Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Links Jan 25

Kenya: Treasury Eyes Tax Reforms to Net Higher Revenues
Jan 24 - "The Treasury will seal loopholes in tax collections as it seeks to hold government expenditure flat in the transitional budget to be unveiled late next month ... the government expects to net at least Sh100 billion by scrapping a number of exemption schemes and zero-rated goods that it currently extends to attract investment, boost exports and lower cost of essential goods."

Korea, Bermuda to exchange tax info The Korea Herald

Jan 24 - "Korea signed a bilateral agreement Monday with Bermuda on the exchange of tax information ... it is expected to provide the two nations with significant opportunities for mutual direct investment." Some bilateral agreements do sometimes include terms other than tax concerns - and read here why bilateral agreements are ineffective.

Debt-ridden Italy's tax fraud crackdown yields 50 billion euros The Economic Times
Jan 23 - "Heavily indebted Italy uncovered more than 50 billion euros ($65 billion) in undeclared revenues last year after cracking down on tax cheats ... Prime Minister Mario Monti came to power in November calling for a radical change to defend "honest taxpayers".

Italian cardinal brands tax evasion a sin Guardian
Jan 24 - "It has long been regarded as more of a national sport than a misdemeanour. And it has long benefited from the seemingly boundless indulgence of the Italian Roman Catholic church. But now the head of the Italian bishops' conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, has unambiguously declared that "evading taxes is a sin". He called for "serious, effective and relentless" action against tax dodgers."

Cyprus: Probe launched against Tax Council chief Cyprus Mail
Jan 25 - "The chairman of the Tax Council is himself facing charges of tax evasion ... the Attorney-general has given the green light for the prosecution of the chairman, following an investigation by the Inland Revenue Department."

Austria: SPÖ suggests 'list of tax evasion shame' Austrian Independent
Jan 25 - "Social Democratic (SPÖ) General Secretary Günther Kräuter has said the possible publication of a 'list of disgrace' to increase the pressure on tax dodgers has his party's unequivocal support ... Austria should follow the example of Greece in creating and publishing a list of names of people who evaded taxes in the past years."

USA: Mitt Romney's Bermuda (tax) holiday Politico
Jan 20 - From Dietlind Lerner and E.J. Fagan of the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development:"As international financial crises threaten governments in Europe and Africa, and Occupy Wall Street protests continue in cities around the country, the measure of a future president should not be that he took advantage of a great business deal. Rather should be that, if elected, he could be trusted to put an end to this entire process of legally sanctioned tax avoidance which is so harmful to our country."

UK: Properties Hidden In Tax Havens Property Mentor
Jan 14 - Helping property owners "to escape the cost of 5% stamp duties and inheritance tax (charged at 40%), in Central London alone £100bn worth of property is believed to be stored in offshore vehicles". The post notes that the trend is spreading.

UK: Harry Redknapp payment to offshore Monaco account 'disguised as loan' Guardian
Jan 24 - High profile football (soccer) manager faces allegations of cheating the public revenue by avoiding tax, having "feigned almost complete ignorance of its existence ... despite the fact he had flown to Monaco personally to open the account in 2002, and had named it Rosie 47 after his pet bulldog and the year of his birth."


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