Thursday, January 12, 2012

Links Jan 12

IRS finds U.S. tax evasion $385 billion per year, suggesting Tax Justice Network numbers are right Tax Research UK
Jan - Richard Murphy reports on a piece by Kenneth Thomas, who writes the Middle Class Political Economist blog, and notes: "Time and again people tell me and the Tax Justice Network we get things wrong and time and again we’re proven to be right."

USA: I.R.S. Renews Disclosure Program for Offshore Assets New York Times
Jan 9 - " After collecting $4.4 billion in two previous so-called voluntary disclosure programs for offshore accounts, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday that it would revive the program. Participants will pay as much as 27.5 percent of their most valuable offshore assets or their biggest overseas bank account. They also must disclose the banks and advisers that helped them escape United Sates tax laws."

IRS watchdog accuses agency of "bait-and-switch" Reuters
Jan 12 - "The Internal Revenue Service has persuaded U.S. taxpayers to disclose hidden offshore bank accounts but then sometimes failed to cap the penalties, as promised, an agency watchdog said ... The IRS's offshore voluntary disclosure program bait and switch may undermine trust for the IRS and future compliance programs."

Domestic pressure in Switzerland to cooperate with Indian government in HSBC Geneva case The Financial Express
Jan 12 - "Switzerland’s Social Democratic Party (SDP), the second largest in the Swiss parliament, has proposed that the Swiss government cooperate with the Indian authorities for sharing tax information of more than 700 account holders at HSBC Geneva. Significantly, that the information was based on data theft may not impede exchange of tax information, it has said." Hat tip: Mark Herkenrath

See also:
Black Money: India to knock at Swiss door for details in HSBC Geneva accounts The Economic Times

Jan 12 - India will request Switzerland to provide details of all undisclosed accounts held by Indian nationals in HSBC, Geneva, as the investigation into tax evasion by rich Indian nationals becomes bigger.

Monti Seeks To Squash Italian Tax Evasion Culture Tax-News
Jan 12 - "The Italian tax authority has very publicly embarked on a raid of Cortina d'Ampezzo, one of Italy's most exclusive ski resorts, to demonstrate that Mario Monti's new government is taking a hard-line approach to tax evasion by actively challenging individuals and service sector companies that historically have significantly under-declared earned income."

The seriously rich regard tax as something only silly folk get stung for This is Money
Jan 10 - "Few of us resent high earnings for entrepreneurs who create jobs, and boardroom winners who make wealth trickle down.But when we see unbridled greed grip the entire corporate culture; and when the men in suits seem happy to keep driving their yachts full speed through seas bobbing with the human and financial wreckage of the European economic crisis, something must give."

Banks wary of drop in business swissinfo
Jan 10 - "Switzerland’s bankers are less optimistic about their business than they were a year ago according to accountancy firm Ernst & Young ... they say that revenue is shrinking. However, they are generally not concerned that clients will withdraw funds if new tax treaties are approved, even if banking secrecy suffers."

All you need to know about finance – in five sentences Treasure Islands
Jan 9 - Nicholas Shaxson on Michael Lewis’ The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, about some of the seeds of the latest global financial crisis. "It’s a brilliant book."

Portuguese angry about Dutch ‘tax haven' Radio Netherlands
Jan 9 - " A debate is raging in the media in Portugal about Portuguese multinational corporations which transfer their assets to accounts held in the Netherlands." Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

How companies avoid tax – a quick summary in 8,000 words Tax Research UK
Jan 6 - Richard Murphy: “I’ve been asked to give examples of how companies avoid tax. Now, that’s a mighty big subject. Can I start by suggesting you read Chapter 4, here?”. For more on corporate taxes, see also the TJN A-Z archive, a huge resource on this issue

City ‘to be offshore currency market for China’ BBC
Jan 11 - There are powerful political reasons why the Chinese would be reluctant to give the putative privilege to Wall Street, the City's closest rival." This is a very bad thing for the UK: it will mean financiers having an even greater stranglehold on British democracy, the further crowding out of alternative economic sectors, and the creation of few jobs. For a better appraisal, see this. (Hat tip: Offshore Watch.)

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