Tax Justice Blog

Beneficial Ownership and disclosure of trusts: challenging the privacy arguments

December 7, 2016   Blog, Financial Regulation, Secrecy

On July 22nd, 2016 the French supreme constitutional court ruled on a case brought by a US American citizen resident in France who had created a trust, allegedly to distribute her inheritance. She was contesting moves by France to set up a public register of trusts connected to France in an attempt to tackle tax fraud and serious economic and financial crime[1]. So, what does this mean for transparency and tax justice?

Links Dec 2

Panama Papers Have Had Historic Global Effects — and the Impacts Keep Coming ICIJ

Journalists Hang Tough in Face of Backlash Against Panama Papers Reporting ICIJ

No more fear of transparency – register of beneficial ownership should become public TJN Germany (In German)

Kenya to lend its tax expertise to Botswana after historic deal KDR TV
For coverage of Tax Inspectors Without Borders, listen to our latest podcast here.

LuxLeaks trial: European civil society organisations mobilising in support of whistleblowers and against tax evasion l’Humanité (In French)

Presenting the Conclusions of the fifth meeting of Tax Administrations TJN Latin America & Caribbean (In Spanish)

Expert analyses money laundering and tax evasion in Argentina TJN Latin America &Caribbean (In Spanish)

End the Corporate Shell Games Bloomberg
Op-Ed from the U.S. Department of Justice – a new tool and resource for beneficial ownership transparency

Malaysian state fund 1MDB: Ex-BSI Banker’s Guilty Plea Reveals Swiss Bank Ties finews

Canada Revenue Agency launches new strategy to crack down on tax havens The Globe and Mail

The current state of play on tax avoidance Tax Research UK

New Panamanian accounting requirements for offshore companies STEP

Ireland: Taoiseach Enda Kenny plays down chance of further Apple tax revelations The Irish Times

Cristiano Ronaldo accused of using Dublin to avoid Spanish taxes The Irish Times


The importance of modelling for tax discussions: show me the numbers!

December 2, 2016   Blog

How do you contribute meaningfully to the debate about the decisions governments make on levels of fossil fuel subsidies or tax and budgetary decisions that affect us all? And how do you prove (or disprove) that big mega-projects are a good use of taxpayer’s money? Well, part of the answer is through learning to use modelling techniques using publicly available information. Andres Knobel of the Tax Justice Network recently participated in OpenOil’s free online course on fiscal and financial modelling of extractive industries (mining, oil, etc.), which covered issues such as how to read oil and mining contracts, and the fundamentals of taxing the extractive industries.

Call for pro-bono research assistance on financial secrecy

December 2, 2016   Blog

Ahead of the publication of the results of the 2017 Financial Secrecy Index (FSI), the Tax Justice Network is reaching out to ask for your support in conducting pro-bono research. The FSI 2017 is expected to be published between October and December 2017.

Since its first publication in 2009, the FSI has become the only global ranking of ‘tax havens’, which combines measures of both the secrecy on offer and the international importance of the jurisdiction. Published every two years, the FSI has grown in global media coverage, in practical usage and, increasingly, in academic research. It helps drawing attention to the role played by large economies in the looting of developing countries by facilitating illicit financial flows.

In light of the fast pace of change in international tax and finance, TJN has done an in-depth review process of the FSI methodology which led, among other changes, to the creation of a number of new key indicators and several amendments of existing key indicators. Following these changes, some of the new indicators include research questions which require further in-depth research for each of the 111 jurisdictions we plan to assess for the FSI 2017 .

The relevant research questions focus on the following subjects: a) beneficial ownership information of assets stored in freeports and cash vaults; b) beneficial ownership registry of real estate; c)the requirement of a secondary mechanism of country by country reporting; d) transparency of cross-border tax rulings; e) transparency of both criminal and civil tax proceedings; i) the risk of prison sentences for bankers who manage money of illicit origin.

If you would like to explore any of these subjects, we would be grateful for your assistance in this regard. The research may be of specific relevance if you could combine the research topics for any thesis or research project of your own. We believe the results of this type of comparative research may be of use in an academic context and are of relevance to anyone concerned about illicit financial flows and global wealth inequality. Furthermore, the results can be used as a basis for valuable future studies and potential reports which we may be happy to either initiate or take part in.

If you are interested in any of these research areas/in supporting us, please send an email and a CV to:, no later than 15 December 2016.

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