Thursday, March 15, 2012

Links Mar 15

Tax havens give EU commissioner the runaround euobserver
Mar 13 - "The EU commissioner trying to stop tax cheats from hiding money in Switzerland is puzzled why Austria and Luxembourg are standing in his way. "

Swiss “Tax Evasion Advisers” Hid Assets, Used Kids BloombergBusinesweek

Mar 14 - "Two Swiss men who acted as “full service tax evasion advisers” helped U.S. clients hide hundreds of millions of dollars from tax authorities, while delivering cash in hotels and through a child courier, prosecutors said."

Some news via ATAF's Kodi Katika Afrika, hat tip: Sandra Kidwingira:

Evade tax, go to jail - Joint Tax Board warns Nigerian Tribune
Feb 29 - "The era of tax evasion by individuals and corporate organisations in Nigeria would soon be over, as the Joint Tax Board (JTB) has rolled out various penalties ranging from fines to outright imprisonment of defaulters."

Nigeria: Tax Gap and Equity in Country allAfrica

Feb 27 - "While a tax system may be designed to redistribute income by taxing all earnings at progressive rates, high evasion, avoidance and delinquency levels can distort the impact of tax laws."

Mines call for fair tax system Zambia Daily Mail
Mar 1 - "The Chamber of Mines of Zambia says Zambia needs a fair tax system that will create an environment that will see Government and the mining companies benefit from the mining companies taxes."

Libya Recovers £10m Saadi Gaddafi London House The Tripoli Post

Mar 15 - More on a story we linked earlier, and citing Global Witness. "The UK should also be putting pressure on the BVI and other secrecy jurisdictions to stop allowing the set-up of anonymous companies that allow corrupt politicians to hide their assets," said Palmer."

Financial ‘repression’ back to stay – Reinhart Treasure Islands
Mar 12 - Nick Shaxson comments on an article in Bloomberg by Carmen Reinhart - "She sees a new era of ‘financial repression’ emerging following the emergence of the global financial and economic crisis..."

So what would an oil contracts database look like? OpenOil
Mar 15 - "Imagine the typical corporate arguments of breach of confidentiality agreements and conflict with commercial interest had been trumped, as they should be, by the fact that one of the two partners to the agreement is a sovereign state, and that a consensus now accepts that the public interest in publication ... both outweighs and is compatible with reasonable commercial interests."

U.S. hunts for black money in Europe Financial Times Netherlands
A few days ago, the Netherlands announced that it joins the FATCA implementation agreement between the US and Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain. Under this agreement, foreign banks and other financial institutions do not need to report information directly to the IRS, but they will be obliged by national legislation to report it to the government of their home country, which then exchanges it on reciprocal terms with the US. This reduces the reporting burden for the banks and other institutions and for that reason, the agreement is supported - somewhat grudgingly - by the Dutch Banking Association. See the government press release Netherlands prepared to join U.S. and G5 on FATCA. Hat tip: Francis Weyzig.


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