Monday, January 28, 2013

Links Jan 28

UK government made millions in profit from funding an aluminium factory in Mozambique that only pays 1% tax Jubilee Debt Campaign
See the report "Whose development is it?"

Liechtenstein, Austria Conclude Tax Treaty Talks Tax-News

Austria/Liechtenstein tax treaty excludes trusts, providing loophole Attac Austria (In German)

EU threatens Austria on bank secrecy Der Standard (In German)
EU tax commissioner Algirdas Šemeta criticises Austria and Luxembourg for blocking the EU Savings Tax Directive, noting that if an EU country provides better information exchange to a non EU country than to other EU countries - referring to the U.S. and FATCA - then that is a violation which might lead to an action by the EU Commission.

Australia & New Zealand: Coca Cola named in multi million dollar tax haven scam Investigate Daily
On an invoicing scam using the Cook Islands, which receives nearly NZ$25 million in taxpayer-funded aid money from Australia and New Zealand.

Update: Coca Cola sent these comments on the allegations to Mark Zirnsak, a TJN member:
We refer to your enquiry and advise as follows:
As we have previously advised CCA NZ was unaware of the investigation by the Cook Islands Audit office undertaken in 2011 and its findings.  We contacted the Cook Islands Audit Office on 16th January 2013 and have now heard back from them.

On the matter of CCANZ being contacted and not responding: The Audit office claim they sent an email to our call centre generic email address in mid-2011 but have no record of that email being sent. We have no record of receiving that email. The Audit office has confirmed to us that they have not phoned or contacted us at any other time about this or any other matter.

The Audit office confirm as regards the investigation into import duties and I quote their email today to us - “Our report highlights that the arrangement was not illegal and there was no wrongdoing, except poor decision making by Government officials at the time. “

The Audit office have also confirmed that to their knowledge CITC have not admitted they were guilty of criminal activity, as you had indicated in one of your emails.

We followed this up with another statement several days later:
Re:        Enquiry to CCANZ regarding the Cook Islands Audit Office Repor

We refer to our statement dated 17 January 2013 regarding the above matter and to your subsequent email enquiry.

As set out in our statement, prior to this week CCA NZ was not aware of any investigation by the CI Customs Department in 2011, or its findings in relation to the arrangement between CITC and the CI Customs Department.

Upon becoming aware of the report, CCA NZ promptly contacted the Audit Office to clarify the position.  Consistent with the findings of the CI Audit Report, the Audit Office has confirmed to CCA that the arrangement between CITC and the CI Customs Department was not illegal.   
Congressional Research Service Finds Evidence of Massive Tax Avoidance by U.S. Corporations Using Tax Havens Citizens for Tax Justice

To stop firms gaming the tax system, make them admit what they're doing Guardian

Amazon expected to reveal cash pile of up to $9bn after record Christmas Guardian
Analysts say online retailer's reserves have swollen as row rages over tax contributions

Apple shelters almost $1bn a week from US tax man The Telegraph

Starbucks threatens Cameron after 'unfair' tax attacks The Telegraph
Starbucks has threatened to suspend millions of pounds of investment in Britain after what it described as constant and unfair attacks over its tax affairs by the Prime Minister and the Government.

Goldman Sachs chief attacks David Cameron on tax avoidance The Telegraph

We can help poorer countries by tackling tax evasion and avoidance The Independent

Bill Nighy: tackle tax avoidance to put an end to world hunger The Independent

India Considering New Wealth Taxes Tax-News

Can't KPMG Find Enough Tax Loopholes to Make Phil Mickelson Stay in the United States? Citizens for Tax Justice

Switzerland awash with money laundering cases swissinfo

Something Sinister About the Lack of Prosecutions at Lehman Brothers Ian Fraser


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