Sunday, June 14, 2009

Links - June 14

** Also see our searchable archive of past story summaries; and Offshore Watch **

A nation of accountants
June 13 (Guardian - Prem Sikka) - The UK has about 50,000 family doctors, but nearly 280,000 professionally qualified accountants (pdf), often earning exorbitant salaries. That is almost the highest number per capita in the world. Yet it has not resulted in the publication of sensible company accounts, or worthwhile company audits.

European Commission's tax proposals
ECOFIN yesterday approved various proposals on `good governance in the tax area', including the Commission Communication on revising the EUSD. The agreements with Liechtenstein and the other havens are called `anti-fraud' agreements, but the Commission was also asked to open consultations with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino to revise their arrangements on the EUSD.
For just the tax aspects click here.

BDO Seidman ex-chief Denis Field indicted in tax evasion case
June 10 (LA Times) The former chief executive of a major accounting firm and six others were indicted in what authorities say was a wide-ranging criminal scheme that generated more than $7 billion in fraudulent tax losses.

Petrobras Starts Blog to Respond to Tax Probe Queries
June 10 (Bloomberg) Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the Brazilian oil company under investigation after a newspaper alleged tax evasion, is starting a blog to publish its responses to inquiries about the probe.

Barrett: Delaware a Tax Haven for Bloomberg? Oh, Never!
June 9 (Villiage Voice) The Times recently pointed out that while President Obama makes a lot of noise about shutting down overseas tax havens, there's an "onshore Cayman Islands" right here on the eastern seaboard: the little state of Delaware.

7 Indicted on Charges of Selling Tax Shelters
June 9 (NY Times) Federal authorities on Tuesday obtained an indictment against a former chief executive of the accounting firm BDO Seidman on charges of conspiracy, fraud and lying to the Internal Revenue Service in connection with his work on questionable tax shelters sold to wealthy investors.

No further comment from the Cayman Islands
June 8 (TJN) Recently the Financial Task Force website picked up a TJN blog, which in turn attracted a rather barbed comment from Anthony Travers, chairman of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Authority (CIFSA).

For 300 years Britain has outsourced mayhem. Finally it's coming home
June 8 (Guardian) t's not as if this is the first time Britain's representatives have been caught out. The history of governments in all countries is the history of scandal, as those who rise to the top are generally the most ambitious, ruthless and unscrupulous people politics can produce.

Warnings from the Past
Jun 7 (Bad Conscience) - Remaining on the subject of tax havens, it’s worth noting a story in today’s Observer about the Turks & Caicos Islands. In short, the Government is using a Statutory Instrument to take over control of the Turks & Caicos because it is in a state of rampant chaos.

Die Volkswirtschaft
A useful collection of various tax and economy-related articles in German, with a link to the same in French.

It’s Finished
May 28 (LRB) It’s a moment of confusion and loathing that most of us have experienced. You’re in a shop. It’s time to pay. You reach for your purse or wallet and take out your last note. Something about it doesn’t feel quite right.

Jersey Approves Foundations Law
June 12 (Tax News) Jersey’s Privy Council has approved an order allowing Foundations to be set up in Jersey. At a meeting held this week in London, an order was made approving the Foundations (Jersey) Law 2009.

Microsoft Leaving the United States if Obama's Proposals Become Law?
June 12 (CTJ) A column by Kevin Hassett on this week suggested that if President Obama's international tax policy proposals are enacted, Microsoft will move out of the country.

For 300 years Britain has outsourced mayhem. Finally it's coming home
Jun 8 (Guardian) - Opium, famine and banks all played their part in this country's plundering of the globe. Now it's over, we find it hard to accept.

MPs Blast HMRC Over Level Of Tax Debt
June 12 (Tax News) An influential cross-party parliamentary committee in the UK has called on HM Revenue and Customs to improve its system for collecting outstanding tax debt after learning that the amount of money owed to the tax collector had grown to more than GBP17bn.


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