Sunday, May 08, 2016

Velvet Digital Revolution Manifesto: Panama Papers Mossack Fonseca Luxleak etc

Sueddeutsche Zeitung says that the source of millions of documents leaked to the German newspaper from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has sent them a MANIFESTO, saying his motivation was the 'scale of injustices' . 'Legitimate whistleblowers who expose unquestionable wrongdoing, whether insiders or outsiders, deserve immunity from government retribution, full stop ...'
Panama papers source releases manifesto 

The source concluded on an optimistic note. In an age of “inexpensive, limitless digital storage” and internet connections that transcend national boundaries “the next [Velvet] revolution will be digitised” Guardian on Scale of Justice

Luxembourg Is Prosecuting the Wrong People (Tax Analysts Blog)>

There is something wrong with a system that allows politicians, liberal or conservative, to make tax decisions based on their political views. McCormick said, “All these companies who tried to blackmail us for this thing, when they come for their corporate welfare checks next year, we need to have a list out and keep an eye on them.” Unfortunately, the tax incentive system allows politicians to do just that.
David Brunori, Tax Analysts ($link)

      Rule N.1 of Tax Haven Club: NEVER talk about Tax Haven Club 

Video on Panama Papers from the Offshore Alert Conference at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, 2016.  The video is here.  The conference details are here.  The speakers are here
The speakers in the video are:
ANTIPODEAN GERARD RYLE, Director, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (Washington, D.C.)
 AMERIKAN ARTHUR VANDESANDE, Founder, Concorde Associates & Retired Senior Special Agent, IRS Criminal Investigation, Offshore Coordinator (Miami).
Panama papers Communist Chinese rich listers were top Australian clients

Mossack Fonseca's Australian client list can be searched on the Australian Financial Review'website from 4am on Monday as part of a release by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists​, with Chinese investors comprising more than a fifth of the total identifiable Australian-based names.
Follow AFR  @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

The Senate Economics References Committee on 22 April 2016 tabled Part 2 of its tax avoidance Report - Part 2: Gaming the system [Click here to open this document] . The Committee's inquiry into corporate tax avoidance began in October 2014
In light of information coming out of the Panama Papers and the ATO's investigations, the Committee said it will defer further consideration on the use of tax havens as a means of avoiding and, in some cases, evading tax in Australia, until there has been sufficient time to evaluate the data. It noted however, that at first glance, the papers seemed predominantly to involve individuals not multinationals. The Committee's one recommendation was that its inquiry be extended until 30 September 2016 to explore the implications arising from the Panama Papers

The Prime Minister announced on 23 April 2016 that the Government would allocate a further $15 million over 3 years to strengthen the capacity of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and specialist agencies to trace corrupt money flows, seize tainted proceeds and to "engage the best lawyers to prosecute perpetrators".

There’s a pile of money hiding offshore By Nomi Prins, the author of six books, a speaker, and a distinguished senior fellow at the non-partisan public policy institute Demos. Her most recent book is All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power (Nation Books). She is a former Wall Street executive. Special thanks go to researcher Craig Wilson for his superb work on this piece. Originally published at TomDispatch

 “John Doe’s Manifesto”: Panama Papers Source Blasts Lack of Media Interest, Calls for Prosecutions, Whistleblower Protection

Panama Papers: US launches crackdown on international tax evasion  Guardian Angels

Blogging genius Jack Townsend articles on ICIJ Panama papers

The use of shell companies to hide assets and avoid taxes is in the spotlight following a massive leak of data from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, which embarrassed several world leaders and sparked government investigations around the globe into possible financial wrongdoing by the wealthy elite. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists said it will release a searchable database of more than 200,000 offshore entities next week U S issues The Customer Due Diligence (CDD) rule requiring banks to identify shell company owners
yellow bird links
Scott Shane and Eric Lipton, Panama Papers Source Offers to Aid Inquiries if Exempt From Punishment (New York Times 5/6/16), here
Jersey 'a bigger threat than Soviets to markets in UK' 

Jersey Finance firms could be sued over Panama links

 Charles (Chuck) Rettig, US Launches Criminal Inquiry Into 200 US Citizens Named In The Panama Papers (Forbes 4/23/16), here

