Links May 3
May 3 - TJN's Markus Meinzer presents an explanation of global challenges for progressive taxation, and proposes a way forward to achieve a better world for all, particularly the most vulnerable. The piece is published in the online magazine of Plan Fénix.
UBS chairman Kaspar Villiger says Switzerland should not be a tax haven The Economic Times
May 3 - Encouraging: "Banking confidentiality is increasingly losing its legitimacy." Discouraging: "Villiger ... endorsed the idea of a final withholding tax -- the deal negotiated with Austria, Britain and Germany -- but rejected automatically exchanging bank information with other countries."
India: How will GAAR affect taxpayers? Live Mint
May 2 - "So far, the view of courts has been that legitimate tax planning is permissible and only tax evasion is not. The law has been fairly well-settled as to what constituted legitimate tax planning and what did not. This position is now being turned topsy-turvy by the proposed GAAR."
India: New tax evasion rule not retroactive Reuters
May 3 - "India will not retroactively tax portfolio investments and will shift the burden of proving evasion on tax to authorities ... providing a measure of comfort to foreign investors worried about proposed new rules. Overseas investors have been critical about a set of proposals India unveiled as part of its budget for the fiscal year that began in April, including a rule that would crack down on the use of tax havens."
India: Buy options to hedge portfolio ahead of GAAR rollout: Brokers The Economic Times
May 3 - "Brokers are advising clients to buy a combination of Nifty options in anticipation of wider market swings in the run up to May 7, when the government notifies the controversial general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR). The bet is that premiums on options, which are trading at lower levels, could shoot up over the next few trading days if the government retains the set of proposals, which will tax foreign investors routing money into India through tax havens solely to save taxes."
Special Report: U.S. documents allege HSBC money-laundering lapses Reuters
May 3 - "A successful case against HSBC could result in an onerous fine and represent one of the most significant money laundering cases ever brought against an international bank. It also would draw unaccustomed attention to the challenges governments -- and financial institutions -- face in monitoring the trillions of dollars flowing through banks' back-office operations, flows essential to the daily functioning of the global financial system."
London’s yearning for China’s yuan Market Watch
May 2 - "Armed with an ambition to be an offshore yuan center, London is forging ahead with steady efforts to develop its infrastructure and banking services in line with processing yuan business."
Canada: Environmental charities 'laundering' foreign funds, [Environment Minister] Kent says CBC News
May - "Essentially what our government is doing through the finance committee is investigating allegations that offshore funds have improperly been funnelled through — laundered if you will, that's a fairly accurate word — through Canadian organizations that have charitable status to be used in ways that would be improper given that charitable status."
U.S. Obama campaign to Romney: 'Bring your offshore accounts back to the USA' Politico
May 1 - "The Obama campaign is launching another broadside against Mitt Romney's foreign holdings — with an infographic of all of the presumptive Republican nominee's offshore accounts."
UK: Jeremy Hunt avoided £100,000 tax bill in deal just days before rate rise The Telegraph
Apr 27 - More on tax avoiding shenanigans of prominent figures of political power and connections.