Tuesday, March 07, 2017

ASIC Scams: Straya Something must be about to happen

“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh”
– Voltaire

Who's afraid of the Google Tax? Not you know who

Dodgy email distributed to tens of thousands of addresses just as people arrived at work this morning

 Aussie business owners targeted in fake ASIC renewal notice

New Zealand: Changes will target multinationals over tax NZ Herald
See also: Multinationals depriving New Zealand of millions in tax - Revenue Minister Collins RNZ

KPMG offshore tax dodge a 'facade' designed to hide money, ex-client says CBC News
See also: Wealthy Canadians exposed in KPMG offshore tax 'sham' CBC News

Swiss financial sector ‘vulnerable’ to crime swissinfo

How these curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellows as I am put them down! ~John Aubrey (1626–1697), Lives of Eminent Men

OECD: Straya at risk of housing “rout” MacroBusiness

President Trump has a rocky history with the Internal Revenue Service, which he has complained audits him with unfair ferocity. Now he wants to significantly cut the tax agency’s funding at a time when it has already been bleeding staff and struggling to keep up with a flood of returns ahead of Tax Day.
The plans, revealed this week in documents associated with the White House budget outline, put Mr. Trump at odds with his Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who has argued that the I.R.S. needs more money and a larger staff.

Competition for private-equity deals heats up Economist

Federal agents raided three Caterpillar buildings near its Illinois headquarters on Thursday, company and law enforcement officials said, in an escalation of an inquiry into the heavy equipment manufacturer’s offshore tax practices.
Caterpillar has been dogged by accusations that it slashed its domestic tax bill by shifting corporate profits from the United States to a subsidiary in Switzerland. A 2014 congressional investigation concluded that a scheme to move cash between the company’s American and foreign subsidiaries cut its tax bill in the United States by $2.4 billion over 13 years.

Tall Towers of money

So you have a couple of million dollars sitting in the bank account of a British Virgin Islands company. What are you going to do with it?
These are just some of the real-life issues facing the super wealthy every day.
The answer for many of them has been to buy high value London property.
This trade has led to huge distortions in the London property market, with developers building buildings which are designed to meet the offshore property market.
The issue has become increasingly controversial as young Londoners struggle to buy a home, priced out of their city by mysterious offshore cash.
This week, Transparency International has released a report which seeks to provide some hard data to this debate. The report, called Faulty Towers looks at how much money from offshore has flowed into high value property development in London. Amongst other things it finds that areas with high levels of offshore ownership have lower electricity consumption, which suggests homes being kept empty. The report also identifies £4.2bn in property bought with suspicious wealth. 

How to Identify and Hire Truly Entrepreneurial Leaders

NSW’s privacy watchdog is on a mission to patch gaps in the state’s data protection laws that haven’t caught up with an accelerating trend towards government outsourcing. Privacy commissioner Elizabeth Coombs says as more state government duties are placed in private hands, her ability follow up on complaints if and when privacy rules are breached becomes challenged Breaches

“In today’s digitally connected world, where accessing medical records, ordering groceries and paying taxes can all be done online, many internet users find it daunting to keep up with all the various passwords associated with their online accounts. One consequence is that a significant minority of users settle for less secure passwords they can more easily remember. A new Pew Research Center report finds that 39% of online adults report having a hard time keeping track of their passwords. Compared with the 60% of online adults who do not express difficulties keeping up with their passwords, this “password challenged” group also tends to be more worried over the safety and security of their passwords

  ALA [Note the links in this posting are to PDF versions of two books] – “Data are becoming the proverbial coin of the digital realm: a research commodity that might purchase reputation credit in a disciplinary culture of data sharing, or buy transparency when faced with funding agency mandates or publisher scrutiny. Unlike most monetary systems, however, digital data can flow in all too great an abundance. Not only does this currency actually “grow” on trees, but it comes from animals, books, thoughts, and each of us! And that is what makes data curation so essential. The abundance of digital research data challenges library and information science professionals to harness this flow of information streaming from research discovery and scholarly pursuit and preserve the unique evidence for future use. In two volumes—Practical Strategies for Your Digital Repository and A Handbook of Current PracticeCurating Research Datapresents those tasked with long-term stewardship of digital research data a blueprint for how to curate those data for eventual reuse. Volume One explores the concepts of research data and the types and drivers for establishing digital data repositories. Volume Two guides you across the data lifecycle through the practical strategies and techniques for curating research data in a digital repository setting. Data curators, archivists, research data management specialists, subject librarians, institutional repository managers, and digital library staff will benefit from these current and practical approaches to data curation.”

Photo: Great gray owl goes hunting TreeHugger

“For much of human history, most individuals have lacked economic freedom and opportunity, condemning them to poverty and deprivation. Today, we live in the most prosperous time in human history. Poverty, sicknesses, and ignorance are receding throughout the world, due in large part to the advance of economic freedom. In 2017, the principles of economic freedom that have fueled this monumental progress are once again measured in theIndex of Economic Freedom, an annual guide published by The Heritage Foundation, Washington’s No. 1 think tank. For over twenty years the Index has delivered thoughtful analysis in a clear, friendly, and straight-forward format. With new resources for users and a website tailored for research and education, the Index of Economic Freedom is poised to help readers track over two decades of the advancement in economic freedom, prosperity, and opportunity and promote these ideas in their homes, schools, and communities. The Index covers 12 freedoms – from property rights to financial freedom – in 186 countries
Folkloric Room of Katarina Imrichova

Trusting the Process Kleptocracy Initiative
KleptoCast interview with TJN's Andres Knobel about how trusts became the next frontier in dodging taxes and shielding assets

Stop politicking. Canberra public servant chief John Lloyd decries the polticisation of the Victorian and Queensland public service, saying it would never happen in the Commonwealth. 

The Data-Driven Transformation of Intelligence

(1) Here's what it's like to live in a "non-truth" country. (2) More on the collaborative French fact-checking project CrossCheck. (3) Fake news vs. primary school kids. (4) Live fact-checking in Argentina.  (5) Here's where to get legal help in obtaining documents from stubborn sources.  (6) Andrew Puzder blames "a tsunami of fake news" for his failed nomination as U.S. labor secretary. (7) Wired explains how the term "fake news" became meaningless. (8) A writer says his fake tweets were "satire" but the Twitterverse disagreed, angrily. (9) How misinformation affects the stock market and your retirement. (10) Have you registered for Global Fact 4 in Madrid? (11) A structured overview of how ad money fuels fake news.