Thursday, June 02, 2011

Links June 2

Belgium: Associations and Unions call for tax justice (In French)
May 31 - In Brussels, between 150 and 200 people gathered Tuesday afternoon at the Mont des Arts in Brussels, on the initiative of the Réseau pour la justice fiscale (RJF) - Tax Justice Network, which includes 46 associations and unions. The protesters are calling for a fairer tax system, with a petition to strengthen the fight against tax evasion and banking secrecy. See here for blog posts and links to reports (in Dutch).

India yoga guru Baba Ramdev vows anti-graft fast BBC News South Asia

Jun 2 - Indian guru Baba Ramdev has decided to press ahead with a hunger strike on Saturday to protest against corruption, after talks with the government failed. The yoga guru says his fast is to protest against the illegal funnelling of wealth abroad by Indians for tax avoidance.

See also:

Talks positive, fast plan intact: Baba The Pioneer
Jun 2 - ' The yoga guru tried to create an atmosphere urging people from all walks of life to participate in the fight against corruption. “It is a big war. We have to change the system of 64 years. It is not an easy task. But we will get it done together,” he said.'

India: Companies with tax haven links set to be penalised
Financial Express
Jun 2 - The government is set to penalise companies deciding to do business with tax havens that are reluctant to share banking and tax-related information.

Philippines: Audit the taxes of richest legislators Philippine Daily Inquirer

May 30 - The author proposes that the richest congressmen and senators be subjected to a tax audit by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) ... and cites the BIR Commissioner stating that the taxes paid are confidential - "because the richest ones may be kidnapped." The author points out " Won’t they be kidnapped just the same if their statements of assets and liabilities (SAL's) show that they are very rich? If the SALs of public officials are made public, why not the income taxes they pay?"

iHate Tax Dodgers Like Apple Computer Common Dreams

Jun 1 - We have blogged the video - and here we bring you a piece by Chuck Collins: "Another clue that Apple is ethically rotten is that they are spearheading a national coalition to lobby Congress for a “tax holiday” for offshore profits. Apple has teamed up with other technology companies like Google, Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft and Adobe, drug giant Pfizer, and utility leaders including Duke Energy to form “WinAmerica,” a slickly messaged campaign to press Congress for an $80 billion tax cut.

Sepp Blatter's crushing of his critics makes a mockery of democracy Guardian

Jun 2 - ' "Any host country requires a comprehensive tax exemption to be given to Fifa and further parties involved in the hosting and staging of an event," runs a typically shameless official statement on the World Cup. ... Never forget that tax avoidance is a profoundly political act.'

Twelve Corporations Pay Effective Tax Rate of Negative 1.5% on $171 Billion in Profits; Reap $62.4 Billion in Tax Subsidies Citizens for Tax Justice
Jun 1 - CTJ analyzes the pretax U.S. profits, federal taxes paid and effective tax rates of a dozen Fortune 500 companies over the 2008-10 period. From 2008 through 2010, these 12 companies reported $171 billion in pretax U.S. profits. But as a group, their federal income taxes were negative: –$2.5 billion.

News of the Financial Sector: reporting on the City or to it? openDemocracy
May 31 - "Since the near collapse of the international banking sector in 2007-8 many of us have wondered why the news media gave so little warning of the huge crisis coming ... Unsurprisingly, it is news sources from the City itself that have come to dominate financial and business news coverage." Hat tip The Cynical Tendency.

Billion Dollar Fund Managers Agree: The Government Never Fixed the Underlying Economic Problems, So We'll Have Another Crash Washington's Blog

May 31 - "While the snake oil salespeople at the retail investing level and the bobble heads on the kool aid selling financial channels have been saying for years that we're in a "recovery" (albeit a slow one), billion dollar fund managers say that nothing has changed and we'll have another crash."

Swiss still lagging on int'l tax standards - OECD Reuters

Jun 1 - "Switzerland still has "a big problem" when it comes to meeting international standards aimed at helping other countries crack down on tax evaders, the OECD said on Wednesday."

Calmy-Rey criticises Italian blacklisting swissinfo
Jun 1 - 'Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey has criticised Italy for keeping Switzerland on a blacklist of tax havens during a visit to Rome.In a meeting with Premier Silvio Berlusconi, Calmy-Rey expressed “incomprehension” that despite the countries’ strong relations, a continuing tax disagreement was becoming worse.'


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