Thursday, December 15, 2011

Links Dec 15

New Data Show Corporate Offshore Funds Not “Trapped” Abroad: Nearly Half of So-Called “Offshore” Funds Already in the United States U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Dec 14 - Press Release: New data released today by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, show that large multinational U.S. corporations with substantial offshore funds have already placed nearly half of those funds in U.S. bank accounts and U.S. investments without paying any U.S. tax on those foreign earnings. Hat tip: Nicole Tichon. See our earlier blog today on Sen. Levin.

Insight: In Greece, playing cat and mouse with tax evaders Reuters

Dec 15 - "Earlier there was no political will by governments to get to the bottom of this ... Now that we've reached the edge of the cliff, they've decided to implement measures against tax evasion." Interesting commentary on the culture of tax evasion.

Greek tax collectors accused over bribes Financial Times
Dec 14 - "Greek tax collectors routinely pocket 40 per cent of fines imposed in disputed tax cases in return for lowering the penalties paid by miscreants, a former senior Greek finance ministry official has revealed." Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

Panama's tax battle with the French parliament La Tribune (In French)
Dec 14 - On the debate within the French parliament as to whether to include Panama within its list of tax havens - non-cooperative jurisdictions - renewed each January 1. The Finance Committee in the French senate has rejected the bill for ratification of the Tax Information Agreement signed earlier this year with Panama. Interesting implications for Panama, as signing of the agreement with France had them removed from the OECD's "grey" to "white" list.

Banker Contempt Tax Research UK
Dec 15 - Richard Murphy comments on "FT Alphaville has reported this morning that: A senior UBS private banker allegedly sanctioned the creation of an illegal offshore investment vehicle for one of India’s most powerful businessmen, saying that Anil Ambani’s status as a “mega-client” could justify waiving the rules, a London tribunal has been told."

India: CBDT, DRI & ED told to probe exports to tax havens Bahamas & Cyprus Economic Times
Dec 11 - "The finance ministry has asked three of its investigating arms to probe all exports to tax havens Bahamas and Cyprus, an official in the ministry told ET on the condition of anonymity. The ministry is concerned about the sudden surge in exports to the tax havens and has asked the agencies to ascertain whether the exports are genuine."

Billions lost in trade-related in tax evasion, says think tank Malaya Business Insight
Dec 15 - "Illicit activities in the Philippines are estimated to have cost the government $142 billion in taxes evaded between 2000 and 2009. This was enough to put the Philippine among the top 15 countries with the highest amount of illicit money to have been laundered out of the country for the period, according to Washington-based Global Financial Integrity. " See press release on the study blogged here.

Cayman seeking to escape tax haven shadow Caribbean360

Dec 15 - "Long characterised as a secrecy jurisdiction, the Cayman Islands are trying to shake off their tax haven label in favour of being recognised as a global hedge fund player."

Kamikaze Cameron? Huffington Post UK

Dec 12 - "Meanwhile, the fat cats at the top of the financial pile remain relatively unscathed and untouched. They continue to bask in a semi-monopolistic bonus culture where tax evasion, tax avoidance and tax havens, masterminded by the major accountancy firms and banks, bleed off billions of potential tax revenues every week - billions which are sorely needed to reduce the deficits of the national economies concerned. It is no surprise that the global street protest movement has gained such momentum with their increasing focus on corporate greed."

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