Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Links Nov 29

Alpine tax drama Financial Times
Nov 29 - "Many British people dislike being overruled by Brussels – even for EU decisions intended to make citizens’ lives safer. But they should at least welcome the Commission’s latest effort to stop the UK government from shooting itself (and the other member states) in the foot. The office of Algirdas Šemeta, EU tax commissioner, is reportedly weighing legal action against the bilateral agreement that the UK signed with Switzerland in August to tax assets and income in secret Swiss bank accounts of British taxpayers, as well as a similar German-Swiss accord."

See also:
Swiss Banks May Lose $51 Billion of German, U.K. Assets Bloomberg Businessweek
Nov 29 - "Swiss wealth managers may lose about 47 billion Swiss francs ($51.1 billion) in assets as clients make withdrawals before tax agreements with Germany and the U.K. come into force in 2013, according to a Booz & Co. study." Booz seems to be behind the curve, as Rubik is looking like history.

A Courageous State would deliver a pension fund worthy of the name Tax Research UK

Nov 29 - "John Harris, writing in the Guardian, has reviewed George Osborne’s infrastructure plan for the UK and found it wanting. He did find an alternative. As he wrote: 'This week I spoke to Richard Murphy, the economist and tax expert, whose new book has the self-explanatory title The Courageous State and brims with imaginative thinking ...'

Africa - Overview of recent transfer pricing legislation and compliance activities ATAF
Nov 25 - "Companies doing business in Africa need to be aware that they can no longer view transfer pricing issues as isolated, country-specific concerns. Transfer pricing issues are global." Which is why this needs to be coordinated through the United Nations, not the OECD - see here and here and here.

Tanzania: Tax Expert Advises Tanzania to Increase Tax Collections AllAfrica.com

Nov 20 - Interesting commentary on the relationship between donor aid and tax collection rates.

Country-by-Country Reporting in the EU: debating the case for full transparency Task Force Blog
Nov 28 - On EURODAD recently holding a roundtable in the European Parliament on 21st November to launch its new report “Exposing the lost billions. How financial transparency by multinationals on a country-by-country basis can aid development.” (Linked previously). Richard Murphy also spoke at the event.

France: A vampire and a deposit box for Africa's looted funds? Modern Ghana
Nov 23 - "The case of Alpine nation of Switzerland as a safe haven for Africa's looted funds is known worldwide ... However, when it comes to France very little is known about how it has successfully milked African countries and created massive poverty in its former colonies ..."

India: Manmohan Singh want tax havens banned, can he do it? moneylife
Nov 29 -
"But Switzerland is no longer in the dominant position it used to be in. One reason, of course, is competition from different ‘parent’ countries. People are comfortable with tax jurisdictions where their parent countries have ‘agreements’ made by rich law-makers for rich people. An example in this case is Mauritius with India."

India: Black money probe: Govt may soon reveal names of those with illegal foreign accounts Times of India

Nov 28 - "Under pressure from the opposition on the issue of black money, the government may soon reveal the names of persons who had stashed black money in LGT Bank, Liechtenstein. But disclosure of identity from the list of HSBC, Geneva may take some more time as the Income Tax (I-T) department is still in the process of reassessing returns of people who figured in the list of Indians having Swiss accounts."

Tax Raids on Indian Diamond Firms Related to Swiss Accounts International Diamond Exchange

Nov 29 - "Indian Income Tax authorities raided four diamond-manufacturing firms in Mumbai Tuesday. These and earlier raids of a number of large diamond manufacturers are understood to be linked to a list of Indians who held secret bank accounts with HSBC’s private banking branch in Geneva, Switzerland."

One country with more tax evasion than Italy Business Insider

Nov 28 - An interesting view based on data published by Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Commission on labour costs, as well as information on tax evasion in Italy, the UK, Germany, France, and Denmark.

Greece goes after big tax dodgers Global Post
Nov 22 - "Making good on its vow to stop tax evasion, the Greek government has arrested several high-profile businesspeople alleged to owe millions of dollars to the state. Tax dodging costs Greece more than $20 billion per year and is one of the reasons why the country is mired in debt and living month-to-month on international bailouts. The government is also nearly ready to publish the names Greece’s biggest tax evaders."

Bettencourt Owes EU78 Million on Tax, Penalties Bloomberg
Nov 22 -" L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt faces 77,752,139 euros ($105 million) in back taxes and penalties on undeclared accounts in Switzerland and Singapore and real estate, including an island in the Seychelles ... Bettencourt is in talks with French tax authorities to reduce the amount." Curious, as Bettencourt recently "signed a letter along with 15 other billionaires begging to make a special contribution to the treasury to help drag France out of the financial crisis" - see here.

Tax law pushes US expats to give up passport swissinfo
Nov 29 - On the "backlash from United States expats and the financial sector to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), designed to fight tax evasion." See some recent blogs on FATCA here, here and here.

I could do that job #94 Financial Crimes

Aug 25 - A piece from a while back, but nice point to observe. "KPMG are looking for a salaried tax partner for Qatar ... 'Being paid £150k after tax for saying 'There is no tax here' sounds to me like money for old rope.'".

For other recent Qatar news, see:
Qatar Bets on Hobbled European Banks Dealb%k
Oct 11 - The Qatar sovereign wealth fund buys into two private banking operations in Luxembourg.


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