Archive : Category

Whistleblower Ruedi Elmer vs. the Swiss ‘Justice’ System

June 2, 2017   Blog, Tax Havens, Tax Havens

We’ve regularly covered the battles of whistleblower Rudolf Elmer against the Swiss “justice” system. As we’ve said before, and as has so often been the case with those brave enough to risk all to challenge injustice and corruption, the bank was the criminal, not Rudolf Elmer. He wrote a guest blog for us here on how Switzerland corrupted its courts to nail him. We’d like to bring you up to date on his heroic struggles.


Evading Tax and Avoiding Tax Evasion: for decades British governments have shied away from tackling cross border crime

May 19, 2017   Blog, Corruption, Secrecy, Tax Havens

Guest blog authored by Dr Michael Woodiwiss (Arts and Cultural Industries, University of the West of England) and Dr Mary Alice Young (Bristol Law School, University of the West of England)

Al Capone: tax evader

Al Capone: tax evader

In the 1920s, an embryonic tax collecting organisation was steadily growing in the US. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was an agency ignored by the majority of Americans. However, the tide turned in 1931 when the IRS secured the conviction of Chicago gangster Al Capone for tax evasion.

The U.K. post-general election: strong, stable and still kind to criminals

May 10, 2017   Blog, Corruption, Tax Havens

The British Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election. We’d like to share with you the thoughts of Dr Mary Alice Young (Bristol Law School, University of the West of England) and Dr Michael Woodiwiss (Arts and Cultural Industries, University of the West of England) on the implications for the UK’s secrecy jurisdictions or satellite havens and for corruption opportunities globally:

Coming Soon: The Spider’s Web – a film about Britain’s tax haven empire

May 4, 2017   Blog, Tax Havens, Tax Havens



Film maker Michael Oswald and TJN’s John Christensen have co-produced a new film about Britain’s tax haven empire.  Titled The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire, the film is ready for release. It draws heavily on Nick Shaxson’s ground-breaking book Treasure Islands and uses historical footage to show how successive British governments have put tax havenry at the heart of Britain’s development strategy for over half a century.

You can get the opportunity to see this by attending the Tax Justice annual conference GLOBAL TAX JUSTICE AT A CROSSROADS: SOUTHERN LEADERSHIP AND THE CHALLENGES OF TRUMP AND BREXIT in London on 5th and 6th July where we will screen the film. You can register for the conference here. We’ll be publishing the finalised programme of speakers very soon.

Tax haven blacklisting in Latin America

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.


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