Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New Report – Delivering a level playing field for offshore bank accounts

Harmony Day – Everyone belongs A Day filled with dancing and singing and strange low number of the old club, Machiavellian, at Tiano ;-)

Obeid family hit with multimillion-dollar bill over 'irresponsible' ICAC lawsuit

A Supreme Court judge has blasted Eddie Obeid and his sons for bringing an "unreasonable" and "irresponsible" lawsuit against the corruption ...

'I didn't know it was illegal': NSW Police Minister fined for using phone in car

Law Professors Take On The Trump Administration

Andorra bank seeks probe after U.S. Treasury forced closure for 'money laundering' Reuters

Denmark should impose stricter money laundering rules after Panama Papers - minister Reuters

New Report – Delivering a level playing field for offshore bank accounts 

A judge has awarded a Sydney man $3201 for 'false imprisonment'


The Automatic Exchange of Banking Information, which is due to start this year requires nation states to implement domestic legislation to participate in the scheme.  The OECD’s Global Forum conducted a (confidential) first-stage evaluation of the laws of countries that want to participate in the system to assess whether they are ready to do so. […] The post New Report – Delivering a level playing field for offshore bank accounts appeared first on Tax Justice Network.
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Banking Secrecy in China, its related territories and Taiwan
Foreword. The Tax Justice Network is a non partisan network of experts working towards transparency, so we do not take any position about countries’ territorial and political claims. However, we do expect countries with a de jure (legal) or de facto (in practice) influence over other territories, to take responsibility for their power. We point […] The post Banking Secrecy in China, its related territories and Taiwan appeared first on Tax Justice Network.

Tax Justice heros branded as criminals
This week saw the verdicts in the appeal case of Antoine Deltour, Raphel Halet and journalist Edouard Perrin. 
The three were charged in connection with the luxleaks scandal which revealed to the world the industrial scale tax avoidance being perpetrated by PwC. 
The appeal court in Luxembourg upheld the acquittal of Edouard Perrin, and reduced the sentences of both Deltour and Halet. Although this is in some way welcome news, the fact remans that Deltour and Halet will have criminal convictions against their name for the enormous public services they performed in revealing to the world the murky relationship between PwC and the Luxembourg tax office. 
Of course, no PwC executives have yet been arrested for the serious amounts of tax they helped corporations 'avoid' paying, and the damage they have done to public services and the economy as a result. Nor have we seen anyone in the Luxembourg tax office be held to account for their negligence in signing off hundreds of tax deals with little or no scrutiny. 
Indeed, PwC's bad behaviour doesn't end with their tax avoidance factory.
A lot more scrutiny needs to be dedicated to the Company's whistleblower policy and the way the company stitched up Halet. At the first trial it was revealed that the company had made him sign a contract which he thought prevented him from defending himself in court. 
Any private agreement which prevents somebody from defending themselves from criminal charges is quite obviously abhorrent, but it was only after a judge informed him that there could be no impediment to entering a truthful defence that Halet felt free to speak.
Now perhaps this stage in the luxleaks scandal is over, it is time to focus on the real villeins of this story, PwC. 

Tax Haven USA

Here at the Tax Justice Network, we have been highlighting for a long time the risk that the United States is turning itself into a Tax Haven and Secrecy Jurisdiction. 
The United States ranks highly on the Financial Secrecy Index, and is home to a number of states which have been keen to provide secrecy services. The most famous of these is Delaware, but other players, like Wyoming, is getting in on the act too. 
This week two stories appeared in the press on the issue. The first highlighted fears that the US is using American Samoa in the Pacific as a tax haven. The issue was raised by the UN Committee on Decolonisation. Portugal lists the territory as a tax haven.
Perhaps of more concern is fears that the US mainland could turn itself into a giant tax haven if the Trump Tax reforms go ahead. Writing in Le Monde Gabriel Zucman outlines how the country's attempt to protect domestic industry through a border adjustment tax, which would exempt exports from corporation tax, could lead to American companies shifting all of their profits from outside of the US back home. Currently US companies shift all of their profits to tax havens in the Atlantic. 
For Zucman the answer lies in formulatory apportionment. That is where countries tax a proportion of the global profits of a company based on how many employees or sales they have in the country. This would allow countries to defend themselves from the attacks on their tax base from tax havens. 
That is because whilst it may be easy to shift profits to the Cayman Islands, it is much harder to shift customers. 

Exclusive: Odebrecht Peru may miss payments to creditors as assets seized - source Reuters

Peru tax authority carries out 30 audits on persons in the entertainment industry STEP
'tax inconsistencies to the combined sum of PEN81 million (approx. USD24.6 million)'

Swiss assistance possible even with stolen banking data swissinfo
'Switzerland’s Supreme Court has ruled that authorities can give legal assistance to France on suspected tax dodgers even if the client’s bank details were stolen from UBS France.' (We would rather say 'leaked' than 'stolen'). See also: UBS French Unit Faces Witness-Tampering Probe After Tax Case Bloomberg

Looking for Hidden Black Money? London Might be the Place to Start The Wire

Shell companies: Bombardier employee arrested, others questioned in Swedish bribery probe CBC

U.S.: Wealthy Would Get Billions in Tax Cuts Under Obamacare Repeal Plan The New York Times

U.S.: Corporate Incentives Cost U.S. $45 Billion in 2015, Don’t Really Work Slate

'‘The rich have the lawyers’: Professional classes 'enabled' Panama Papers tax evasion scandal' CommonSpace
Read about Enablers and Intermediaries here.

Cayman Islands postpones CRS reporting deadline for banks STEP

Statement on EITI Project-Level Reporting Requirement and Azerbaijan Suspension National Resource Governance Institute

The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind the Trump Presidency The New Yorker. Mercer’s millions played a huge role in Zephyr Teachout’s defeat; not even Clinton’s principled “There’s a special place in hell…”-driven Teachout endorsement could overcome them. Oh, wait… To be fair, Teachout’s wily opponent, incumbent John Faso, responded to Teachout calling out Mercer by questioning Teachout’s ties to Soros; and the Democrat Establishment (and DNC) position that “Our oligarchs are the good ones” doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of traction, does it?
The blow-it-all-up billionaires HuffPo. Parallel to the New Yorker piece on the Mercers, not derivative from it.
Merkel’s Ivanka moment Politico