Saturday, June 18, 2016

Wickenby Appeal Backfires: Three Steps Forward, One Step Back? Reflections on 'Google Taxes', BEPS, and the DBCT

This Blogspot Entry was inspired by a walk across the Hyde Park ... T and E Is Resurgent In BigLaw:  '50% Psychiatrist, 50% Legal Tax Geek', and 110% SD ...

According to the Australian Financial Review on Tuesday 24 March 2015 a former Ernst and Young Executive and Principal has received an 11 year jail term for his part in an A$450 million taxation fraud. A former Ernst and Young principal, Anthony James Dickson, allegedly masterminded a corporate tax sham, using a valuation model copied from his former employer, a court has heard. Mr Dickson, a director at investment and health technology group, NeuMedix health group, along with his Gold Coast business associate Michael John Issakidis, received $68 million in the alleged scam. Prosecutor Michael McHugh, SC, made the statements to the jury during the trial at the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday and Friday. Mr McHugh said valuations prepared by companies in Samoa and Hong Kong for patents that were bought by NeuMedix, were a “sham" and modelled off a transaction undertaken by Ernst and Young where Mr Dickson had previously worked [ via ]
No doubt many academics will trawl through the details of the case in the years ahead. It is likely to become another cause célèbre for those looking for reasons why people engage in such risky activities, and what the penalties turn out to be in some cases [ via Roger Burritt ]
Wickenby Tax Crime Appeal BackfiresThis month the Australian court of appeal increased the sentences imposed by previous judges for Anthony Dickson ...

PS - Crime or Punishment why Wall Street elites do not do time ...

Taxes are for the little people without connections. A sensational open letter to the top Treasury tax brass from an IRS attorney alleges that the agency routinely shuts off promising examinations of big well-connected taxpayers. From Raw Story 

 Using Facts Of Tax Cases To Reveal Something About Who We Are: Kim Brooks (Dalhousie), The High Cost of Transferring the Dream:
This thoughtful paper is part of a larger project where I use the facts in tax decisions to reveal something about who we are. It looks through a small window into the lives of the people who find themselves caught between our collective and their individual expenditure aspirations. 

Mossack Fonseca IT worker Panama papers law firm arrested ...
T&E Is Resurgent In BigLaw:  '50% Psychiatrist, 50% Tax Geek' : High-end trusts and estates lawyers ... have some of the most fascinating practices in Big Law, with client lists packed with entertainment stars, business moguls, Internet entrepreneurs and reclusive billionaires. While drafting wills, setting up trusts for wayward children, crafting prenuptial agreements for third wives and structuring complex vehicles to reduce taxes, they're privy to the intimate personal and financial details of the lives of the creative and the ultrawealthy. ...

Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan),Three Steps Forward, One Step Back? Reflections on 'Google Taxes', BEPS, and the DBCT:
Since the market is less subject to tax competition pressures than the location of headquarters or production facilities, reducing the PE threshold makes it easier to prevent BEPS. This has recently led some jurisdictions to enact new taxes aimed specifically at structures that seek to exploit the domestic market while avoiding a PE. This article will discuss these taxes in the UK, Australia and India, explore their relationship to the BEPS project, and then consider whether further steps can be taken toward a destination-based corporate tax (DBCT) that will be a permanent cure for BEPS.

In May 2007, during a global crackdown on offshore tax havens, an obscure nonprofit lobbying group in Northern Virginia sent a fundraising pitch to a law firm in one of the biggest tax havens in the world — Panama. The Center for Freedom and Prosperity promised to persuade Congress, members of the George W. Bush administration and key policymakers to protect the players of the offshore world, where hundreds of thousands of shell companies had been created, often to hide money and evade taxes.

Rebecca Kysar (Brooklyn),Interpreting Tax Treaties, 101 Iowa L. Rev. 1387 (2016
Applying this insight to the tax treaty context, this Article argues that such instruments should not be viewed as complete; consequently, reference to plain meaning or even the treaty parties’ mutual intent is often incoherent. Specifically, I contend that tax treaties are jurisdictional overlays to the parties’ tax systems and substantially rely upon domestic law.


Microsoft Corp. has enough cash to buy LinkedIn Corp. four times over. So why is it taking out a big loan to pay for its latest purchase?
Maybe because it’ll lower the technology giant’s tax bill.


The Trump Foundation, Donald Trump’s nonprofit organization, is under fire for allegedly operating as more of a political slush fund than a charity. The foundation is accused of violating rules prohibiting it from engaging in politics—prompting ethics watchdogs to call for public investigations.

The Daily Beast: New Evidence Donald Trump Didn’t Pay Taxes, by David Cay Johnston:
New questions about the integrity of Donald Trump’s income tax returns, and new indications that he does not pay income taxes, arise from rulings in two tax appeals that Trump filed in the 1990s. Trump lost both cases. ...

Sizing up the honesty of small-business owners is one of the Internal Revenue Service’s most vexing problems. The agency estimates that it collects $458 billion a year less in taxes from all Americans than the government is actually due. Most of that “tax gap” is income that goes unreported, and the biggest chunk of it, by far — $125 billion— is individual business income.

The NYU Center for Human Rights and Global Justice(CHRGJ) invites submissions of scholarly papers for a conference on human rights and tax, to be held at NYU School of Law on September 22-23, 2016

Via LM: Market analysts say fines or compensation are unlikely to significantly impact on Medibank's bottom line, with the real damage coming from the toll on its reputation.
"This is likely to evolve into another significant setback to [Medibank Private Limited]'s efforts to re-energise the Medibank brand," UBS analysts wrote in a note to clients.Reputation not fines the real danger of ACCC's Medibank case analysts