UPDATE BELOW, 24/07/2017
If you ever wondered what kind of response to a financial transparency law might indicate a corrupted financial secrecy industry, look no further. We reported recently on what’s been happening to trusts in New Zealand in our Offshore Wrapper (our weekly take on tax justice news – for which you can sign up here, don’t miss out). First, here’s what our very own George Turner reported on about a month ago, followed by interesting updates:
Life’s full of surprises, some pleasant, some not so much. Imagine you had undeclared offshore assets when the global financial crisis struck, and you’ve nervously watched the world move towards TJN ‘s proposal for multilateral, automatic information exchange. Until now you’ve probably felt ok, and that you had a choice between two moves. Either you could say ‘Ok, the game’s up – I’ll use an amnesty or some kind of disclosure facility, and go straight’; or you could decide to keep hidden, using the new loopholes that are being actively promoted in Switzerland and elsewhere.
You probably weren’t worrying too much about the past though. Information exchange will relate to existing holdings, so you just need to get things lined up before it kicks in (from September 2017 or after). But as India’s Economic Times reports,
“The worst fear of those with secret offshore bank accounts and private trusts is coming true — some tax havens are ready to part with ‘old’ records and even details of trusts and foundations that no longer exist.”
As we mentioned recently on our blog the 3rd International Conference on Beneficial Ownership Registries took place in Buenos Aires on June 21st-22nd at Argentina’s Central Bank. This was another successful event attended by the Tax Justice Network’s Andres Knobel, who reports back to us here on the dicussions there:
In our June 2017 Taxcast we ask – has the UK just had its first tax justice general election? Why was economic debate around the election so ill-informed? Are we seeing a popular shift towards tax justice in the UK and in the USA? Is this the beginning of the end of our long austerity winter? How much do people REALLY care about taxes, who pays them and who doesn’t?
Featuring: Vanessa Williamson, Governance Studies Fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes, John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network, Will Snell of Tax Justice UK and with brief appearances by President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Produced and presented by the the Tax Justice Network’s Naomi Fowler.
The 3rd International Conference on Beneficial Ownership Registries will take place in Buenos Aires on June 21st-22nd at Argentina’s Central Bank. It is co-hosted by TJN with Fundacion SES, Argentina’s AML Prosecutor (PROCELAC), the Anti-Corruption Agency and Security Ministry. We blogged about this event last year here and we’ll report back to you once again this year on the highlights.