Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Links Apr 19

Economic Report on Africa 2011: Governing development in Africa: The role of the state in economic transformation This report by the Economic Commission for Africa & African Union states, in the section "The quest for reform of the global financial architecture" (p25), "Africa’s challenges with the current global financial architecture relate mainly to lack of voice and effective representation in decision-making bodies." See UK, US, OECD oppose developing country interests on tax

Why tax incentives should be accounted for Kenya Today

Apr 18-24 - A
n article on tax incentives published in the Kenya Today (a government weekly newspaper), by Vera Mshana of Tax Justice Network-Africa. (Note: the PDF is if the Op-Ed section that has two articles - scroll down to see Vera's which follows an article by Robert Zoellick, World Bank President).

Lift the secrecy on oil agreements The Independent
Apr 7 - We linked on Mar 31 to a Press Release by our friends at Publish What You Pay and One, and this issue is crucial to keep to the forefront. In Uganda, where over 7 million people still live in extreme poverty, harnessing the newfound oil wealth is a one-off opportunity to accelerate social and economic development at a previously unthinkable rate. Transparency and accountability are key.

Korea targets tax cheats in foreign havens The Korea Herald
Apr 19 - The South Korean government is clamping down on rampant offshore tax evasion. Their main target, a reclusive shipping tycoon, shows how to get around paying taxes in and out of more than five trading borders while keeping over 10 trillion won ($9 billion) in assets: "Register your business at a tax haven, stash all your profits there ... ". Note the closing emphasis on the U.S. as a tax haven.

Overseas Banks Could Face Novel Penalty From U.S. New York Times
Apr 12 - The penalty for U.S. individuals found violating
the FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank Account) rules, may soon be applied to financial institutions if they are found to have abetted violations. This is "a fresh potential headache for Swiss and Swiss-style banks". A nice step forward in deterrence. Hat tip Rebecca Wilkins.

Jim Boyce: Tax Havens or Financial Sinkholes naked capitalism

Apr 19 - "When the countries of the world joined together to eradicate smallpox a generation ago, they achieved a historic victory for global public health. International cooperation to plug the world’s financial sinkholes could bring a comparable victory for global economic health". See also Africa’s odious debts: forthcoming book on Treasure Islands.

Indonesia: Money laundering probe starts at Citibank The Jakarta Post
Apr 19 - Officials launched a money laundering investigation at Citibank, amid allegations that public officials had accounts with implausibly large balances at the bank. Citibank’s anti-money laundering compliance is seriously in question, concerning the exercise of due diligence on “politically exposed” customers. Hat tip Offshore Watch.

Russian Deputy PM says 1,000 Russian banks are money-launderers The Komisar Scoop
Apr 4 - Sergey Ivanov, the Russian deputy prime minister, asked by our friend Lucy Komisar if he thought the U.S. and Russia should get together to put a stop to offshore tax evasion, "smiled and agreed that the two countries need to deal with the international offshore system."

Russian Officials Said to Reap Wealth in Tax Case New York Times

Apr 18 - After accusing government officials of involvement in large-scale tax fraud, a lawyer was jailed until he died mysteriously in detention. The bureaucrats involved in the tax scheme are said to have stashed millions of dollars away in offshore bank accounts and shell companies.


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