As governments (slowly) get to grips with the fact that tax havens are inflicting great harm on economies and democracies across the globe, facilitating mega amounts of tax dodging, and vast movements of criminal money by way of the secrecy services some of them offer, the question of our times is how we deal with them. Attempts to create tax haven blacklists (in order to potentially implement sanctions for non-cooperative jurisdictions) have so far been farcical as we’ve noted many times, most recently commenting on the European Union’s current work compiling its own blacklist system, here and here. So far the criteria for inclusion in tax haven blacklists has been weak, such lists have been ineffective and it’s been far too easy for some of the world’s worst offenders to wriggle their way out of them, or simply be big and bad enough not to worry about being included in the first place – for example – Tax Haven USA. If the EU, or anyone else 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.
The problems with measuring tax systems SPERI
‘In debates about tax policy we need to de-emphasise the role of economics and measurement and rekindle the politics’. Blog by TJN’s Nicholas Shaxson, author of Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World.
The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management – On the International Campaign against Grand Corruption
New book by Jason Sharman
How human rights law has been used to guarantee corporations a ‘right to profit The Conversation
Read about Tax Justice and Human Rights here.
UN urges US to not exploit American Samoa The Guam Daily Post
‘The United Nations has “strongly urged” the United States to refrain from using American Samoa as, among other things, a tax haven’. A significant shift? Development policy guidance recognises that tax havenry hurts the local population.
Luxembourg Frieden says government should lower taxes for companies, private individuals Luxemburger Wort
‘…says Luxembourg must become more competitive when it comes to taxes’. Read about the Race to the Bottom, here.
Public Beneficial Ownership Registries- A Shot In The Arm In The Fight Against Illicit Financial Flows Financial Transparency Coalition
More evidence in the case against Luxembourg FT Alphaville