Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blacklists: The Case for Corruption

Reckless" doesn't begin to describe the new culture at the top of the Bureau of Statistics...
~ 265 Cafe - Peter Martin in the Sydney Morning Herald

But, but, but the new management wanted to change the perception about outsourcing ... (Overhead on Pitt Street)

Australia suspends World Vision funding over allegations its Gaza representative funneled millions to Hamas

Convicted former Labor minister Eddie Obeid has had his sentencing for misconduct in public office delayed by weeks and separate criminal proceedings postponed for months after his lawyers argued he had suffered a stroke and was too ill to proceed. "It's not a delaying tactic at all," Obeid's barrister, Brad Hughes, SC, told the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday Eddie Obeid
Obeid on humiliation by ICAC

Mr Alan White: Shadow State: Inside the Secret Companies that Run Britain

EU tax haven blacklist: NZ under investigation

Tax time is off to a flying start with over 3.8 million people lodging their tax returns so far, and 1.4 million of those lodging their own tax return online with myTax Lodgment Stats
Jack Townsend, Tax Court Includes Title 18 Fines and Forfeitures from Tax Crimes in Whistleblower Collected Proceeds. Mr. Townsend identifies the errant taxpayer whose whistle was blown

 It’s election season, and that means we’re going to get a lot of people bemoaning the “length” of the tax code. But you know who actually has to read all of it? Tax Lawyers, that’s who. And they know why it’s so long too Tax firm power rankings

Sheriff Raids House to Find Anonymous Blogger Who Called Him Corrupt The Intercept

New laws in Australia will force tax advisers to notify authorities if they spot aggressive tax minimisation schemes like the notorious "double Irish, Dutch sandwich" linked to global tech companies.
But the Turnbull government appears to have dumped plans to offer cash rewards to members of the public who dob in tax cheats. Details are emerging about a proposed mandatory disclosure regime that will put the onus for reporting "aggressive" tax structures on tax advisers, not taxpayers themselves. That means more paperwork for accountants and lawyers, who will also cop fines if they fail to disclose Lawyers accountants balk at disclosure rules

Ingenious hits back at HMRC in tax avoidance row  

World’s Largest Banks Endorse Ending Anonymous Shell Companies 

Bank of Italy to close AS PrivatBank branch over money-laundering breaches 

Bitcoin, the preferred currency of both the nerd you cheated off in ninth grade and his crystal meth dealer, is one of those technologies that just won’t go away. The “cryptocurrency” discovered by computational “digging” brings goldbugs that one delicious step closer to a privatized monetary supply full of wild speculative bubbles and devastating crashes, just like Ayn Rand would have wanted. But beyond Bitcoin proper, the technology involved, known as “Blockchain,” could influence the way we do business in any number of ways.
And Steptoe & Johnson wants to lead on this evolving area of law, announcing that partner Jason Weinstein and counsel Alan Cohn will head up a Blockchain and Digital Currency practice.
As Forbes reports ...

Warren Buffett says he'll release his tax returns if Donald Trump does too 

UK is most corrupt country in the world, says mafia expert Roberto Saviano Independent  

President Obama and Hillary Clinton say the $400M Iran ‘ransom’ story is old news. Plus, President Obama is adamant that the $400M payment wasn’t ransom. Yes, it is true that the four Americans jailed in Tehran were released, but the timing was a coincidence. The money was delivered to the Iranian government in January. It was coincidence that it was the same time the nuclear deal was settled and the Americans were released. Obama Denies $400M To Iran Was Ransom. IRS Would Never Believe It

Frank Putrino, Partner, and Damian Preshaw, a KPMG consultant, look at developments in transfer pricing since 2012 and examine Australia’s plans for further changes.

Bret N. Bogenschneider (Vienna), Professional Ethics for the Tax Lawyer to the Holmesian Bad Man, 49 Creighton L. Rev. 775 (2016):
The “manufacture” of factual indeterminacy in furtherance of tax avoidance activity constitutes potentially unethical attorney conduct. The structuring of facts toward tax avoidance is not merely the rendering of legal advice as contemplated by the Model Code of Professional Conduct, and instead may assist the Holmesian “bad man” client toward conduct which is normatively prohibited under the tax laws. As such, only tax planning via factual structuring, which results in determinative tax avoidance, is ethical attorney conduct.

