Avaaz in legal challenge to UK over Liechtenstein amnesty and HSBC scandal

   0   0 Blog, Corruption, Finance Curse, Secrecy

Avaaz letter Avaaz letterFrom the Financial Times:

“The UK tax authority faces a potential judicial review over its handling of the evasion scandal involving HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary, it emerged on Thursday. Lawyers acting for the international campaign group Avaaz have sent HM Revenue & Customs a letter asking for details of its decision to allow hundreds of suspected tax evaders to make use of an amnesty, in the first step of the potential legal challenge.
. . .
The move comes amid widespread public anger overrevelations of tax evasion involving HSBC’s Geneva operations, which have led to a single prosecution.”

The Guardian has the letter, in full.

This is excellent news, and a superb and necessary initiative.

It really looks bad: the letter notes an official from HMRC [the UK tax authorities] who testified that HMRC had ‘encouraged’ taxpayers who had been discovered on the “Falciani” HSBC list to make use of the amnesty to escape punishment. Instead of prosecuting tax evaders, it looks as if HMRC  cooked up an amnesty for their wealthy chums.  That is an astonishing move, if you think about it.

What official action could more clearly say ‘there is one set of rules for the wealthy, and another rule for everyone else?’ What clearer demonstration of ‘political capture’ and the ‘finance curse‘ is there?

Avaaz’ Alex Wilks notes:

“Tax officials must urgently explain why they gave ‘get out of jail free’ cards to so many wealthy tax dodgers.”

The letter contains other astonishing facts and outrages.

It just looks appalling, from top to bottom. Congratulations to Avaaz for taking a serious swing at this disgraceful situation.

Avaaz letter

 


Related Posts

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 […]

READ MORE →

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 […]

READ MORE →

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 […]

READ MORE →

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 […]

READ MORE →

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:

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top