Friday, May 11, 2012

Links May 11

Egypt: Mubarak Still Has His Billions allAfrica
May 8 - "Authorities responsible for identifying and recovering these assets have dragged their feet, giving Mubarak's intermediaries more time to move the money to safe havens..."

India: Tax case: Vodafone to take all possible steps to safeguard its shareholders' interest Economic Times

May 9 - Vodafone says - "'We are naturally disappointed that, despite very widespread concern in India and internationally, the government has not seen fit to propose amendments to address the uncertainty caused by retrospective tax legislation." And Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee says: "There cannot be a situation that somebody will make money on an asset located in India and will not pay tax either in India or to the country of its origin".

India: Sinha Panel recommends joint patrol of fund inflows into stock exchanges Economic Times
May 10 - The parliament's standing committee on finance ... also demanded a crackdown on multi-tiered structures floated in tax havens for round-tripping of black money."

Australia: Government to recoup $280m from wealthy tax cheats The Sydney Morning Herald
May 10 - "The federal government will spend $77 million on the Tax Office's high-profile Project Wickenby taskforce. Since Wickenby was launched in 2006, it has collected more than $600 million in additional tax, much from offshore havens." See recent TJN blogs on Project Wickenby here and here.

Argentina: The poorest 30% receive $ 100 billion via budget and taxes Tiempo  (In Spanish)
May 6 - On a study by the economic research institute CEFID-Ar, with commentary on inequality and the positive impact of moving towards more progressive taxation. 

See also:
Tax Policies. Argentina in the regional framework. Voces en el Fénix
(In Spanish)
Includes commentary on the success and challenges in moving towards progressive taxation, confronting tax evasion, and increasing tax revenues as a proportion of GDP. Hat tip: Jorge Gaggero.

An approach to the tax culture in Nicaragua IEEPP (In Spanish)
May 9 - New study by the Institute for Strategic Studies and Public Policy (IEEPP), seeking to understand the view of Nicaraguans on taxation, and trying to open the way for a topic unexplored in the country - within a context where it is becoming more necessary to seek resources to fund social programs. Hat tip: TJN - Latin America and Caribbean

See also:

Nicaragua lost 10% of its GDP through tax evasion, according to an NGO Yahoo News (In Spanish)
May 9 - "Nicaragua's GDP in 2011 was about 7.145 million dollars, according to official figures, so that tax evasion is costing up to 714.5 million dollars annually."

Swiss bank Pictet gave data to U.S. in tax probe Reuters
May 6 - "Swiss bank Pictet said ... it handed over bank account details to U.S. authorities probing cases of tax evasion, as a newspaper reported it had accepted funds from two former UBS clients suspected of having cheated on taxes."

Swiss, Italian leaders to discuss crackdown on tax cheats
The Washington Post

May 9 - "Switzerland is trying to shed its image as a haven for tax cheats..."

Clients not fleeing Swiss banks over tax deals Reuters

May 10 - "There will be no mass exodus of clients from Switzerland's banks due to deals with several European countries over untaxed assets stashed in secret accounts and a pledge to turn away tax evaders in future, the industry association's head told Reuters ... 'Switzerland and its banks will not accept the automatic exchange of information,' he said."

German wealth managers to ‘outgrow the Swiss’ Financial News

May 7 -"German listed wealth managers have better growth prospects in their home market than equivalent companies in Switzerland, long considered the heart of Europe’s private banking industry, new research shows."Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

Major UK companies cut secret tax deals in Luxembourg BBC
May 11 - "Margaret Hodge MP, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee which questioned settlements HMRC [UK tax authority] had reached with major companies, expressed concern over the ability of Parliament to scrutinise them. 'Because of the veil of secrecy surrounding all these decisions around tax, and we're talking big numbers here, lack of transparency means that we, on behalf of the taxpayer, cannot be certain that this was a good, honest, proper deal.'"

The 'GlobalMay manifesto' of the Occupy movement Guardian
May 11 - How the Occupy movement sees the potential for a better world, including - "Control and regulation of financial speculation by abolishing tax havens." And they note - "As long as social inequalities exist, taxation at all levels should maintain the principle of solidarity."

The worm in Apple (and the US tax code)--offshoring of US Profits Business Insider

May 10 - "Citizens for Tax Justice has focused on Apple's ability to lower its US effective tax rate by offshoring its profits to tax havens.  See, e.g.,  Robert McIntyre, What Apple Pays in Taxes and Doesn't, NY Times Letters to the Editor, CTJ, How to end Apple's offshore shenanigans, May 4, 2012;  ... Here's the key idea in both the letter and the report..."

Shadow economies all around the world: Model-based estimates Tax Research UK
May 11 - "Tackling tax evasion is an enormous issue in any discussion of political economics, and in public and taxation policy."

Austerity Can't Be Just for Regular People  Rolling Stone - Taibblog

May 8 - "The point is, when people talk about 'austerity,' they only ever talk about the pain the general population should voluntarily accept, in the form of reduced services and curtailed 'stimulus.' No one ever says the financial services sector should have to cut back on its access to easy money ..."

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