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Quote of the day – tax crimes and traffic offences


Michael West

From Michael West, an Australian tax journalist:

“In Australia, Part 4a of the Tax Act deems that the principal purpose of a transaction should be commercial (rather than tax driven). In light of the proliferation of tax haven activities by Australian companies this law, Part 4a, must be the most highly disregarded and disobeyed law in the nation, perhaps only topped by traffic offences.”

It’s an interesting story, not least because it has unearthed a hard-to-get number that we haven’t, from memory, seen before:

“The IPO documents for Intertrust estimate in 2014 the “total value of the global trust and corporate services market … was estimated at approximately €5.6 billion in revenue.”

Top tax expert: Big 4 “accountants of fortune” must be broken up


George Rosvany won’t work as a corporate lobbyist again

In March The Economist magazine rang alarm bells (again) about a rise in concentrated market power: a problem where the biggest firms get ever bigger and more like monopolies, making it easy to extract wealth from the rest of us (as opposed to creating wealth.) This, in turn fosters steeper inequality and poverty and reduces economic growth. As they put it:

“High profits across a whole economy can be a sign of sickness. They can signal the existence of firms more adept at siphoning wealth off than creating it afresh, such as those that exploit monopolies. If companies capture more profits than they can spend, it can lead to a shortfall of demand.”

Australia passes new information sharing provision

February 24, 2016   Blog, Information Exchange

The Australian Senate has just passed the Bill that will tie Australia into the new global system of tax authorities sharing information with each other automatically. Unfortunately, this system, set up through the OECD, currently had not allowed full participation by developing countries.

With help from international colleagues, TJN’s Andres Knobel and Joe Stead, we were able to get Labor party support for an amendment to the Bill that will require de-identified aggregated information about accounts held in Australia to be published each year by the Australian Tax Office (ATO.)

The chaser’s guide to tax havens: a simple 1,413-step guide

ChaserSome offshore humour for a Monday morning: The Chaser’s Guide to Tax Havens, from Australia. The magazine has an interesting history:

“Ever since The Chaser started, back in 1999, we have strived to build our company on a solid foundation of inexplicable and highly technical tax losses.”

Back to the guide to tax havens: perhaps our favourite section is this one – because it’s so appallingly true, from a tax cheater’s perspective:

Profits chaser


But Myth 1 is pretty good too. Another excerpt, among many:

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