Thursday, February 16, 2012

Links Feb 16

Special report: For Iran oil trader, Western ties run deep Reuters
Feb 16 - Incisive report. "The firm, which is essentially the offshore arm of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), dissolved its base on the Channel isle on January 8 with a "certificate of continuance" that indicated it would move to the tax haven of Labuan, an island off the coast of Malaysia." The article cites TJN's Financial Secrecy Index.

Europe puts Switzerland in its place – and the UK too Tax Research UK
Feb 16 - See comment by Richard Murphy on positive developments reported by Europolitics. "... the European Commission reiterated, on 15 February, that it is “more determined than ever to promote information exchange at the largest scale possible”.

A Hard Transformation for Swiss Banks Wall Street Journal
Feb 16 - "The latest U.S. crackdown on tax havens underlines the reality that the secretive Swiss bank model, which has existed for decades, is likely on its way out. Clients who are forced to declare their assets want good returns, rather than being content with simply shielding holdings from tax authorities."

India: Recover money from tax havens Gulf News
Feb 15 - This editorial states: "The fact that the amount of illegal funds ($500 billion or Dh1.83 trillion) stashed away by Indians in overseas tax havens is almost the same as the US's defence budget ($575 billion) puts the subject in the correct perspective."

India: Black money case: Switzerland says it is 'not tax haven' Economic Times
Feb 16 - ""Switzerland is not a tax haven," a statement from the Swiss embassy said here, denying "unsubstantiated media reports about Switzerland and Swiss banks". See TJN's view here.

Uruguay says moving forward in tax accord with Argentina Buenos Aires Herald
Feb 14 - Director of the OECD's Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Pascal Saint-Amans, "praised the progress Uruguay has shown". The negotiation with Uruguay is for Double Taxation Agreement, which does not in fact represent progress - see TJN's Tax Treaties page. Hat tip: Markus Meinzer.

See also:
Pascal Saint-Amans finds his stride in Owens' Shoes International Tax Review

Feb 14 - Pascal Saint-Amans discusses his priorities on transparency, transfer pricing and tax avoidance. See recent TJN blog on this topic here.

EU gives hardly any credit to Greece on debt crisis The Hindu
Feb 15 - "The EU accuses us of tax dodging. But European nations continue to use Greek shipping companies that hide behind the flags of Panama or other such tax havens."

Italy: Prosecutor seeks tax trial for Berlusconi-sources Reuters

Feb 16 - "Prosecutors have asked a Rome court to put Silvio Berlusconi and his son on trial for tax evasion".

U.S.: Tim Geithner: We Need To Make Sure Corporations 'Pay Their Fair Share' Huffington Post
Feb 14 - U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner "is arguing that the current tax code is unfair and privileges some people and corporations over others."

UK: Department of Health apologises over tax deals 'misunderstanding' Guardian

Feb 16 - Reporting on payments to senior level government employees structured such that tax liability is reduced.

What libertarians are like, in pictures Treasure Islands
Feb 16 - Some observations with a definite sense of humour. Take a look.

Konrad Hummler, the tale of the fall Le Temps (In French, subscription required)
Feb 11 - On Swiss bank Wegelin, now defunct from the fallout of U.S. investigations. A curious detail - the bank ran a café on its premises with the name " 'Nonolet' as in the Latin aphorism 'pecunia non olet,' money has no smell". Hat tip: Bruno Gurtner.


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