The NYT provides a handy graphic, using political party affiliation as a proxy for tax-and-spend policies. The red states tend to favour “cut and extract”, while the blue states tend to favour more tax and public investment.
Which states have fared better on quality of life indicators? Click on The Path to Prosperity Is Blue to see the graphic 

Opioid-related insurance claims rose more than 3,000 percent 2007 to 2014 CNBC

Eight years after they helped wreck the economy, Ireland sends 3 bankers to prison Washington Post

The New Thorn in the Sides of Big Banks Wall Street Journal

The Case for Corruption Why Washington needs more honest graft

Herlin-Karnell, Ester and Ryder, Nicholas, The Robustness of EU Financial Crimes Legislation: A Critical Review of the EU and UK Anti-Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme (May 2016). European Business Law Review, 2017, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN:

via the author of Packer's Lunch  ( a good summary of Wickenby Typology) Neil Chenoweth
The Tax Office has dramatically stepped up its campaign against profit shifting by big miners, amid fears that the huge growth in LNG exports from the North-West Shelf will trigger a new wave of marketing hubs in Singapore and Switzerland... Deputy Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn told the Financial Review on Tuesday that marketing hubs were one of the biggest threats facing the tax system and the Tax Office was sending a message to company boards of the risks in using them. 

"Every hub claims to be very different, but in the end they all tend to be fairly similar. They all say their hub is the one with the smart people, and all the other hubs are tax-planning exercises."
ATO drops the boom on marketing hubs

PDF - Offshore hubs draft practical compliance guideline

ATO issues new warnings for large companies and multinationals 

Peter Reilly, Fifth Amendment Protects Liechtenstein Tax Haven Documents From IRS. “It appears that Commonwealth is continuing to prosper.  If you want your Angry Birds in a tangible form, they are the folks to see.”

Lew Taishoff, DARES OR FORFEITS. What is the base when the IRS has to pay a whistleblower?  “Section 7623 is expansive, so whatever IRS does to grab money from dodgers and evaders is up for grabs. But the statute doesn’t define what ‘collected proceeds’ might be.”

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has provided guidance in Large businesses: publish your tax strategy for United Kingdom (UK) businesses with group turnover above £200m or balance sheet over £2bn requiring them to make their tax strategy public.

birdes links

Revealed: 25,000 tax haven firms operating in Scotland  

What we know about Donald Trump and his taxes so far  

South Africa Treasury steps in to curb tax avoidance using trusts 

 HMRC warning on managed service company tax avoidance schemes  

Read Court judgement in Christianuyi Ltd & Ors v Revenue and Customs (INCOME TAX/CORPORATION TAX : Employment income) [2016] UKFTT 272 (TC) (21 April 2016)  

HMRC Spotlight 32: Managed Service Company legislation - tax avoidance scheme involving unpaid PAYE and Class 1 National Insurance contributions 

Hundreds of billions more on the stock of FDI debt but where are the interest flows?  

George Soros Is The Villain In Ex-Icelandic Prime Minister’s Retelling Of His Tragic Story  

Crack down on ‘phoenix’ business behaviour
Foreign home buyers face new tax in Vancouver area  

OTS consults on revised small company taxation models

UK Office of Tax Simplification: Lookthrough taxation

UK Office of Tax Simplification: Sole Enterprise with Protected Assets

THE father of a suspected mafia figure is being pursued by the Australian Taxation Office for more than $1 million. Antonio Arico is alleged to have failed to pay income tax between June 30, 2009, and June 5 last year Tax matters 
  Daniel Shaviro (NYU), The Crossroads Versus the Seesaw: Getting a "Fix" on Recent International Tax Policy Developments, 69 Tax L. Rev. 1 (2015)

Harry Grubert (U.S. Treasury Department), Destination-Based Income Taxes: A Mismatch Made in Heaven?, 69 Tax L. Rev. 43 (2015)

As Bitcoin Technology Makes Inroads, One Law Firm Launches Multidisciplinary Blockchain Practice [Forbes]