Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Links Nov 21

Mexico inks pact with U.S. to crack down on tax cheats Reuters
Nov 20 - "Mexico's finance ministry said on Tuesday it has approved an agreement with the U.S. Treasury Department that aims to help stamp out tax evasion." See reference to Agustin Carstens in  letter from TJN to the UN of January 2011.

German-Swiss Tax Deal Set to Fail  Wall Street Journal
Nov 20 - "Germany's opposition Social Democrats and Greens are set to block passage Friday of a Swiss-German tax accord, scuttling a controversial deal to get Swiss banks to hand over taxes owed by German citizens with secret bank accounts there." We've blogged this shabby deal frequently, latest here.

Swiss bankers say foreign assets not blunted by tax evasion deals
Washington Post
Nov 21 - "Swiss Bankers Association CEO Claude-Alain Margelisch says there has been 'no noticeable shift of foreign client money to other countries' contrary to expectations that Swiss tax agreements might prompt huge withdrawals."

The world’s tax havens are just laughing at regulation meant to control them Tax Research UK
Nov 20 - Richard Murphy on the farce of the OECD's bilateral Tax Information Exchange Agreements. Illustrating the point, he provides a revealing list representing 20% of existing agreements.

Tax can promote growth and equity, says the IMF…but how? Martin Hearson's blog
Nov 21 - Insights on recent findings by the IMF, from Martin and from Mark Herkenrath of Alliance Sud. Refers to IMF working paper Tax Composition and Growth: A Broad Cross-Country Perspective survey and survey Tax Policy Can Help Spur Economic Growth.

Latin America: Tax revenues are rising, but still low and varied among countries OECD
Nov 13 - Report, produced jointly by the OECD, the Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations (CIAT) and The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), notes that "Tax revenues in Latin American countries are lower as a proportion of their national incomes than in most OECD countries, but are rising slowly."

Africa: Experts to Review Africa's Tax Incentives allAfrica
Nov 20 - "The African Tax Administration Forum has embarked on a campaign to review tax incentives, which most African countries have agreed with multinational companies." See also TJN-Africa reports on tax incentives and revenue losses.

Africa: Rich Presidents of Poor Nations - Capital Flight From Resource-Rich Countries in Africa allAfrica

Nov 20 - Article by Léonce Ndikumana and James K. Boyce, authors of Africa's Odious Debts. "These pathologies are perpetuated by complicit foreign special interests and a shadow international financial system that enables the perpetrators of financial crime to walk free thanks to banking secrecy."

Guinea's battle against corruption: which side is the west on? Guardian
Nov 15 - "... the clandestine flows of dirty money essential for corruption ... depend on an army of facilitating lawyers, accountants and bankers. They are the people who establish shell companies and nominee bank accounts to conceal true beneficial ownership, and whip money across borders far faster than the lumbering process of inter-governmental legal co-operation."

Free Enterprise Is Not Free Huffington Post
Nov 20 - TJN-USA Executive Director Nicole Tichon explains how - "There's real money in cracking down on offshore tax dodging. Congress needs to close these loopholes and make large corporations pay taxes in the same country that provides them with the benefits and legal protections that make it so profitable to operate in the United States in the first place."

Global shell game: Nations must close loopholes on tax evasion Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nov 19 - "Multinational companies have a responsibility to their investors to maximize profits. But it's up to the nations in which they do business, including the United States, to close the loopholes that let them turn their tax liability into an international shell game." See also: European Countries Seek More Taxes From U.S. Multinational Companies Wall Street Journal.

How The Government Set Up A Fake Bank To Launder Drug Money NPR

Nov 20 - "In the early 1990s, Colombian drug cartels had a problem: They had more money than they knew what to do with. So a pair of federal agents created an offshore bank..."

Jersey puts stop to vulture funds circling its courts Guardian
Nov 20 - "Tim Jones, policy officer at Jubilee Debt Campaign, which is campaigning for the cancellation of debts owed by poor countries, said: "We warmly welcome this legislation to protect 40 countries from odious vulture fund claims in Jersey. However, vulture funds continue to cause havoc across the global economy."

The Amazon Debate Milestone
Nov 16 - This piece is not sympathetic to TJN's view, but it does contain an in-depth look at some of the tax issues regarding Amazon. See yesterday's comment article by TJN Senior Adviser Sol Picciotto and writer Nicholas Shaxson in the Financial Times Make Corporate Tax Rules Fair For All

Media point finger after UBS trader verdict swissinfo

Nov 21 - A view of press commentary on the sentencing of former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli in London for fraud, following the bank's $2.3 billion (SFr2.2 billion) loss incurred by UBS through Adoboli’s trading.

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