Links Jul 29
Jul 28 - "The modern globalised corporation is not a state within a state so much as a power above and beyond the state ... TNCs can and do locate their profits offshore to thwart any individual country's efforts to take revenue from them. The ability to raise taxes to provide services is a core function of democratic government, yet governments have been reduced to supplicants, cutting their tax rates further and further to woo corporates ...The transnational banks have been past masters at playing off one jurisdiction against another and using the threat of relocation to resist government controls."
African Nations to Bear Down on International Tax Evaders Taxation International News and Information
Jul 6 - Article on the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF)statement, on three tax authorities on the African continent having agreed to a higher level of information sharing and cooperation with the Forum in order to fight tax evasion, with a particular emphasis on compliance issues for large multinational corporations.” The three countries are South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. We've blogged this story previously on links and here.
Argentina takes a stand towards the G20 on eliminating tax havens infobae.com (In Spanish)
Jul 26 - Timerman, Argentine "Sherpa" for the G20 for a number of years, called on the G20 "to go beyond lists towards the elimination of tax havens." The Argentine Minister "hoped that the summit of Heads of State and Government of the G-20 developed and emerging economies, which will meet between 3 and 4 November in Cannes will 'take concrete decisions to fight against tax havens and financial speculation.' "
The turbulent story of a small island nation dradio (In German)
Jul 25 - On the incredible and sad story of the island of Nauru, only 21 square kilometers in size, located in the Pacific Ocean. Having become hugely rich through phosphate mining, this ran out, and misguided governance rendered Nauru one of the poorest countries in the world. A large amount of the wealth vanished via Caribbean tax havens. Then Nauru became a tax haven in itself, and by the end of the 1990's had over 400 "banks" registered there, reported to be a laundering centre for Mafia money. For more on Nauru, also see Global Witness, Time for Transparency. See also The French Publishers' agency.
U.S. : Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics PewResearchCenter
Jul 26 - More grim news on inequality. Also, data shows: "During the period under study, wealth disparities increased not only between racial and ethnic groups, they also rose within each group. Even though the wealthiest 10% of households within each group suffered a loss in wealth from 2005 to 2009, their share of their group’s overall wealth rose during this period. ... trends indicate that those in the top 10% of the wealth ladder were relatively less impacted by the economic downturn than those in the remaining 90%."
Neal stymied as corporate taxes escape change The Boston Globe
Jul 26 - "US Representative Richard Neal has been thwarted for years in his effort to stop foreign insurance companies from shifting premiums paid by their US customers to offshore tax havens ... Neal’s unsuccessful effort to close what he calls an offshore tax loophole is an example of how business interests have successfully stymied an array of tax code reforms. '`It’s the lobbying muscle,’' Neal said."
Greenlining Institute Report Looks at Effects of Corporate Tax Havens Law.com
Jul 29 - The report "Corporate America Untaxed: Tax Avoidance on the Rise" (PDF) finds that U.S. Fortune 100 companies avoided $60 billion in taxes by shuttling profits offshore, and that America's top companies have added 44 new subsidiaries in tax haven countries since the the 2008 Govenment Accountability Office study of the use of tax havens by large corporations and federal contractors. Hat tip Offshore Watch.
Barbados touts its low-tax, offshore advantage CTV News
Jul 29 - "Offshore tax havens, still reeling in the wake of the global economic crisis, are looking to Canada to help revitalize the industry. Government officials of Barbados, one popular low-tax jurisdiction, are stepping up efforts to attract Canadian investors as the Caribbean country grapples with a slowdown." However note the observation: "...even if the math works out, political sensitivities may also stop a company from investing in a low-tax jurisdiction."