Monday, November 09, 2020

Transparency Internional Report: MURKY HAVENS AND PHANTOM PROFITS - The Tax Affairs of EU and UK Banks

Outsourcing: A Personal Window on the Rise of Grifting

Some vignettes from the rise of outsourcing

How a C.I.A. Coverup Targeted a Whistle-blower The New Yorker. FBI launders CIA intelligence

 Sam Wice, The Paperwork Reduction Act and Why You May Be Able to File Your Taxes on a Napkin in 2021

Washington Post – Here’s how to protect yourself. “If there has been any upside to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that robocalls practically stopped for a time. Unfortunately, the ringing has returned.

Most of Europe’s Largest Banks Declare Profits in Tax Havens

Transparency Internional Report: MURKY HAVENS AND PHANTOM PROFITS -  The Tax Affairs of EU and UK Banks 

Three UK water companies hang on to tax haven subsidiaries 

The Channel Islands are routing billions of pounds of foreign investment, both directly into the UK and outwards to the rest of the world 

HMRC: Uber UK forced to Pay Up £1.5bn in VAT - Why Competition Laws are Necessary? 

Germany seeks arrest of Panama Papers lawyers 

Benjamin M. Leff (American), EITC For All: A Universal Basic Income Compromise Proposal, 25 Wash. & Lee. J. C.R. & Soc. Just. 85 (2019) (reviewed by David Elkins (Netanya) here):

Universal Basic Income ("UBI") is a concept that has recently begun to enter the popular political consciousness in the United States. It is defined as "a regular cash income paid to all, on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement." It is invoked for a wide variety of political and social purposes, but is almost always presented as radically different from existing governmental welfare and transfer systems. Once a UBI is disaggregated into discrete policy components, it is possible to imagine to what degree existing programs share the benefits (and detriments) of a UBI to a greater or lesser degree, and reforms could be made to make existing programs more "UBI-like," if that would be beneficial.

In ancient Athens, only the very wealthiest people paid direct taxes, and these went to fund the city-state’s most important national expenses – the navy and honors for the gods. While today it might sound astonishing, most of these top taxpayers not only paid happily, but boasted about how much they paid.

Money was just as important to the ancient Athenians as it is to most people today, so what accounts for this enthusiastic reaction to a large tax bill? The Athenian financial elite felt this way because they earned an invaluable payback: public respect from the other citizens of their democracy.

Only the richest ancient Athenians paid taxes – and they bragged about it The Conversation


ATO loses landmark gold case creating a budget hole

The Australian Taxation Office is facing a budget black hole of more than $1.15 billion and the spectre of a class action after it lost one of the country's most important and controversial tax cases on Friday.

The landmark case, heard by the full bench of the Federal Court in front of justices Nye Perram, Mark Moshinsky and Thomas Thawley, unanimously overturned a decision made in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in relation to GST assessments issued to an entity in the precious metals industry. It also had a costs order of $1 million.

The Federal Court decision means up to $500 million of assessments and penalties issued by the ATO will be set aside.

But it is more than that. While the case relates to defunct refiner EBS & Associateswhich was formerly part of the country's second-biggest gold refiner, ABC Refinery and Pallion Group - it puts in doubt the ATO's cases against other precious metals companies, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the ATO.

Leaked ATO documents prepared for the newly elected government in May 2019 included a list of strategic litigation matters that could result in significant revenue or administration risk. It noted the GST input tax credit case by gold refiner EBS - referred to as 154 520 199 Pty Ltd.

The document said the Tax Office was expected to brief the government that an adverse decision would probably attract ‘‘significant media attention'' and impact a line of other similar cases.

Up to 7% of all early super withdrawals were ineligible, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has revealed to Business Insider Australia, but acknowledged it has so far handed out zero fines. The tax office says 1,713 people have come forward of their own accord and confessed they weren’t eligible to withdraw. More than $34 billion has been withdrawn under the early release scheme, which with little scrutiny of applicants has been slammed by some critics as a “free for all”