Friday, December 09, 2011

Links Dec 9

30 Major U.S. Corporations Paid More to Lobby Congress Than Income Taxes, 2008-2010 International Business Times
Dec 9 - "By employing a plethora of tax-dodging techniques, 30 multi-million dollar American corporations expended more money lobbying Congress than they paid in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010, ultimately spending approximately $400,000 every day -- including weekends -- during that three-year period to lobby lawmakers and influence political elections, according to a new report from the non-partisan Public Campaign." Hat tip: Holly Sklar.

On the run, U.S. financier finds Spanish refuge Reuters
Dec 8 - "Spargo's case shows how tough it is for regulators and law enforcement agencies to track and punish alleged financial crimes across borders. Networks of 'shell companies' -- paper-only firms with few real operations -- make it hard enough to identify suspects. Even if regulators can identify them, they are often hard to bring to justice."

The Money Carousel KyivPost
Dec 9 - "Ukraine is a nation in which billions of dollars a year escape abroad in offshore tax havens, both through legal and illegal schemes ... With so few authorities across so many borders willing to investigate such alleged financial funny business, it’s no wonder that the success rate figures of combating money laundering worldwide give no reason to be optimistic. An obvious question: Are top authorities in many of the countries themselves complicit?"

India for greater global cooperation to deal with black money livemint
Dec 7 - “The opacity of tax systems in some of the jurisdictions is adding to the challenges. There has been some movement on these issues in response to the initiative by the G-20. We need to pursue this to its logical end,” finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said addressing a global conference on tax and equality."

Black money: BJP to step up pressure on Govt IBNLive
Dec 9 - "It is being marked as International Anti-Corruption Day around the world on Friday, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is taking advantage of the occasion to step up pressure on the government to act on black money. In fact, BJP MPs will be submitting declarations ... The declarations state that they do not have any unaccounted money stashed away in secret accounts and tax havens overseas. "

Goldman Sachs whistleblower threatened with the sack Guardian

Dec 8 - "Osita Mba, who disclosed that [UK's Revenue and Customs] managers had let off Goldman Sachs with tax penalties, is facing disciplinary procedures" He is supported within the UK Parliament: "Mr Mba's evidence has been crucial in uncovering not just specific but systemic problems in HMRC's secretive relationship with big corporations. This is harassment and is completely unacceptable."' See recent TJN blogs here and here and here.

UK: A three-step programme to re-civilise capitalism Guardian
Dec - "Restrict tax loopholes for the rich and the financial sector, including via tax havens. Tax evasion and insufficient tax on the rich, as well as on large corporations, prevent equalisation, impoverish welfare states, and contribute to unsustainable debt. Tax havens not only facilitate tax evasion but, more important, regulatory avoidance. Britain controls havens with over half this money and can lead on this.

Alex Telegraph
Dec 5 - In its witty and wise style, the Alex cartoon comments on City of London culture and tax dodging.

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