Links Mar 7

Swiss parliament relaxes terms for tax data exchange swissinfo
“Parliament has approved a legal amendment that tax evaders will not always have to be told if Switzerland sends information about them to other countries.” But to what extent is this just lip-service? How do trusts, foundations and shell company structures factor in? See also: Credit Suisse U.S. Clients in Limbo as Probe Inches Ahead Bloomberg, and very insightful commentary in The ongoing ethics struggle of banks Reuters

EU To Freeze Corrupt Assets From Ukraine Transparency International
The ever-present question: how did the assets from a corrupt source come to be accepted in the first place? For coming right to the point on the efficacy of the so-called freezing actions, read a private banker’s explanation in Freezing Russian Assets. What Happens If? A Banker’s Umbrella, see also: London’s lucrative Russia ties hang over sanctions debate Reuters

Ukraine: Avakov says Kurchenko’s fraudulent business activity, tax evasion cost state $1 billion Kyiv Post

As Europe Tightens Oversight, Spotlight Must Remain Financial Transparency Coalition Blog

U.S. Freezes More Than $458 Million Stolen by Former Nigerian Dictator in Largest Kleptocracy Forfeiture Action Ever Brought in the U.S. The United States Department of Justice

French-Swiss tax impasse shows little progress swissinfo

BNP Paribas opens Asia-Pacific Training & Development Campus in Singapore The Asset
The Singapore government is supporting the restoration of BNP Paribas campus buildings.

Luxembourg’s importance for the European Commission waning? Financial Secrecy Media Monitor

Seychelles’s New FSA To Regulate Offshore Financial Sector Tax-News

Tax Evasion Threatens Africa’s Socio-Economic Transformation: UN Expert Coastweek

NGO slams secrecy over Zambian mine’s tax iol
See also: Mines evading tax, ZRA boss tells international forum Zambia Daily Mail

Kenya: Proper tax laws could bridge gap between rich and poor The People

Denmark – A Tax Haven? Director of Finance Online.
” limited partnerships are tax-exempt and may provide anonymity and discretion to its owners.” Written by a cheerleader.  Denmark is ranked at 66th position on TJN’s Financial Secrecy Index

Serbia To Tackle Tax Cheats To Broaden Tax Base Tax-News

Links from the TJN Germany Blog

Hong Kong and Macao ‘vulnerable to money laundering’ STEP

Hong Kong, NYC will be magnets for wealthy: report China Daily USA

U.S.: 37 Organizations Call on Senators to Oppose Legislation Providing Tax Amnesty for Offshore Corporate Profits Americans for Tax Fairness / FACT Coalition

Multinationals are changing tax policy in face of political scrutiny – survey Thomson Reuters
See also our recent blog Survey: the corporate tax debate is biting the corporations

No spoils for Moyles – but what does it mean? David Quentin’s tax & law blog
“This business about Chris Moyles serves as a useful reminder of an uncomfortable fact about “tax avoidance”, which is that some of it fails.”

The irony: Japan wants to tax Bitcoins just as the UK says it won’t Tax Research UK


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Launch of international research collaboration, #AltAusterity

alt austerityToday is the launch of #AltAusterity, a new, international research collaboration of which Tax Justice Network is a partner.  The project aims to stimulate public debate on the subject of austerity though high quality research. It is a response to the lack of evidence which has underpinned the current policy agenda on austerity. The project […]

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RB tax avoidance – company calls for public country by country reporting after Oxfam report reveals profit shifting

pictureOxfam has today released a report on tax dodging by RB, the company formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser and the maker of thousands of well known household products. The report looks at the 2012 restructuring of the company which saw it set up ‘hubs’ in the Netherlands, Dubai and Singapore, all well known corporate tax […]

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Half measures mean Mauritius will continue to be a tax haven for the developing world

MauritiusThere was news this week that Mauritius has signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI). This is an initiative from the OECD to allow countries to take measures designed to stop tax avoidance by multinational companies and put them into their existing network of […]

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G20: Pressure rising on tax haven USA

HamburgWhilst the eyes of the world focused on the isolation of the US from the ‘G19’ position on climate change, something remarkable played out elsewhere in the process. Following closely the common EU position that we highlighted a few days ago, the G20 communique devotes important space to tax justice. It’s so good we quote […]

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Will the G20 ever end the global problem of tax avoidance and tax evasion?

HamburgAhead of the G20 Summit in Hamburg this week our own George Turner has published this op-ed in the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung today. The article discusses why, despite sustained political engagement from world leaders, we are still some way from solving the problem of tax avoidance and tax evasion. Here’s an English translation of the article:

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