Thursday, October 11, 2012

Links Oct 11

Australia Ratifies Multilateral Tax Cooperation Agreement Government Press Release
Oct 4 - Australia ratifies the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance on Tax Matters.

Swiss/US QIA Compatible With Banking Secrecy Tax-News
Oct 11 - "The Swiss Federal Council has recently adopted a report on the compatibility of the Swiss/US Qualified Intermediary Agreement (QIA) with bank client confidentiality. According to the Swiss Federal Department of Finance, the Federal Council stated that banking secrecy would not be violated by the Swiss banks' agreement with the United States."

STEP and EU Commission join forces for cross-border tax conference STEP
Oct 4 - "European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud Algirdas Šemeta is due to present the Commission’s proposals for tackling cross-border inheritance tax at a conference in Brussels next month" - a joint event held by The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and the EU Commission.

Jersey: The richest offshore tax shelter of them all CNN
Oct 10 - "The tiny island in the Channel Islands is facing mounting criticism about its culture of secrecy ... if billions of dollars can influence the outcome of a U.S. presidential election, just think of what it can do to the de-democratization of a small island in the English Channel"

Cyprus: Taxman eyes luxury properties Cyprus Mail

Oct 10 - "The Inland Revenue Department has asked municipal authorities to furnish financial data on large residences so as to compare their owners’ assets with their income tax statements. The move is seen as part of a broader crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance."

A Double Taxation Agreement with Liechtenstein would be a tax policy "Own Goal" for Germany TJN Germany Blog
Oct 11 - A DTA would make it easier to hide untaxed money in Liechtenstein. Germany should go the route of strengthening moves towards automatic exchange of information.
Read the full opinion here.  

Oil Companies' Lawsuit Seeks to Undermine Global Transparency Revenue Watch
Oct 10 - "By filing suit today to overturn U.S. law requiring oil, gas and mining companies to publish what they pay governments, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and others are trying to turn back the clock to an era when secrecy was the rule about public resources."

If only Bill, if only Bono….then we’d have real change and no need for “innovative financing for development” Tax Research UK
Oct 11 - On a meeting between France's President Hollande with Bill Gates and Bono, where support was voiced for strengthening transparency obligations of accounts in mining and forestry. As Richard Murphy points out, "If only that transparency extended to IT companies in developing countries. And to music sales around the world."

To Tax, or Not to Tax, Overseas Cash Hoards Bloomberg Businessweek

Oct 10 - More commentary on the repatriation issue. "Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that if all the revenue from corporations’ overseas profits were collected, the Treasury would raise $583 billion over 10 years."

Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay All Pay Minimal UK Corporation Tax Huffington Post
Oct 11 - While the headlines are concentrating on the minimal amounts of UK tax paid by Facebook, the social networking monolith is far from alone in generating questionable tax figures."

Seizure Of Over $31 Million In Connection With An International Drug Trafficking And Money Laundering Scheme U.S. Attorney's Office

Oct 10 - "Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “While this allegedly notorious drug trafficking family may be beyond our reach, the proceeds from their decades long money laundering scheme are not." Shell companies were used to layer and disguise the family’s illegal cocaine proceeds for decades.

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