Thursday, September 08, 2011

Links Sep 8

Switzerland and tax deals: opposed by NGO's Le Figaro (In French)
Sep 7 - On the statement by Plateforme Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciares, stating opposition to the recent tax treaties signed by Switzerland with Germany and the UK, on how the deals promote fraud, and calling on France to publicly denounce them. See here for the press release.

Switzerland resists US tax data call Reuters
Sep 7 - "Switzerland has not delivered any further data on possible tax cheats to the United States, Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said on Wednesday, as the government resists pressure to bend its banking secrecy laws again."

Franco-German Common Corporate Tax Plans Ahead Of Schedule Tax-News

Sep 8 - "Showing that Franco-German plans for tax harmonization are gathering pace, French Finance Minister François Baroin revealed that concrete proposals for a common corporate tax base and rate in France and Germany will be on the table as soon as next year."

Nigeria: N6.18b Abacha loot recovered The Nation
Sep 6 - On the recovery of £22.5m (about N6.18 billion) loot from the family of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, and plans to recover $400million more. "The money is stashed away in the tiny Island of Jersey from where the £22.5m was recovered two weeks ago."

Uganda: Parliament scraps 18% tax on water Daily Monitor
Sep 8 - "The government, through Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), has been charging people 18 per cent in VAT on piped water, a move the lawmakers said has over the years hindered access to clean water, particularly in rural areas." Hat tip Sandra Kidwingira.

UK: Top tax rate will raise £12.6bn more in revenue, official figures reveal Guardian

Sep 7 - On debate on taxing the rich in the UK. "Lord Oakeshott, the Lib Dem peer and close ally of Vince Cable, said: 'This gives the lie to the special pleading form the super rich and the Tory right for a hand out to the top 1% of taxpayers ... Warren Buffet in America and business leaders in France and Germany are calling for shared sacrifice - why are Britain's super rich so super selfish?"

For more background, see:
George Osborne urged to scrap 50p tax rate Guardian and various posts on Tax Research UK
Richard Murphy points out "the reality of this issue: this is all about wealth preservation and nothing to do with wealth creation."

UK: J Fisher QC: UK tax deals create “one of largest money laundering operations in history” Treasure Islands
Sep 8 - Jonathan Fisher QC, addressing an the 29th International Symposium on Economic Crime at Cambridge University, "described the recent agreement between the United Kingdom and Switzerland as a 'grubby little deal' and claimed that further tax amnesties planned for next year 'present a colossal opportunity for money launderers to legitimise the proceeds of crime'”.

Tax and banking in the national interest Financial Times
Sep 7 - From the fictional Sir Reg Croesus, former chairman of Wongabank, "I spend a small fortune on accountants alone – and these are not wealthy people, some of them are on six figure salaries. That’s trickle-down in action" ... and ... "Is it really in our national interest for one of our leading banks to tie up its capital on some boring manufacturer when we could be risking the lot betting against the Swiss franc."


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