Thursday, October 15, 2020

Why Tax Losses Matter (for Pres. Trump’s Taxes and Everyone Else’s)


Why Tax Losses Matter (for Pres. Trump’s Taxes and Everyone Else’s)

By: Leandra Lederman Tax losses pose a special problem for the federal fisc. I’ll get to that in a minute, but first some set-up as to how tax noncompliance differs on the income side versus the deduction and credit side. The overall purposes of this post are to address some questions I've … Continue reading 

ATO wants an enterprise-wide BI platform to democratise its data

Software to empower 20,000 staff.

The Australian Taxation Office is set to introduce an enterprise-wide business intelligence and visualisation platform in a bid to democratise its vast data holdings for 20,000 staff.

It comes after the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Summer bushfires highlighted shortcomings in effective access to and use of data, especially at short notice.

Tender documents released by the national revenue agency last week call for new software to better empower staff to use the ATO’s tax and superannuation data without the need for specialist data skills.


Articles of Note

The Consolation of Philosophy, a bestseller for centuries, has fallen out of favor. And yet we sorely need its lessons in epistemic  humility  

New Books

John Steinbeck did not take feedback well. He scorned the Pulitzer and Nobel, and criticism sent him into paroxysm of  rage 

Essays & Opinions

For seven weeks in 1726 it was believed that a woman, Mary Toft, could give birth to rabbits. It was a gift to satirists, and torment for Toft  

Many of us still believe in UFOs, Bigfoot, and Sasquatch. Why? An improvisational millenarianism has taken root  UFO 



"Never, never, never" use the banks, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo told an aide. Instead, the former Congolese vice president, who has since been convicted of bribing witnesses, preferred to use "Whiskey" or "Mike" — his code names for global money transmitters Western Union and MoneyGram. The FinCEN Files reveal that Bemba and his aides sent more than $429,000 through Western Union from 2005 to 2015.

While payments through money transmitters are a crucial source of income for many people, especially in poorer countries, crime agencies say drug and human traffickers, fraudsters and arms smugglers push money around the world through the same companies.

"The business model is predicated on moving cash fast, at a global scale, even when it means moving cash to those intent on carrying out murderous acts," said David Pressman, an attorney suing Western Union, MoneyGram and two Russian banks on behalf of families of victims killed by Ukrainian separatists who shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.



Members of European Parliament praised journalists for revealing that the continent's anti-money-laundering system was like "Swiss cheese, full of holes" during a parliamentary debate on the FinCEN Files this week. MEPs called for urgent reforms to combat money laundering, and urged Europe to adopt a more coordinated approach to stem the flow of dirty money.

And we've pulled together the best FinCEN Files stories from our partners across Africa, who reported on suspicious transactions linked to prominent politicians, arms companies, the ivory, gold and diamond trades, and more.



The British Virgin Islands, a popular tax haven where secrecy rules have long attracted criminals (and which has regularly featured in ICIJ's investigations), will work "towards a publicly accessible register of beneficial ownership for companies" created on the island, premier Andrew Fahie has confirmed.



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is now recommending breast implant manufacturers include a boxed warning label on their products that informs patients that implants have been associated with a type of cancer and other side effects. ICIJ's Implant Files investigation revealed that thousands of women around the world were reporting serious illnesses after receiving breast implants.


Politicians should be banned from moonlighting in second jobs, experts say