Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Links Jun 12

Where are the profits? That’s the question in Helsinki this week Tax Research UK
Jun 12 - Richard Murphy reports: TJN and the Finnish government are jointly hosting a technical conference on issues relating to transfer pricing, and how to address the quite fundamental problems inherent in the OECD’s arm’s length pricing model of transfer pricing that almost invariably allows profits to be shifted into tax havens at cost to developed and developing countries alike. (More on this to come soon on the TJN blog.)

Jeffrey Owens appointed as Senior Tax Policy adviser to Ernst & Young PRNewswire
Jun 8 - Jeffrey Owens, as many readers of this blog will know, previously held the position of Director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at the OECD.

How a flawed ideology provided cover for an epidemic of financial crime Mindful Money
Jun 11 - "The ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PWC, whose duties as auditors are supposed to be to the shareholders not to the management of a company ... have provided a cover for ‘white collar’ crime, in exchange for inflated audit fees (or what are increasingly being termed by the accountancy professor Prem Sikka and others as “bungs for silence”)."

Accounting Big 4 ‘a threat to democracy’ as they help companies avoid tax Tax Research UK

Jun 12 - From the Daily Mail: "Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK said PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young are a menace to the democratic process due to their schemes to help large companies such as Vodafone, Apple and Amazon to deprive government coffers..."

Putting foxes in charge of the chicken run Tax Research UK
Jun 12 - More news on the revolving doors theme.  "The FT’s reported this morning that: "One of the UK’s most senior accountants will serve as the first non-executive chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s new investor protection and markets regulator. John Griffith-Jones, KPMG’s UK chairman, will join the board of the Financial Services Authority".

Blocher faces probe over banking secrecy breach swissinfo
Jun 11 - "Parliament has given the green light for the strongman of the rightwing Swiss People’s Party, Christoph Blocher, to be investigated over alleged violations of banking secrecy laws in connection with the former head of the Swiss National Bank ... It is a rare occurrence that parliament votes to deprive one of its members of his or her immunity from prosecution." Interesting also in view of the apparent weakening of bank secrecy as reported here.

Swiss Minister Hints at Tax Deal With US Nasdaq
Jun 11 - "At present, 11 Swiss banks--including Credit Suisse and Julius Baer Group AG --- are being probed by U.S. authorities over claims they allegedly aided U.S. citizens to dodge taxes by setting up offshore bank accounts ... Switzerland wants the investigations dropped, in exchange for payment of fines and the transfer of names of thousands of U.S. bank clients. At the same time, Switzerland is seeking a deal to shield the remainder of its 300 or so banks from U.S. prosecution."

Liechtensteinische Landesbank Records to Be Revealed to U.S. Investigators
timesunion
Jun 12 - "The Tax Administration of the Principality of Liechtenstein, by letter dated May 30, has notified U.S. persons connected with accounts at Liechtenstein Landesbank (LLB) that LLB has turned over bank documents for further transmission to the IRS."

US Senate tax chief warns of dangerous fiscal path Reuters
Jun 11 - "The United States is on a "dangerous path" that could lead to a European-style fiscal crisis, warned the Senate's top tax legislator on Monday, while calling for more tax revenue and ending corporate incentives to shift profits and jobs overseas."

FTSE 100 mining company ENRC must openly address Congo corruption concerns Global Witness
Jun 11 - "Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), one of the largest mining groups listed on London’s stock exchange, must publicly address concerns over corruption risks associated with its rapid acquisition of mining assets in the Democratic Republic of Congo." The report notes the use of offshore and secretive shell companies.

World Bank Publishes Its Grand Corruption Database, Reveals New Data on Shell Corporations Task Force Blog

Jun 11 - "Recognizing the relationship between anonymous shell corporations and stolen assets, the World Bank released a collection of case studies entitled “The Grand Corruption Cases Database Project”."

CHEC still favoured by Mac Cayman Islands News
Jun - "The premier’s office has said it has no problem doing business with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) ... The statement comes in the wake of revelations that the firm was sanctioned by the World Bank because of issues relating to corruption."

Bangladesh: Black Money for Investment The Daily Star
Jun 9 - "Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday defended provisions for legalising undisclosed money in the proposed budget saying it would bring investment and prevent cash going out of the country."

Southern Europe Revenue Problem TJN Germany blog / blog steuergerechtigkeit (In German)
Jun 12 -  As reported by Christian Humborg, Transparency International Germany,"The southern European financial plight and the proposed whitewash of wealth through tax treaties are two sides of one coin. Southern European citizens bleed, so that some countries are allowed to keep their strict banking secrecy."

See news overview links from TJN Germany: see blog steuergerechtigkeit. (In German)

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