Thursday, November 17, 2011

UK-Swiss tax deals: HMRC hides its estimates, EC prepares to strike

We have blogged a lot on the useless and sordid UK-Swiss tax deal, and we have demonstrated beyond all doubt that they cannot raise even a fraction of the revenues that HMRC has promised. As we have said before - nobody, anywhere, has been able to rebut a single part of our report.

According to the UK's HMRC, it did several studies to come up with its figure of £4-7 billion in expected tax revenues - and we have shown how these numbers simply cannot work. The tax writer Richard Brooks did a Freedom of Information request on HMRC to try and find out how exactly it came up with its estimates. And here is the answer (click to enlarge):

HMRC's response continues on the next page, adding that
"In my view the public interest argument against disclosing the information is stronger in that disclosure of this information is likely to have a detrimental effect on the public because it is likely to reduce the revenue raised by the UK-Swiss Agreement thus having a direct impact on the overall revenue raised by HMRC.
That has got to be a load of absolute hogwash, designed to effect a cover-up. How exactly would disclosing the information reduce revenues, given that they will be so pitiful anyway? This response from HMRC in itself flouts the FoI law: in rejecting this, they are required to explain much more fully than they have how the public interest would be harmed by such disclosure.

This is an abject, disgraceful cover-up by HMRC, to pull the wool over the eyes of the little people, on behalf of wealthy criminals.

Meanwhile, some much better news today, from Europolitics, on the (useless and sordid) "Rubik" German and UK tax deals with Switzerland:
"Manoeuvring over Rubik is in full swing. The European Commission is pressuring Germany and the United Kingdom to change the bilateral fiscal agreements they have worked out with Switzerland. If they refuse to do so, it will open infringement proceedings against Berlin and London by the end of the year. The texts have already been drafted.
. .
The Commission's Legal Service considers that Berlin and London have overstepped their competences by signing these agreements, which protect the anonymity of fraudsters and whose scope partly interferes with EU rules on the taxation of savings income. . . there are also certain "technical problems" inherent to the Rubik system.
. . .
The Commission's legal experts therefore recommend the opening of proceedings against Berlin and London before the EU Court of Justice for failure to fulfil obligations."
The Europeans have done some fine recent work on tax havens and the UK. Let's hope they will slap this corrupt Swiss monster down soon.


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