Monday, October 31, 2011

Links Oct 31

140 governments pledge to tackle dictators’ loot in wake of Arab Spring Global Witness
Oct 28 - "140 governments acknowledged systemic failures in the controls that should stop banks taking dictators’ money ... The resolution, initiated by Egypt and passed at a UN anti-corruption conference which focused heavily on the Arab Spring, also agreed more action was needed to help claw back stolen funds."

See also:
Shell game: Hidden owners and motives CNN

Oct 26 - Stephanie Ostfeld of Global Witness writes an Op-Ed on the laundering of illicit funds through shell companies, and the legislation that would address the issue in the U.S., the Incorporation Transparency and Law Enforcement Assistance Act .

See also:
Department of Justice Seeks to Recover More Than $70.8 Million in Proceeds of Corruption from Government Minister of Equatorial Guinea The United States Department of Justice

Oct 25 - The U.S. government has filed civil forfeiture complaints against approximately $70.8 million in real and personal property, which the government alleges is the proceeds of foreign corruption offenses and was laundered in the United States.

HSBC accused of helping Egypt generals stifle dissent The Independent
Oct 31 - "Human rights groups and NGOs have accused HSBC bank of colluding in a campaign of intimidation which they say is being waged against them by Egypt’s ruling military council." Hat tip Offshore Watch.

Are Nigerians paying a high price for tax havens? The Guardian
Oct 11 - Commentary following the ActionAid report about the use of tax havens by multinational corporations listed on the FTSE 100: "Nigerians need to play their part by demanding greater transparency and accountability in our country. But when we are dealing with multinationals listed in the FTSE 100, decisive action from the UK government and the G20 leaders also needs to be urgently taken."

The evidence that so called tax information exchange agreements with tax havens don't work is mounting Tax Research UK

Oct 27 - Richard Murphy on how the G20's statement in 2009 that tax havenry has ended was wrong, and on how the OECD method of bi-lateral Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA's) is flawed: "And now there’s clear evidence that first of all the number of requests countries can make as a result of those flaws are minuscule (because basically, if you do not know they answer to the question you’re raising it’s almost impossible to ask the question)."

"The U.S. Already Has Blood On Its Hands": CTJ Attorney Fires Back at Opponents of Anti-Tax Evasion Rules During Hearing Citizens for Tax Justice

Oct 28 - "A subcommittee hearing on a proposed IRS rule veered towards the absurd when Citizens for Tax Justice and the Obama administration were accused of supporting dictators, kidnappers and terrorists." See also here for an explanation on the non-perils of information exchange.

Tax cuts, corporate breaks urged by top Republican Reuters

Oct 26 - "Public interest groups immediately attacked the Camp plan ... Tax Justice Network saying the plan's foreign profits provisions would worsen the deficit and encourage companies to shift profits and jobs overseas." Hat-tip Nicole Tichon. See the TJN-USA press release here.

See also:
Rep. Camp Unveils Business-Friendly Corporate Tax Plan
Wall Street Journal
Oct 26 - Countering calls for corporate tax breaks, TJN observes" A `territorial’ tax system would reduce revenue and jobs because it would increase the incentives for U.S. corporations to shift profits and jobs overseas."

See also:
What a “Territorial” Tax System Would Mean, in One Chart Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Oct 25 - See the chart showing how the territorial system would give a massive tax advantage to foreign profits.

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