Links May 22

Finnwatch report on tax responsibility of Finnish Pension Fund investments
Report finds that Finnish pension funds tend to ignore global tax responsibility issues related to their investment activities. (Report in Finnish, with English language executive summary)

Special Report: Under pressure, BVI fears big impact on financial services The BVI Beacon
Cites a local practitioner: “The [B]VI may be able to use its traditionally strong links to China, which is not a G8 member, to exert influence as the global rules on central registries are drafted.”

Cayman Islands continues to dominate offshore M&As Compass Cayman
“Among the quarter’s 10 largest transactions was the announced $3 billion acquisition of Giant Interactive Group, the Chinese headquartered and Cayman-incorporated online games developer”

Bahamas labels OECD tax sharing forum a ‘flawed’ concept International Adviser
“The Bahama’s financial services minister Ryan Pinder has called the OECD’s initiative for automatic exchange of tax information between jurisdictions a “flawed” concept, arguing the case for bilateral rather than multilateral agreements.” Perhaps unsurprising. See here for resources on Information Exchange, and for a story of the Bahamas falling victim to the Finance Curse see here and here.

Country-by-country reporting at the OECD Tax Research UK
See also: US pivotal to OECD tax plan Accountancy Age, and a reminder of a recent link Global business tax clamp-down could sting U.S. -IRS official Reuters – Is the U.S. undermining the interests of developing countries?

R. Hunter Biden Should Declare Who Really Owns His New Ukrainian Employer, Burisma Holdings naked capitalism
The U.S. Vice President’s son joins the board of a gas company in Ukraine, and the story involves opaque company ownership via Cyprus, BVI and the UK.

Legislation Introduced to Stop American Corporations from Pretending to Be Foreign Companies Citizens for TaxJustice
See also: U.S. Democrats to target companies moving overseas to dodge taxes Reuters

Advisers Emphasize FATCA Has Not Been Delayed Tax-News

Hong Kong: FATCA dealt with, but clones of tax evasion law may emerge South China Morning Post
U.S. grants exemption for pension and investment products from FATCA – “However, the celebration may be short-lived, as lawyers expect other Western countries and China to create their own versions of the U.S. law.” See also: Tighter scrutiny of potential mainland clients by banks in Hong Kong South China Morning Post – Tighter background checks have prevented a number of wealthy mainlanders from moving money to Swiss private banks in Hong Kong

Media mulls Credit Suisse verdict swissinfo
Points out that Latin American tax evaders continue to be able to hide their money in U.S. banks. See also earlier blog Credit Suisse and tax evasion: a fine is fine, but why no jail time?, and It seems that Credit Suisse’s fine may be tax-deductible after all

Swiss Cabinet pushes for talks on banking data exchange swissinfo

Cabinet adopts law for freezing dictators’ assets swissinfo
Freezing assets while international attention is on the issue, but as always, the question is: why and how were the illicit funds accepted in the first place?

Zambia reviewing tax treaty with Netherlands The Post Online
See also recent blog Lee Sheppard: Don’t sign OECD model tax treaties!, and ‘Zambia can recover $700m in 2yrs’ Zambia Daily Mail

Stop bashing Ireland as a tax dodge: Ryanair CEO CNBC
Consider also: If Ireland is not a tax haven, what is it? A bagel?, with other food for thought here and here.

Too many secrets: 100 corporations and the 10,000 ways they hide their money Oxfam – The Politics of Poverty
On the Christian Aid report blogged here.

Hong Kong’s anti-corruption regulator is the latest to target JP Morgan Chase Quartz


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