In the December 2016 Tax Justice Network podcast: In trusts we trust? We look at the new game in town: beneficial ownership avoidance, the booming industry in alternative escape vehicles from public registers and why we must shine the spotlight on all of them. Plus: we discuss two big stories we think will define 2017: the race to the bottom between nations on tax aka a transfer of wealth to the corporate community, and how the world’s biggest havens are increasingly having to account for the devastating effect their tax and/or financial secrecy policies are having on human rights around the world…
Welcome to the Taxcast – the Tax Justice Network’s monthly podcast: around 30 minutes of unmissable corruption, scandal and analysis on tax havens, tax dodging and financial secrecy you won't hear anywhere else – we cover the battles for transparency, fairness and the public interest. Each month we speak with experts in the field to help us analyse the top global stories.
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In the November 2016 Tax Justice Network podcast: Tax Inspectors Without Borders – we look at a practical project that’s changing lives and aiming to level the global playground of tax-minimising multinational companies. Plus: what does new US President Trump mean for tax justice? And, in Trusts we trust? The French Constitutional Court upholds a challenge to France’s trailblazing public register of Trusts: what does it mean for progress on financial transparency?
In the October 2016 Tax Justice Network podcast: we look at the offshorisation of Iceland’s economy, its collapse and recovery. What are the lessons? Also, Brazil adds Ireland to its tax haven black list and Panama threatens anyone who dares call it a tax haven with a new law…plus more scandal and unique analysis you won’t find anywhere else.
In the September 2016 Taxcast: How a conman can devastate the lives of thousands of ordinary people, aided and abetted by the offshore industry – banks, law firms and accountants all happy to look the other way and not ask questions. Plus: we discuss the latest leak from the Bahamas, #BahamasLeaks and Apple’s 13 billion euro underpaid tax bill: a defining moment in the battle between the low/no-tax world big corporations would like to see and democratic, accountable governance in the public interest.
In the August 2016 Taxcast: The Big Four accountancy firms: Are they in fact more like the Big One? And should they be broken up? Also: the Duke of Westminster’s 9 billion tax free inheritance and how his family history forms the legal basis for the justification of tax avoidance around the world; why are the world’s biggest banks now officially endorsing transparency measures? And…so much for Panama cleaning up its act post-Panama Papers scandal: we discuss the demise of Panama’s not-so-transparent Transparency Commission.
In the July 2016 Taxcast: ‘Hello. This is John Doe. Interested in data? I’m happy to share.’ We talk to the two journalists who got the Panama Papers scoop, Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier who’ve written a book about their experience. Plus: what does Brexit mean for tax justice? We discuss the F4 (unholy) alliance between Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UK, and the accelerated corporate tax race to the bottom.
In the June 2016 Taxcast: how different could the lives of those in poverty have been without secrecy jurisdictions? We give you the very latest estimates on the missing trillions offshored from the world’s developing regions. Also: Brexit and the special interests behind it: “Nakedly, brazenly, they’re pushing the City of London’s deregulated, criminal approach to finance”. Plus, the Panama Papers shed some light on secretive, pro-tax haven US lobbying group the Center for Freedom and Prosperity’s funders.
In the May 2016 Taxcast: What is corruption? Well, that’s a political question, and the answer depends on who you ask. We discuss the anti-corruption summit in the City of London, the world’s capital of sleaze and ask if the sun ever set on the colonial era and the idea that corruption is a poor country issue. We explore extortive corruption versus collusive corruption and look at a new Poll which indicates for the first time the vast gulf between what the British people consider corrupt, and what has become a ‘normal’ way of doing business and politics. The overlap between the public and private spheres raises serious questions about democracy – and the nature of global fraud.
In the April 2016 Taxcast: we discuss the biggest offshore leak in history, the #PanamaPapers: could it provide an opportunity for nations to expand their secrecy market share? Once again, all eyes are on Trusts… Also, as the #LuxLeaks whistleblower Antoine Deltour’s trial begins in Luxembourg, we ask why protections for whistleblowers are being eroded and what it says about the state of our democracy.
In the March 2016 Taxcast: Is the US president really serious about tackling corruption in the finance sector? Are the presidential candidates? Now they can prove it. Bank Whistleblowers United tell us how they can restore the rule of law to Wall Street and avoid the next financial crisis in 60 days without any new legislation. Plus: why a wave of tax amnesties is likely to sweep across the world (how does 1% tax and immunity from prosecution sound?), what the very first transparency data on banks exposes about how they do business, and more scandal and analysis.
In the February 2016 Taxcast: which country is the second easiest in the world after Kenya to set up an anonymous shell company? We shine the spotlight on tax haven USA and the lawyers secretly filmed by Global Witness advising a fake corrupt African government Minister. Also: we discuss Google’s tiny tax payment in the UK and how politicians are interfering with the independence of our tax authorities, and the rise of the unnoticed tax haven of Taiwan. Plus more scandal and analysis.
In the January 2016 Taxcast: What’s Scotland got to do with the plunder of Moldova? We take a look at the ‘Wild West’ of Scottish Limited Partnerships. Also, we discuss the tensions in the EU; is the net finally closing on multinational companies, the tax minimisation deals they’ve been getting from various European countries and the big four accountancy firms who advised them? Just how bad was the sell off of one of Colombia’s most profitable power generation companies? And what’s former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair got to do with it? Also, we talk about the MEP who’s dragging the European Commission through the courts to get access to papers they’d rather we didn’t see. John Christensen will eat his hat if they DON’T reveal what MEP Fabio De Masi suspects they will: ‘systematic political backup for a tax avoidance cartel that costs taxpayers in the EU hundreds of billions of dollars annually.’
In the December 2015 Taxcast: We get some insights into the usually closed world of the wealth managers who serve the super rich. Also: on a par with Kissinger being awarded the Nobel Peace prize? We discuss the British Banker’s Association getting one of their own into the UK government Treasury, why Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s $35 billion ‘charity’ pledge isn’t what it seems, and the anonymous survey of accountants that reveals corruption is rife and the self-regulating profession can no longer be trusted.
In the November 2015 Taxcast: Why is the City of London losing so much business to New York, Hong Kong and Singapore? Our conclusions are quite different from those of a British Bankers Association report on the subject. Plus: the crazy UK-China nuclear power station deal: a sweetener for closer ties between the two nation’s financial sectors? One year after #LuxLeaks exposed some of the secret tax deals being done between government tax authorities and multinational corporations we ask how many more ‘illegal state aid’ deals might have been made? Plus we have a special focus on the results of the latest Financial Secrecy Index 2015 released this month: we look at the top ten worst offenders and ask what can be done about them.
In the October 2015 Taxcast: We look at the ‘remittance cartel’, their ‘taxing of the poor’ with monopoly prices in a juicy $450-500 billion market. Also: ‘comfort letters’ and the game changing European Commission ruling that the tax agreements between Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Fiat and Starbucks constitute illegal state aid. We analyse the rich country club of the OECD’s BEPS proposals for reform of the global corporate tax system: will it really address corporate tax avoidance and evasion?