TIEAs only tackle tax evasion and we need to address tax avoidance, too, if the likes of Barclays are to be stopped from undertaking activities recently disclosed by this paper. A new form of accounting called country-by-country reporting could tackle this issue and make it immensely hard for corporations to hide money in tax havens, even if legally. The opportunity to introduce this has been overlooked.
No, not the holiday camps. List of tax havens, promulgated at the G20 but published by the OECD, which shows how proud the G20 are of dealing with it. The list is fiddled, the laws needed remain a remote possibility-
Richard Murphy:- The Crown Dependencies of Jersey Guernsey and Isle of Man are not on the list because they have signed a series of what can at best be called token tax information exchange agreements with places like the Faroe Islands.
And there is also the bizarre way in which Hong Kong and Macau are listed – for which I suspect the Crown Dependencies are excluded as a corollary. They were the bargaining chip.
This is going to create real political difficulties for the process – a quick straw poll at Excel tonight amongst people I did not know showed universal bizarre reaction to the exclusion of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
And as he writes in the Guardian-
So there is no doubt – April 2 2009 is a very important date in the process of ending tax haven abuse. It will go down in the history of that campaign. But it is not the day when the end of tax havens and banking secrecy was announced. It was the day the process really started, and that process will need a lot of work and thought before it delivers the results we want.
Is a time of crisis really the time for fudging, compromising and bartering? That the G20 do not properly and immediately tackle tax havens tells us the crisis will remain a lot less severe for the wealthy and corrupt. And who the elites answer to and make their peace with while lecturing us on democracy and sacrifice. Those who are to pay will be those with the least ability to pay…and for other people’s frauds, irrational greed and Washington consensus fundamentalism. And whatever Gordon says, the UK is widely considered a whole nation that operates as a tax haven and unlike you or me he was in the best position of anyone on planet Earth for the last 12 years to do something about that. Unless I’ve misunderstood that whole Chancellor of the Exchequer and Prime Minister thing.
*cough* April 2007
the web site of UK Trade and Investment, a government sponsored site on which there is a blatant article promoting the UK as a tax haven, admittedly written by PWC. It says:
“This may come as a surprise to many of you but whilst the UK lacks the climate of a traditional tax haven, it does have many of the tax advantages of a traditional tax haven. It is also perhaps the only tax haven which has the high degree of respectability sought by the international business community.
Provided that you are “not domiciled” for UK tax purposes, it is possible to structure your tax affairs to minimise your tax liability considerably. The following explains the concepts and outlines the basis of taxation for non-UK domiciled individuals.“
Damn you Internet, why must you not help put every damn lie we are fed into the memory hole! Still, enjoy the corporate media (there’s a clue there) spread the G20 Good News Bible. I am looking to see what they did with this historic opportunity to help not destroy this planet thing we all depend for life on…still looking.