Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Links May 2

Cayman Islands: The Met's Caribbean connection The Independent
May 1 - "Scotland Yard's bungled anti-corruption operation could now result in the publication of documents that could rock the tax haven ... 'Anybody who blows the whistle or creates trouble [in Cayman] is dead meat,' said Jack Blum, a Washington lawyer who works on offshore issues." Jack Blum is Chair of TJN-USA.

Why you have to support country-by-country reporting now Tax Research UK
May 2 - Richard Murphy's speech at the International Tax review Tax and Transparency Forum on country-by-country reporting.

Parliament urged to force companies into tax admissions Guardian
Apr 24 - "A [UK] parliamentary inquiry is likely to press the government into signing an international agreement to force oil, gas and mining companies to report how much tax they pay to developing countries ... Senior executives from commodity trading group Glencore and brewer SAB Miller appeared to resist calls by campaign groups and development agencies for more transparency."

See also:

Transparency drive will not deliver the ‘right amount’ of tax, says SABMiller chief Tax Journal
Apr 27 - "Martin Hearson, Tax Justice Campaign Manager at ActionAid, told Tax Journal today: ‘The cornerstone of our analysis is that SABMiller was able to work within the arm’s length principle to minimise its tax payments. Mr Mackay did not take the opportunity to address this point, nor did he address the concerns raised by tax officials in Africa in response to our report.’ " For an explanation of the arm's length principle see TJN's Transfer Pricing page.

Cypriot Tax Haven May Soon Come to an End The Moscow Times

Apr 24 - "The real news for Russian businesses for 2012 is not the WTO but all the changes that are in motion relating to the country's newly ratified Cyprus-Russia Treaty — something that will allow the tax authorities to obtain information about Cyprus companies that have Russian subsidiaries, branches or representative offices in Cyprus, coupled with new laws designed to prevent money laundering. In short, Russia's "Cyprus Era" may be coming to an end."

Nigeria: Tax Evasion By Foreign Airlines allAfrica
May 1 - "Foreign airlines indulge in fraud and deliberately refuse to pay the statutory 5 per cent tax known as passenger fuel surcharge (PFS) to the federal government ... The Nigerian Senate must order immediate legal action against the airlines over tax evasion. No Nigerian company enjoys this kind of indulgence anywhere, neither are they allowed to exhibit this kind of arrogance and impunity anywhere they operate."

Investment contains unknowns stuff.co.nz
Apr 30 - "A high yielding shipping container investment scheme will leave investors with some head- scratching if they try to assess the risks involved, but may appeal to fans of tax havens."

India: Swiss agree to provide tax info on liberal terms The Financial Express

May 2 - "“Switzerland, now, has agreed to provide liberal interpretation on the identity requirements that it is sufficient if the requesting state identifies the person by other means than by indicating the name and address of the person concerned,” an official statement said. It, however, did not clarify what are the other means to identify the person who have stashed money there." For important background, see TJN's explanation on information exchange.

U.S.: Powerful but obscure Tax Court lags on access Reuters
Apr 25 - "Unless you are a tax lawyer, the granite building with bronze-tinted windows that looms over Washington's I-395 freeway may be the most influential courthouse you've never heard of..."

That’s not fair! may push U.S. tax revamp Reuters

May 1 - "It may seem too simple to be true, but the urge among humans for basic fairness may be among the biggest drivers for a revamp of the U.S. tax code, at least competing with the influence of lobbyists, general greed and politics."

Stephen King: I'm rich, tax me Guardian
May 1 - "America's national responsibilities, such as education and health care, cannot be taken on by the 'charitable one per centers', writes King."

Tom Coburn: Apple tax dodge is rotten Politico
May 1 - "Sen. Tom Coburn said Tuesday that he was “livid” about a New York Times report that described how tech giant Apple has legally evaded billions of dollars in corporate taxes each year."

Ideas over Interests Project Syndicate
Apr 26  - Interesting commentary. "Economists and other thought leaders can exert much influence – for good or ill ... Economists love theories that place organized special interests at the root of all political evil. In the real world, they cannot wriggle so easily out of responsibility for the bad ideas that they have so often spawned. With influence must come accountability."

Tax havens unlikely to profit from EU derivative rules Public Service Europe
Apr 23 - "Strict new European rules on derivatives trading are unlikely to favour an outflow of trading to regulatory and fiscal havens - claims German MEP Werner Langen, the EU deputy who steered the legislation through the European Parliament."

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