Tax Justice Blog

Our February 2017 podcast: Financial transaction taxes to protect us from our finance sectors plus more

February 23, 2017   Blog, Regular Features

In the February 2017 Taxcast, our monthly podcast: how financial transaction taxes can protect us from finance sectors dragging our economies down. Plus: the Swiss referendum – taxpayers have refused to pick up the tab for corporate tax ‘reforms’. What does that mean for one of the world’s biggest tax haven players? Also, we discuss President Trump’s valentine gift for kleptocrats and the extractives industry as he repeals anti-corruption regulations – the criminal race to the bottom is on. And, the influence of dark money, the experts in distorting democratic debate and the results of the 2017 Transparify report.

Featuring: Professor Avinash Persaud, chair of Intelligence Capital and author of Improving Resilience, Increasing Revenue: the case for modernising the UK’s stamp duty on shares, David Hillman of the Robin Hood Tax Campaign and John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.

Verdict on EU Finance Ministers’ blacklist: ‘whitewashing tax havens’

February 23, 2017   Blog, Tax Havens

It’s not all bad news coming out of the European Union this month. European Union rapporteurs have made some excellent proposals on the implementation of public country-by-country reporting for multinational companies which you can read about here and here. Now we hope the EU Commission will listen and take on board their recommendations.

Sven Giegold MEP

But, what’s not good news is that EU Finance Ministers have come up with their criteria for the identification of tax havens for their planned tax haven blacklist, which is supposed to be finalised by September 2017. Tax haven blacklists have always been farcical and politicised. If they really wanted to do this properly, the work’s already been done for them – with the best objective ranking available – the Tax Justice Network’s Financial Secrecy Index.

Links Feb 22

EU agrees new rules to tackle multinationals tax avoidance The Guardian
Don’t bank on the EU to create a reliable list of tax havens, TJN’s Financial Secrecy Index is more credible. See also: EU finance minister meeting: Blacklist is whitewashing tax havens Sven Giegold

Denmark would not oppose Britain turning itself into tax haven Reuters
Read about the Race to the Bottom here, and see our Fools’ Gold project explaining tax competitiveness here.

Call from Africa for UK to close tax haven loophole and end human cost Herald Scotland

UK: Why do MPs believe the Prime Minister of the ‘world’s most corrupt country’ will tackle tax avoidance? The Independent

Apple to Europe: It’s our job to design Ireland’s tax system, not yours The Register
See also: Apple claims Brussels breached its fundamental rights in tax case Financial Times

Vodafone Luxembourg makes €1.6bn profit, pays €7m in direct taxes Luxemburger Wort

Ireland: Revenue warns taxpayers of offshore asset clampdown The Irish Times

Voters Don’t Like Cutting Corporate Taxes Bloomberg

Why Extreme Inequality Causes Economic Collapse naked capitalism

British banks are go-betweens in global conflict. This can be stopped The Guardian

A British snub of the EU investigation into the Panama Papers is short-sighted The Guardian
By TJN senior adviser @premnsikka

Top honours for Panama Papers reporting The Star
Reporters collaborating on the Panama Papers investigation have received 22 journalism awards from around the world.

Pakistani cash in Swiss banks pulled out? The Express Tribune

Panama Papers: Enforcement Directorate widens probe, issues advisories to 137 Indians The Indian Express

Cyprus: Four law firms disciplined for failing to comply with Panama Papers’ instructions Cyprus Mail

Pakistan – Panama Papers: Supreme Court slams National Accountability Bureau and Federal  Board of Revenue for failing to do their jobs  The News

Maltese Presidency at Center of EU Panama Papers Tax Probe Sputnik International

Corporate tax avoidance: Council agrees its position on hybrid mismatches European Council

It’s time the UK Government stopped dodging the issue of tax havens The Reaction

Swiss banks face withdrawals due to tax clampdown Reuters

Has the Art Market Become an Unwitting Partner in Crime? The New York Times

 

 

Event: The Brexit tax haven threat, assessed

February 20, 2017   Blog

As part of a series of seminars looking at the future of public services, the EUSers Jean MonnetPublic Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) and Tax Justice Network are organising a seminar entitled ‘The Brexit tax haven threat assessed’ to be held on Tuesday 14 March 2017, 2pm to 5 pm, HH103, University of Greenwich, SE10 9LS.

U of GreenwichThe aim of this seminar is to discuss different stakeholders’ views on what UK tax policy will look like or should look like post-Brexit.  How can parliamentarians ensure that a tax haven strategy isn’t adopted? Will the UK seek to use tax strategy as a form of industrial policy and, if so, how will the EU react?  How can we avoid a race to the bottom that would spell the end of the British social model as we know it?  The seminar is aimed at anyone interested in the future of progressive taxation in the UK.  Trade unions, tax justice campaigners, students, NGOs and civil society organisations will be especially welcome.

How could a global public database help to tackle corporate tax avoidance?

February 17, 2017   #OD4TJ, Blog, Reports

A new research report published today looks at the current state and future prospects of a global public database of corporate accounts. We are cross posting this OpenDemocracy article written by Jonathan Gray, with permission from our partners on the open data for tax justice project at Open Knowledge International. You can read more about that about in our blog here.

shipyard

Shipyard of the Dutch East India Company in Amsterdam, 1750. Wikipedia.A new research report published today looks at the current state and future prospects of a global public database of corporate accounts.

The multinational corporation has become one of the most powerful and influential forms of economic organisation in the modern world. Emerging at the bleeding edge of colonial expansion in the seventeenth century, entities such as the Dutch and British East India Companies required novel kinds of legal, political, economic and administrative work to hold their sprawling networks of people, objects, resources, activities and information together across borders.

Open Data For Tax Justice: the creation of a public database of country-by-country reporting data

February 17, 2017   #OD4TJ, Blog, Country by Country, Reports

How much tax do multinational companies pay in your country? Leading tax justice campaigners (including the Tax Justice Network) and open data specialists are working on helping you find out with their open data for tax justice project. Today they’re publishing a white paper entitled What Do They Pay? which sets out a roadmap for the creation of a OD4TJlogoglobal public database on the tax contributions and economic activities of multinational companies. More details about the project can be found at datafortaxjustice.net. Hashtag for following developments on social media is as you see it on the right #od4tj

Find your local Fair Tax business: Launch of the Fair Tax Map

February 17, 2017   Blog, Tax and corporate responsibility

Map shareable

Our good friends at the Fair Tax Mark in the UK have been pioneering a means for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to tax transparency, and to paying the right amount of tax at the right time and in the right place. (And what business wouldn’t want to do that?) Already the Fair Tax Mark has been obtained by businesses ranging from local traders to some of the biggest UK companies in the FTSE100 – and now people in the UK can find their nearest Fair Tax shop or office at over 2000 locations with the interactive Fair Tax Map.

Why does Fair Tax matter? You know why. Please check out http://www.fairtaxmap.com and spread the word.

Cost of Tax Avoidance infographic

 

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