Friday, May 27, 2016

Tax Havens: How They Work and Can You Do It Too?

Tax Havens: How They Work and Can You Do It Too?

Tax havens corrupt in deep, systemic ways that affect entire communities, not just individuals. With an estimated $7 trillion to $36 trillion stashed offshore, these places are distorting – corrupting– whole societies and the global economy itself. Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe points toward a better, more systemic definition of corruption in his 1983 classic, “The Trouble with Nigeria”: “A normal sensible person will wait for his turn if he is sure that the shares will go round,” he wrote. “If not, he might start a scramble.”
Picture society as a queue. Disrupt a queue with, say, a fire hose, and after the spluttering has ceased, order should re-emerge – just as stable countries recover from earthquakes or economic shocks. Yet when the strongest push in at the front, that is more dangerous: People begin to lose faith in the queue, and in each other. They start to wonder: “Why should I pay my taxes if the rich go offshore and evade theirs?” Or “If I don’t snaffle that stream of oil revenue to feed my family, then that jerk in the next ministry will get it.” As a 2009Norwegian government study put it, tax havens can weaken political systems by monetarily encouraging “the self-interest that politicians and bureaucrats … have in weakening these institutions ....”
So Simple as: Want to end corruption? Crack down on tax havens
By MEdia Dragon called Nicholas Shaxson is author of "Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens."

Progress is 'too slow' on tax havens  

Tax Dodgin’ Silicon Valley and What It Means to You and Me CityWatch

A small group of politically-connected lawyers worked with MF to ensure no restrictions were imposed on foreign trusts. Radio NZ reported that “representatives of five New Zealand law firms met with the then Revenue Minister Todd McClay at the end of 2014” to lobby against any move by the Inland Revenue Department to shut down the industry.
Panama Papers: Further revelations about New Zealand's role as a tax haven  

Privatisation: All bidders for the Land Registry have links to tax havens 


A Reporter On The Panama Papers: The Basic Idea Is 'To Hide True Ownership'  

Does Google Really Think It Doesnt Have to Pay Taxes in Europe? 

Via MentalFloss – data from Forbes: “Last month Forbes put out a list of the richest people in each state. Some were obvious, like Bill Gates in Washington ($78.8 billion) or Warren Buffett in Nebraska ($70.2 billion). Other states, like Delaware, involved a little more digging by journalists Dan Alexander, Kerry Close, Maggie McGrath, Chase Peterson-Withorn, and Rebecca Spalding. (Robert Gore and Elizabeth Snyder from Gore-Tex hold the title of Delaware’s most wealthy with $675 million). To settle on people, the journalists not only looked at public records but also valuations of private assets, like oil wells and coal mines. On the list, 40 of the wealthy people are self-made, leaving only 10 as what Forbes refers to as “do-nothing heirs.” Head over to Forbes to see the full list and find out what these people (or their parents) did to get so fabulously wealthy.”

Africa: The Netherlands Is a Top EU Tax Haven, Commission Data Shows 

The Tiny Cayman Island Holding $265 Billion in Treasuries

KPMG dodge questions about  the sale and leaseback of properties from BHS to Carmen Properties Ltd, a company registered in Jersey

Maybe studying economics doesn’t morally corrupt you after all:

Does Economics and Business Education Wash Away Moral Judgment Competence?
In view of the numerous accounting and corporate scandals associated with various forms of moral misconduct and the recent financial crisis, economics and business programs are often accused of actively contributing to the amoral decision making of their graduates. It is argued that theories and ideas taught at universities engender moral misbehavior among some managers, as these theories mainly focus on the primacy of profit-maximization and typically neglect the ethical and moral dimensions of decision making. To investigate this criticism, two overlapping effects must be disentangled: the self-selection effect and the treatment effect. Drawing on the concept of moral judgment competence, we empirically examine this question with a sample of 1773 bachelor’s and 501 master’s students. Our results reveal that there is neither a self-selection nor a treatment effect for economics and business studies. Moreover, our results indicate that—regardless of the course of studies—university education in general does not seem to foster students’ moral development.

Exclusive: EU aims to rule on Amazon's Luxembourg tax deal by July 

Susan C. Morse (Texas), Safe Harbors, Sure Shipwrecks, 49 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1385 (2016):
In law, a safe harbor describes behavior that will not be penalized, and leaves other facts that fall outside the safe harbor to be judged case-by-case. A sure shipwreck, as I call it, is the mirror image. It describes behavior that violates the law as a matter of rule, and leaves other conduct to be judged by a standard. Prior literature analyzes rules and standards at length. But it has largely missed safe harbors and sure shipwrecks, even though these hybrids are everywhere in statutory, regulatory and case law.The House Small Business Committee held a hearing yesterday on Sharing Economy: A Taxing Experience for New Entrepreneurs, Part I.  From the Hearing Memo: The IRS needs to get past its historical bias against these new entrepreneurs – based on the outmoded and rigid framework of employee versus contractor – and instead focus on ways to improve awareness and education to increase voluntary, accurate tax code compliance.

Tax Justice Network May 2016 Podcast: the Anti-Corruption Summit – who’s the most corrupt?

Jack Townsend, Prominent and Very Rich Investor Indicted in SDNY. “It is alleged that Zukerman spread the compliance (tax return reporting) work among various professional firms to prevent any one of them seeing enough of the big picture to identify or suspect the fraud.”

Norway to regulate $850 billion fund's tax haven exposure-lawmakers

Canada Revenue agency routinely failed to meet Access to Information deadlines on KPMG

The House Ways & Means Committee holds a hearing today on Perspectives on the Need for Tax Reform:
This hearing will focus on perspectives and considerations that drive the need for tax reform, in particular economic growth, business expansion and job creation, simplicity and burden reduction, and other key motivators. The hearing is part of the Subcommittee’s ongoing effort to lay the foundation for legislative action on comprehensive tax reform in 2017.

Privatisation: All bidders for the Land Registry have links to tax havens

Donald Trump's hidden business dealings with Mafia boss Fat Tony

Drilling down to the real owners – Part 1

US companies' cash pile hits $1.7tn

A huge US hedge fund borrowed $120 million to settle a bribery case

EU to compile common blacklist of tax havens, sanctions against them

Criminal tax evasion 'very problematic' for companies, claims CIoT