    MPs demand government action on UK tax havens

    Canadians put $40 billion in tax havens last year

     Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca raids seize 'large amount of evidence' (ABC News 4/22/16), here
    Panamanian investigators have raided a property used by Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the centre of a massive leak of offshore financial data, removing bags full of shredded documents as evidence, a local prosecutor said Articles on ICIJ Panama Papers
    Companies put $221 billion into low-tax jurisdictions in 2015: UN
    Offshore onshore and Luxembourg, the black heart of Europe Sigrún Davíðsdóttir’s Icelog

    Luxleaks whistleblowers trial revealing tax avoidance schemes

    Political roundup: Insights into Government processes and wealth protection New Zealand Herald

    New Zealand: How the foreign trusts operated in the shade away from Inland Revenue's gaze
     Google restructures to avoid hefty penalties in Australia, as tax bill hits $16 million

    Two former Sprint Executives who participated in a bullshit tax shelter are suing the IRS for aiding and abetting EY's breach of conflict of interest with respect to their investment in the shelters and the fallout from their investment in the shelters.  The complaint is here 

    News from the Profession. Ex-PwC Employee Was Looking for Training Documents When He Found LuxLeaks Files (Caleb Newquist, Going Concern)

    Infamous for exposing the multi-billion dollar tax avoidance scandal known as the Luxembourg Leaks, or LuxLeaks, two whistleblowers and a journalist began trial on Tuesday for allegedly violating trade secrets and other theft charges. Although Transparency International has called for a dismissal of their case, Luxembourg does not consider the defendants to be whistleblowers.
    In November 2014, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) revealed hundreds of major corporations had secured secret deals from Luxembourg, allowing them to hide billions of dollars in taxes. Pepsi, IKEA, Burberry, AIG, Heinz, Coach, Procter & Gamble, JP Morgan, FedEx, Deutsche Bank, Abbott Laboratories and nearly 340 other companies were caught channeling hundreds of billions of dollars through Luxembourg in order to evade paying billions in taxes between 2002 and 2010.
    LuxLeaks Whistleblowers on Trial For Revealing Tax Avoidance Schemes 

    Simon Bowers, Former PwC employees face trial over role in LuxLeaks scandal(Guardian 4/24/16), here

    Frederik Obermaier, Bastian Obermayer, Vanessa Wormer and Wolfgang Jaschensky, About the Panama Papers(Süddeutsche Zeitung), here.  A great report (with links) from the newspaper and reporters that originally obtained the data Articles on ICIJ's Panama Papers 1 May

    Coming Soon: ICIJ to Release Panama Papers Offshore Companies Data (ICIJ 4/26/16), here.

     Employees and the taxpayer become collateral damage in the demise ofBHS  

      After Public Records Struggle, Boeing's Tax Break Benefits Finally Revealed  

        We built maze of companies to route bribes to India, middleman Hashke says on Agusta tape

         End UK tax havens’ role in global corruption, charities and campaigners urge David Cameron  

         Origin LNG consortium used 'transfer pricing' to cut taxes  

            Buffett Says Hedge Funds Get 'Unbelievable' Fees for Bad Results  

              European citizens are picking up the bill for tax avoidance  

                 Carbon emissions tax introduced in Guernsey 
                      Japanese money in offshore tax havens could solve a lot of problems at home  
    IRS First Look Media Works 2015 Cryptome. See p. 37 of the PDF. Greenwald gets $490,000 a year through a shell company. A source says, “Insiders have told me other schemes are used to boost his pay to well over a million….The big missing story that has yet to be written is the super-high-security setup holding the Snowden secrets here in NYC, in the First Look Media building one floor above the editorial floor. It’s a kind of private super-hi-tech secured NSA vault with all kinds of security and hi-tech shit. No one talks about it publicly, but it’s about the worst kept secret.”

    As a result of the recent release of the "Panama Papers", concerns have been raised about rules covering foreign trusts registered in New Zealand. The NZ Cabinet has therefore decided to initiate a review [Click here to open this document] of New Zealand's disclosure rules relating to foreign trusts registered in New Zealand to ensure New Zealand's reputation is maintained.

    The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have announced [Click here to open this document] they are joining forces with the UN and the OECD to cooperate on tax issues and develop new tools and standards to halt tax base erosion and evasion. The new grouping will focus particularly on building effective tax systems in developing economies, the partners said.