Monday, November 12, 2012

Links Nov 12

US Talking To More Than 50 Countries On FATCA Tax-News
Nov 12 - ""Global cooperation is critical to implementing FATCA in a way that is targeted and efficient," said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur."

Despite loopholes: Switzerland and Greece to negotiate the final withholding tax TJN Germany Blog

Nov 11 - Guest post by Mark Herkenrath of Alliance Sud."The Swiss government is doing what it can to stave off the automatic exchange of information in tax matters".

Canada: Public Money Channelled into Tax Havens Canadians for Tax Fairness
Nov 10 - "An investigative report by the Globe and Mail has revealed that much of the $190-million the Ontario government paid in compensation to scrap a controversial power plant went to hedge funds in the Cayman Islands and the United States."

New Australian Tax Office chief to be handed big guns to blast tax cheats The Sydney Morning Herald
Nov 7 - "In the next week or so the boardrooms of corporate Australia will be hit between the eyes with draft legislation designed to beef up the ATO's core arsenal - its anti-avoidance law - after suffering some big courtroom defeats that cost it more than $1 billion in lost revenue."

HSBC mired in fresh illicit offshore cash scandal The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Nov 9 - Commenting on a whistleblower disclosing the names of every HSBC customer with an account in Jersey, and noting the need for a change of culture in the finance industry.

Offshore - User Manual L'Hebdo (In French)
Nov 7 - A useful overview of how the financial secrecy system operates.

French spy on tax dodgers in Switzerland swissinfo
Nov 11 - "According to a report by the Le Matin Dimanche and SonntagsZeitung newspapers on Sunday, French tax investigators regularly travel to Switzerland pretending they are on holiday to carry out secret investigations into French citizens suspected of hiding funds."

Government crackdown on money laundering to cost banks billions The Washington Post
Nov 6 - "Banks are facing heightened investigation and steeper penalties from federal regulators and prosecutors for failure to comply with anti-money-laundering laws, an enforcement trend that may shave billions of dollars off bank balance sheets."

The long hunt for Gaddafi assets Le Figaro (In French)
Nov 6 - "A year after the death of Muammar Gaddafi , the new authorities in Tripoli continue the hunt for his hoard, scattered around the world."

IFRS in HMRC tax probe Accountancy Live
Nov 8 - "The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation – the body that polices and sets global accounting standards – has set aside nearly half a million pounds following an HMRC probe into the organisation not paying the right amount of income tax and national insurance contributions." Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

Dolce and Gabbana to go on trial for tax evasion LA Times
Oct 30 -  Update on the case of the famous design duo. "The prosecution appealed ... to the Italian supreme court, which declared that evading taxes using tax havens was a 'criminal offense under the law'."

Tax Twist: At Some Firms, Cutting Corporate Rates May Cost Billions The Wall Street Journal
Nov 8 - "President Barack Obama has said, most recently during last month's presidential debates, that the 35% U.S. corporate tax rate should be cut. That would mean lower tax bills for many companies. But it also could prompt large write-downs by Citigroup, AIG, Ford and other companies that hold piles of "deferred tax assets," or DTAs." Hat tip: TaxProf.

Google, Amazon and Starbucks face questions on tax avoidance from MPs Guardian
Nov 12 - "Google, Amazon and Starbucks will face aggressive and detailed questioning by MPs ... over their decision to base their European businesses outside the UK to avoid paying full UK tax."

See also:

Starbucks wakes up and smells the stench of tax avoidance controversy Guardian
Nov 12 - "The direct action group UK Uncut plans to turn dozens of the coffee empire's UK branches into creches, refuges and homeless shelters to highlight the chain's tax avoidance tactics."

Occupy Wall Street Launches ‘Rolling Jubilee’ To Buy Up And Forgive Debt Think Progress
Nov 9 - "Members of Occupy Wall Street have launched a new initiative. Coined the “Rolling Jubilee,” Occupiers are raising money to buy distressed debt from financial firms. But while purchasers of debt usually hound debtors in order to make a return on their investment, Occupy plans to simply abolish the debt for the lucky individuals whose accounts they grab." See Tax Justice Focus: The Occupy edition here.

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