Gordon GekkoFrom the Equality Trust:
EU nations reconsider disclosure of tax data MarketWatch
EU To Lobby Singapore, Australia On Tax Evasion Rules Law360
See also: European Commission - Directorate-General for Exte : Global dimension of Tax and Customs: Commissioner Šemeta in Asia and Australia 4-traders
Leaders to consult on beneficial ownership registry Compass Cayman
Cayman Islands court will still protect trusts from bad tax decisions Cayman News Service
Very important implications to note here. TJN has repeatedly cautioned on trusts being used as vehicles to escape fig-leaf measures to curb tax evasion. See also: Cayman Islands Government consulting on beneficial ownership disclosure Cayman News Service
From 2015, Argentina will access Swiss bank accounts La Nación
Hat-tip Jorge Gaggero. Timeframe allows plenty of scope for moving or restructuring assets.
From Peter Wahl, WEED:
The coalition treaty between German Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Democrats has been concluded. As far as the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) is concerned, the relevant part reads (in my translation):
"We want to implement rapidly a broad based financial transaction tax in the framework of the Enhanced Cooperation Procedure in the EU. Such a tax should include preferably all financial instruments, in particular shares, bonds, investment certificates, currency transactions as well as derivatives. The tax should be designed in a way, which prevents tax avoidance. The effects of the tax on pensions, small investors and the real economy have to be assessed and negative consequences should be avoided, while undesired business models should be pushed back." (Page 64).
As a first assessment I would say that the following points are positive:
1. they have now explicitly included currency transactions,
2. they want rapid implementation,
Amid U.S. plans for tax reform led by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Bloomberg News has published an editorial in which it says:
"Baucus could propose a version of the system the multinationals are suggesting, in which only U.S. activity is subject to U.S. taxes -- but instead of basing the tax on how much income a company earns in the U.S., he could base it on the portion of sales that are made in the U.S.
This approach, called formulary apportionment, is how most U.S. states levy taxes on companies that operate across state lines. Its appeal is straightforward: While earnings can be booked where taxes are lowest, goods and services follow the customer. Apportionment would therefore eliminate the tax incentive for U.S. companies to move earnings offshore. The European Union is considering a similar system for its members.
From the Treasure Islands blog:
The OIL graph does not provide a scale, so I'll merely measure it in centimetres on the computer screen of today's blogger. Compare the 6.3cm score for 'public relations' with the less than 0.4 score for 'governance' - a fifteenfold difference - and this paints a picture of a secretive industry being dragged, screaming, kicking and blinking, into the (admittedly still very dim) light.
EU moves to close corporate tax loopholes Reuters
See proposal for Council Directive here. See also Furore over tax evasion opens door to new EU proposal on corporate tax EurActiv
Tax havens urged to expose firms hiding fortunes on their shores The Guardian
Note the photo
Automatic tax data exchange to hurt fund flows, say Swiss banks The Economic Times
From former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan - our quote of the day.
‘If corruption is a disease, then transparency is a central part of its treatment.'One for our quotations page. Speaking a Christian Aid reception at a meeting of signatories to the UN Convention Against Corruption in Panama City, he also said:
‘Non-transparent business practices’ were failing Africa and its people, he said last night, with secrecy over company ownership giving rise to the question: ‘how do we know it is honest?’ In contrast, transparency was ‘a powerful tool’ to build peaceful, prosperous and stable countries.
‘The G8 and G20 have shown a commitment to clamp down on tax avoidance and evasion,’ said Mr Annan. ‘Such avoidance or evasion is not only unjust; it enables vast illegal or unfair outflows of revenues from extraction industries in developing countries.
From the European Union, slightly shortened for readability purposes:
European Commission adopts proposal to amend the Parent Subsidiary Directive
The European Commission adopted on 25 November 2013 a proposal to amend the Parent Subsidiary Directive to:
- include a general anti-abuse provision and
- deny tax benefits to companies making use of hybrid loan instruments.
Under the Proposal, Member States are expected to implement the amended Directive into their domestic law by 31 December 2014. The Council of the European Union should approve this Proposal by unanimity for it to become effective.Now this is potentially quite significant. But there are some big caveats.
Commenting on the proposals, Green tax spokesperson Sven Giegold, who was European Parliament draftsman/rapporteur for an earlier revision of the parent-subsidiary directive (and who, by the way, was one of TJN's founders), said:
We have just blogged a press release from Christian Aid looking entitled Moment of truth for Britain’s tax havens as they attempt to shake off their shameful status, to mark the start of the British Overseas Territories' Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) meeting which starts today, bringing together UK ministers and political leaders from the UK Overseas Territories. This is potentially an important meeting for the world as a whole, since the Overseas Territories include some of the world's most important secrecy jurisdictions - and, as our Financial Secrecy Index project makes clear - Britain is the most important single player in the offshore secrecy system: in significant part because of its Overseas Territories.