Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How to Crack Down on Tax Havens The Atlantic & Equifax Gets a New CISO

Via LLRXCan You Do That? Filing Amicus Curiae Briefs in Other Countries – Law Librarian Lora Johns shares her response to “I would like to see an amicus brief filed by Alliance Defending Freedom in Slovakia.” For all of us who did not consider that Americans might want to—or even could—file friend-of-the-court briefs in other countries’ courts, this excellent guide is for you.

Equifax Gets a New CISO Gov Info Security
Anyone helping Atlanta-based credit bureau Equifax craft its most recent New Year's resolutions would have done well to help it focus on overhauling its information security practices, procedures and people. Indeed, the data breach that began last March at Equifax and which it discovered months later rates as one of the worst in history, with personal details for 145.5 million U.S. consumers - as well as others in Britain and Canada - having been stolen."

'Vladimir Putin's number one enemy' calls on Australia to pass Magnitsky Act

Bill Browder is the man behind the Magnitsky Act, the US legislation that freezes assets, issues visa bans and calls out Russian human rights violators. Now he's urging Australian politicians to pass its own Magnitsky Act.

Sergei Magnitsky 
Veselnitskaya represented Denis Katsyv, the Russian owner of Prevezon Holdings, a real estate company accused of laundering proceeds in Manhattan real estate from a $230 million tax fraud allegedly committed after stealing Browder’s companies. The fraud, according to Browder, was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer and accountant who was arrested and who died in 2009 under suspicious circumstances in pretrial detention.
Enemy of the State 

Sergei Magnitsky - Wikipedia
His arrest in 2008 and subsequent death after eleven months in police custody generated outrage ...

The New York Times

The auditor-general (re report into Unscheduled Outages) has found problems with the way in which the Australian Taxation Office managed risks of its online services failing

Tax office underestimated online fail risk - Ramez Katf 

ATO response to IT failures 'effective' despite poor planning: national auditor

ATO systems outage audit prompts IT supplier SLA scrutiny - ARN 

ATO outages: Audit finds BC flaws, progress - Computerworld

Australian Tax Office will replace IT hardware and software after SAN ...

A Chinese Casino Has Conquered a Piece of America Bloomberg Astounding story. Or once would have been, but now kinda “meh.”

North Korea Wins the Propaganda Gold US News

Mutualism: Reimagining the Role of Shareholders in Modern Corporate Governance Kara Stein, The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

Photography and the Philosophy of Time: On Gustave Le Gray’s Great Wave, Sète NoSite  Dense but interesting long-form piece on photography and financial speculation (!), with a close reading of Le Gray’s print. “Exposure” common to both worlds, eh? Walter Benjamin would approve.

In America, mass shootings have become so familiar that they seem to follow the same sad script.
↩︎ The Boston Globe 

On Twitter, Russian trolls, bots, and “influencers” are looking to deepen divides after the Florida school shooting.
↩︎ The Two-Way

In many retail industries, higher productivity means faster service. There are many routine services where getting more for less requires less time to be spent performing them. This applies to parts of many sectors of the economy. There are past examples — think of the impact of the washing machine on doing the laundry or the ATM on taking money out of the bank — but now we are seeing much more automation in new areas such as legal search, scrutiny of medical tests and buying train tickets online. There is surely much further to go as artificial intelligence advances.
Of course a lot of service sector transactions aren’t so much about product quality as simply having a barrier removed from a basic enjoyment of life.  How long did it take the CVS clerk or the DMV to serve you?
Should this point make us feel better or worse about the biases in productivity statistics?  If nothing else, traffic congestion has become worse.  On the other hand, with smart phones and iPads, waiting in line never has been better.

Taxing inequality

How should we deal with the growing problem of global economic inequality? With the difficulties posed by international co-operation in tax affairs, James Brumby and Michael Keen have published a few ideas of what can be done by national governments now to address the problem over at the IMF blog.
Ideas include removing unnecessary exemptions that narrow the tax base and leave loopholes for the wealthy to exploit. Another idea is to incentivise financial intermediaries to become whistleblowers if they see something wrong in the system.
The full article, which quotes TJN’s very own Alex Cobham, can be found here. 

A measure to love: UN tax commission Global Alliance for Tax Justice 

Rwanda: Students join in campaign against illicit financial flows Tax Justice Network – Africa
Inaugural National Students debate on tax justice and IFFs and the official launch of the Stop the Bleeding Campaign in Rwanda. 

Africa loses $80bn annually through Illicit Financial Flows – Adeosun PM News Nigeria
‘Nigeria and global organisations, including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank Group, have agreed on high-level collaborations with Nigeria and other African countries to stop Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) in Africa’

Illicit financial flows and regional perspectives of the South Latindadd (In Spanish)
Roll Up, Roll Up: Asiaciti’s U.S. Marketing Tour ICIJ
A city-by-city travelogue shows the offshore specialist marketing trusts to American clients anticipating or in trouble with the law.
How to Crack Down on Tax Havens The Atlantic
By TJN’s Nicholas Shaxson, author of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens And The Men Who Stole The World  
Are Tech Companies Avoiding Taxes? The National Interest
Cites TJN Director and Chair, John Christensen 
More Data Than Ever Before Added To The Offshore Leaks Database ICIJ
New data from the Paradise Papers will allow you to explore more information on companies registered in the Cook Islands, Samoa and Malta
Israel: What is the ‘Milchan Law’ that Netanyahu is accused of advancing for bribes? The Times of Israel
‘ … critics say law has helped turn Israel into a paradise for tax evaders and money launderers’
How Canada became an offshore destination for ‘snow washing’ The Guardian
‘The country’s opaque jurisdictions allow owners of private companies to remain anonymous and the firms to remain in the shadows’
US Subsidiary of Dutch Bank Rabobank to Pay US$369million fine OCCRP
‘ … pleaded guilty to obstructing an investigation into money laundering by Mexican drug cartels’

  • Mapped: the Potters Bar properties owned in offshore tax havens  (15 Feb 2018)
  • Corbyn and McDonnell tax radicals? I say they aren't radical enough  (15 Feb 2018)
  • Agricultural companies hit by threat buried in US tax law  (15 Feb 2018)
  • Swedbank warned over money laundering controls  (15 Feb 2018)
  • HMRC wins tax case against BBC presenter  (15 Feb 2018)
  • UK Tax tribunal decides that IR35 applies to TV journalist's work for BBC  (15 Feb 2018)
  • Ex-BBC Look North presenter Christa Ackroyd facing tax bill of £420k  (18 Feb 2018)
  • Big agricultural groups turn to co-ops after US tax threat  (15 Feb 2018)
  • Paradise Papers: New Euro probe into offshore tax  (15 Feb 2018)
  • Five Former Venezuelan Government Officials Charged in Money Laundering Scheme Involving Foreign Bribery  (15 Feb 2018)
  • Bitcoin is 'noxious poison', says Warren Buffett's investment chief  (15 Feb 2018)

  • US Bancorp to pay $613 million for money-laundering violations  (15 Feb 2018)