Thursday, November 22, 2012

Links Nov 22

Press Release of the Alliance: "No Way of Escape for Tax Cheats" TJN Germany blog
Nov 22 - On the day before the vote in the German Bundesrat on the tax agreement with Switzerland, the alliance "No Way of Escape for Tax Cheats" puts forward a set of measures with alternatives to the tax treaty. Points out why and how a common, coordinated action against tax fraud is needed, instead of a confusing mesh of bilateral agreements and special arrangements. See the statement here.

Italo-Swiss Tax Deal Expected In December Tax-News

Nov 22 - "It is expected that, under the agreement, Italian holders of Swiss accounts will remain anonymous."

Former UBS Paris head placed under investigation Reuters
Nov 19 - "The former head of UBS's French arm has been placed under investigation as part of a months-long probe into allegations the Swiss bank aided clients evade taxes, a judicial source said ... He is also being investigated on suspicions of money laundering". Hat tip: Offshore Watch.

Four more years of Swiss-US banking tension? swissinfo

Nov 22 - "Although Switzerland was given a black eye by the Obama camp during the United States presidential campaign for sheltering some of Mitt Romney’s fortune, a top Swiss official claims banking secrecy will not dominate Obama’s final term ... Experts in the United States, however, warn that tax evasion in Switzerland will remain a “hot button issue” for Washington."

Mexico, US Sign FATCA Agreement Tax-News
Nov 22 - "Foreign financial institutions (FFIs) across the world have all expressed concern about the legislation, particularly the changes to their systems it will entail, and the penalties that will ensue in case of non-compliance. Those concerns led the US Treasury to pursue government-to-government frameworks for implementing FATCA." For an overview of The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) see here.

Seized ships and hungry vultures: the piratical world of hedge funds define modern capitalism
 The Independent
Nov 22 - "Protests uniting Ghana with Argentina offer an insight into vulture funds: a dark new force in modern business which are making indebted countries suffer further." The article goes on to describe "the leitmotif of the “Vulture Fund”; feeding off toddling, recovering nations from murky secrecy jurisdictions." See also: Argentina against Vulture Funds Third World Network Hat tip: Jorge Gaggero.

Arrest of Maxim Bakiyev raises concerns over his activities in the United Kingdom Global Witness
Nov 19 - On the activities of the son of the former president of Kyrgyzstan who now resides in the United Kingdom. See also Grave Secrecy, a report published in July 2012 that highlighted shell companies registered in New Zealand and the United Kingdom that were involved in suspicious activity in Kyrgyzstan’s then-largest bank in the months before the Kyrgyz revolution of April 2010.

Australia: Tax Office wary of 'Double Irish Dutch Sandwich' ploy The Age

Nov 22 - "The government is preparing for an assault on companies such as Google that funnel their Australian income through low-tax countries such as Ireland and Singapore."

See also:
Giant profits, tiny tax bills: time to close loopholes on corporate tax avoidance The Conversation
Nov 22 - Gives examples from the Australian perspective, explaining how some of the dodging mechanisms work. Cites TJN and "Nicholas Shaxson's magnificent book Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World."

Beating tax cheats key to Italy’s recovery plan Salon / Associated Press
Nov 14 - "Good plumbers may be worth their weight in gold, but when one was spotted zipping around in a bright red Ferrari, Italian tax police were fast on his trail ..."

‘Secretive tax haven’ Jersey Jersey Evening Post
Nov 22 - "Jersey has been labelled ‘one of the most secretive tax havens in the world’ in the House of Lords after it was revealed that UK citizens hold some £19 billion in Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man accounts."

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