Thursday, January 26, 2012

Links Jan 26

India: Black money: India signs multilateral agreement Economic Times
Jan 26 - "Taking another step towards combating blackmoney, India has signed a multi-lateral agreement with economic powers like France and Germany to check both tax evasion and avoidance. See TJN comment on India and the multilateral convention here.

India: Tax information exchange pact signed with Macau The Hindu Business Line

Jan 25 - "India will soon be able to get banking information from Macau for tax administration purposes. A tax information exchange agreement to this effect was recently signed with Macau ... one of the most well-known offshore financial centres and tax havens."

Sweden: Swedfund sets investment conditions Financial News
Jan 26 - "Sweden’s development finance institution, Swedfund, will make commitments to private equity only on condition that funds are domiciled in their home market, according to its new chief executive. The comments come after the firm ceased making third-party fund commitments three years ago following concerns about the tax treatment of funds offshore."

France: This money which corrupts Libération (In French)
Jan 25 - "Finally, there will be no effective fight against dirty money without suspension of any financial relationship with non-cooperative offshore centres ... the new mayor of Seoul and Bogota have been designated to embody the general interest because they have been tireless advocates in the fight against corruption. In India, Brazil and Mexico, civil society is working to restore public credibility. France can, too, lead by example as a force within Europe."

Liechtenstein Has ‘Long Way’ to Shed Tax Image, Bank Chief Says Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Jan 25 - “The world has changed very quickly and massively in the last few years,” Tribelhorn [Liechtenstein Bankers Association Director] said in an interview in Berlin. “For the customer as well as the financial intermediary, undeclared assets have no future.” The article also cites TJN's view on the UK and German Swiss deals.

Austria: Idea to name and shame tax fraudsters met with scepticism Austrian Independent
Jan 26 - The Association of Austrian Taxpayers has spoken out against the creation of a list of tax dodgers ... AK President Herbert Tumpel refused to disclose whether he backed the appeal by fellow AK members but said finance ministry officials should make the names of the Austrian tax dodgers found on a data disc provided by a banker based in Liechtenstein."

Gibralter not by any measure a ‘tax haven’ Picardo tells Miliband Gibralter Chronicle
Jan 26 - "Following Mr Milliband’s [UK Labour Party Leader] recent remarks about 'Tax Havens', the Chief Minister and Mr Licudi briefed Mr Miliband on ... the work of the finance centre as a fully compliant EU financial services hub that operates entirely in keeping with EU directives and regulations, fully compliant with OECD rules also and therefore not by any measure a 'Tax Haven'”. See here for a TJN view on such claims.

U.S.: Business Leaders Agree With President: End Millionaire Tax Breaks and Stop Rewarding Companies That Move Jobs and Profits Abroad Business for Shared Prosperity
Jan 25 - “It’s wrong for millionaires to pay less than middle-class Americans and wrong for multinational corporations to pay less than small businesses,” said Scott Klinger, tax policy director of Business for Shared Prosperity. ... If we want an economy with 21st Century infrastructure, jobs, education, research and economic development, we have to pay for it.”

U.S.: Wealthy tax cheats
Asheville's Citizen-Times
Jan 25 - Tax systems that heavily tax the rich are asking for trouble — or so the politicians who cater to the 1 percent incessantly argue. The higher the tax rate on high incomes, their argument goes, the greater the incentive the rich have to waste time and energy figuring out ways to pay less ... these cuts should have boosted tax compliance.Instead, tax evasion actually increased, rising to $385 billion in 2006 from $290 billion five years earlier, according to a new IRS study."

U.S. poised to soften offshore tax crackdown Global and Mail
Jan 25 - U.S. Treasury Department officials are looking at relieving some of the “administrative burden” of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

The World's Next Top (Economic) Model Huffington Post
Jan 24 - On the World Economic Forum in Davos, Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation observes: "Fair and progressive taxation - it is time to repair the balance sheets of governments through a fair contribution from those that can afford to pay: through making corporations pay their fair share". Hat tip: Liz Nelson.

Exclusive: Senate investigating HSBC for money laundering Reuters
Jan 25 - "HSBC Holdings PLC is under investigation by a Senate panel in a money-laundering inquiry, the latest step in a long-running U.S. effort to halt shadowy money flows through global banks."

Besieged bankers look for signs of hope at Davos Reuters

Jan 26 - "Each one of us is made for goodness, even bankers," Desmond Tutu told the Davos meeting."

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