Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Links Aug 23

Ex-UBS Client Must Give Tax Records to Grand Jury, U.S. Court Rules Bloomberg
Aug 23 - A former UBS client can’t assert his constitutional right against self-incrimination to avoid turning over his bank records to a U.S. grand jury, a federal appeals court ruled in a victory for prosecutors in their crackdown on offshore tax evasion.

Swiss bank UBS to axe 3,500 jobs Guardian
Aug 23 - "Swiss Bank UBS became the latest banking giant to announce job losses today as it struggles with a sluggish global economy and increased regulatory pressures."

Swiss President Says U.S. Approach in Tax Probe ‘Unacceptable’ Bloomberg
Aug 22 - Swiss President tries to keep a grip on bank secrecy as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department have stepped up enforcement to combat offshore tax evasion. See recent blog on Swiss secrecy dealing her.

Please tax us, French super-rich tell government Reuters
Aug 23 - "Some of France's richest people ... urged the government to tax them more to help solve the country's financial problems. In a petition published on the website of weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur on Tuesday, 16 company executives, business leaders and super-rich individuals called for the creation of a "special contribution" that would target wealth without forcing the rich to quit France for overseas tax havens." We would argue that none of these rich people is likely to be "forced" towards a tax haven.

For Cuba's new entrepreneurs, the tax man cometh Associated Press
Aug 22 - " ' The payment of taxes constitutes a way of contributing to society, and that is a concept that we have to recover,' said Vladimir Regueiro, [
vice chairman of Cuba's tax agency]. 'For many years we have been far from that idea and now we are reviving it.' "

Corporations pushing for job-creation tax breaks shield U.S.-vs.-abroad hiring data Washington Post with Bloomberg
Aug 23 - "Some of the country’s best-known multi­national corporations closely guard a number they don’t want anyone to know: the breakdown between their jobs here and abroad...Some of the same companies that do not report their jobs breakdown, including Apple and Pfizer, are pushing lawmakers to cut their tax bills in the name of job creation in the United States."

See also:
Corporations Seeking U.S. Tax Breaks Refuse to Reveal Critical U.S. Jobs Data AFL-CIO Blog
Aug 22 - "U.S. taxpayers and workers have been burned once by the tax repatriation scheme. Let’s not let it happen again."

U.S. : GOP lawmaker for closing tax loopholes favoring 'ultra-wealthy' The Hill

Aug 18 - "Republicans have been near universal in their criticism of Warren Buffett’s New York Times editorial last week that encouraged lawmakers to close tax loopholes for the mega-rich, a theme that the president and congressional Democrats have been promoting as the supercommittee budget talks approach. But at least one GOP lawmaker might not be toeing the party line."

See also:
American taxes must reconcile equity and austerity Financial Times

Aug 18 - "The real question is why it makes news when someone calls for a return to the status quo, from an experiment in regressive taxation that is depriving the government of resources it needs while further fuelling income inequality. The response shows just how fraught the coming period of reconciling forced austerity with equity is going to be."

We've been warned: the system is ready to blow Guardian
Aug 18 - "Finally, there has been a big change in the way that the spoils of economic success have been divvied up. Back when Nixon was berating the speculators attacking the dollar peg, there was an implicit social contract under which the individual was guaranteed a job and a decent wage that rose as the economy grew. The fruits of growth were shared with employers, and taxes were recycled into schools, health care and pensions. In return, individuals obeyed the law and encouraged their children to do the same. The assumption was that each generation would have a better life than the last. This implicit social contract has broken down. Growth is less rapid than it was 40 years ago, and the gains have disproportionately gone to companies and the very rich."
The obvious point here is that the growth of tax havens has played a corrosive role in breaking down the social contract.

U.S. : Tax Break for Clergy Questioned Wall Street Journal

Aug 23 - "As Congress scrutinizes every nook and cranny of the budget for possible revenue, a surprising court decision is allowing clergy members to buy or live in multiple homes tax-free."


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