Thursday, July 02, 2009

Links - July 2

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

India tries to tame tax havens
July 1 (UPI) - The Indian government is taking a hard look at the country’s plethora of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements. But laying a hand on the enormous amount of the country’s illegal or black money stashed abroad may be easier said than done.

U.S. demands UBS "comply in full" in tax evasion case
June 30 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday it was pressing ahead with its five-month-old lawsuit against UBS AG to force the Swiss bank to identify thousands of U.S. clients with secret UBS accounts.

Kyrgyzstan tackles black economy
July (Atimes) - A bill allowing people to declare assets and unpaid tax without fear of retribution has sailed through the Kyrgyz parliament, after an earlier version had to be amended because of objections that it would help money-launderers.

UPDATE 1-C.Suisse to pass client names to French regulator
July 1, (Reuters) - Swiss bank Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX) said on Wednesday it will pass the names of clients holding French securities to the French markets authority.

Money laundering risk to football
July 1 (BBC) - Football is being used as a vehicle for money laundering, according to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Its report warns football is at risk from criminals buying clubs, transferring players, and betting on the sport. It also provides a rare insight into tax evasion in British football.

Debt is capitalism’s dirty little secret
June 30 (FT) - Just why is there so much debt in the Anglo-Saxon world? The answer is capitalism’s dirty little secret: excessive lending was the only way to maintain the living standards of the vast bulk of the population at a time when wealth was being concentrated in the hands of an elite. This illustrates the problem with lightly regulated free markets

Singapore Plans to Amend Laws Related to Bank Secrecy
June 30 (WSJ) The Singapore government is proposing changes to its tax laws to meet demands from the U.S. and Europe to clamp down on bank secrecy.

Qatar To Overhaul CIT Structure
June 30 (LowTax.Net) In a landmark move, Qatar has proposed to slash its corporate income tax rate to 10% for foreign companies investing from outside the Gulf.

Private Banker Moved Funds Undetected
June 30 (NY Times) He grew up in elite circles in Buenos Aires, acquiring the polish and privileged connections that paved the way for him to become a star private banker in New York to wealthy clients at UBS and JPMorgan Chase.

Regulator calls on UBS to pay
June 29 (FT) UBS, the custodian bank to Luxalpha, one of the main European funds invested in Bernard Madoff, should compensate investors for their losses, the French regulator said on Monday.

UK fraud agency launches Medici inquiry
June 29 (FT) UK investigators are probing the head of an Austrian bank that funnelled billions of dollars into Bernard Madoff’s “Ponzi” investment scheme, the Financial Times has learnt.

Bernard Madoff Gets 150 Years in Jail for Epic Fraud
June 29 (Bloomberg) Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison for masterminding the largest Ponzi scheme in history, a penalty six times longer than those meted out to the chief executives of WorldCom Inc. and Enron Corp.

John McDougal: Busting Offshore Accounts for the IRS
June 29 (Washington Post) Tax cheats have brazenly hidden billions of dollars in offshore bank accounts for decades, but this ruse has become harder to pull off thanks to John McDougal, a special trial attorney at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

UBS Said to Seek U.S. Tax Deal in Weeks
June 29 (NY Times) With a payment of 3 billion to 5 billion Swiss francs, UBS hopes in the next two weeks to settle a lawsuit over the tens of thousands of American clients suspected of tax evasion, the Swiss newspaper Sonntag reported. Analysts on Monday, however, questioned the figure.

Merz sees Swiss off OECD tax list by autumn -paper
June 29 (Reuters) Switzerland should have renegotiated more than enough double taxation treaties by the autumn to be removed from an OECD 'grey list', Swiss Finance Minister Hans-Rudolf Merz was quoted as saying on Monday.

U.S. Companies Seek New Tax Havens
June 29 (Business Week) Ah, Bermuda. Pink sand beaches. Charming pastel cottages and kelly-green golf courses. Tiny storefront "headquarters" of major global corporations.

U.S. Justice is Not for Sale, DOJ Must Pursue Case against Swiss Bank UBS, Says GFI
June 29 (GFI) Global Financial Integrity (GFI) urges the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to remain steadfast in its pursuit of information about the suspected 52,000 secret bank accounts held by U.S. citizens with Swiss bank UBS.

Swiss declare war over tax evasion
June 28 (FT) An economic war has broken out between Switzerland and the rest of the world after the crackdown on Swiss banking secrecy, according to one of Geneva’s leading private bankers.

Academics have more to declare than their genius
June 23 (FT) Crises always prompt an anguished and angry search for causes and culprits, and the current financial crisis is no exception. Fingers have been pointed at supine regulators, greedy bankers and investors, naive consumers and feckless politicians.

Critics Say Tax Haven Crackdown Falls Short
June 23 (Forbes) Last month the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris removed the last holdouts Andorra, Lichtenstein and Monaco from its blacklist of "uncooperative" tax havens.

OECD meeting commits to ensuring information exchange compliance
June 23 (International Tax Review) The president of Switzerland has said that complying with international standards on the exchange of tax information should not be only about the number of agreements a country can negotiate.

Jet lag snares a tax haven tout
June 19 (Watoday) When Philip Egglishaw last visited Sydney and Melbourne, he left behind a who's who and how-to guide to tax avoidance.


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