would do better to talk more specifically about land value tax, instead of property tax. Read more on that here.


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