Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Links - July 14

** Also see our searchable archive of past story summaries; and Offshore Watch **

U.S. trial delay seen bringing UBS tax deal nearer
Jul 13 (Reuters) - A federal court judge in Miami approved a delay in a high-profile trial on Monday in which U.S. tax authorities hoped to force UBS AG to reveal the identities of thousands of Americans suspected of using the Swiss bank to evade taxes.

Swiss tax rules lure McDonald’s from UK
July 12 (FT) Mcdonalds is to leave London for Geneva, joining the growing ranks of US companies moving their European headquarters to take advantage of preferential intellectual property tax laws.

Corruption rules as illegal imports flood Kenyan market
July 11 (The Nation) - The Kenyan taxman is losing an estimated Sh100 million every week in a tax evasion scheme involving unscrupulous importers working with corrupt customs and airport officials, according to the findings of a Sunday Nation investigation.

Baucus Gives Cautious Welcome To US Treasury's New 'Tax Gap' Plan
July 13 (Tax-News) Senate Finance Committee Chairman has given a qualified welcome to the Treasury Department’s latest plan to reduce the estimated USD345bn in legally-owed taxes that go unpaid each year, otherwise known as the ‘tax gap.’

Luxembourg Deemed Fully Compliant By OECD
July 13 (Tax-News) Luxembourg has revised its double tax convention with Norway to include provisions for the exchange of information in tax matters. The agreement brings the number of OECD model agreements it has concluded to twelve, ranking Luxembourg as a jurisdiction that has 'substantially implemented' the internationally agreed standard in this area.

Rich Britons help to drive up house prices in tax havens
July 12 (Guardian) While house prices across Europe have plunged in recent months, a stream of wealthy tax exiles is continuing to push up property prices in offshore tax enclaves across the continent.

UBS tax trial is delayed as talks continue
July 12 (Guardian) A keenly awaited court showdown between the US government and the Swiss bank UBS will be delayed until August. The trial, in which the US is seeking to force UBS to hand over details of thousands of wealthy Americans suspected of evading US taxes, was due to start today, but both sides submitted a request for a delay, to allow them "to continue their discussions seeking a resolution of this matter".

Swiss, UK Governments Reach Dual Taxation Agreement
July 9 (WSJ) The Swiss and U.K. governments have reached a dual taxation agreement which will permit an exchange of information on tax matters in individual cases where a specific and justified request has been made, the Swiss Federal Department of Finance said Thursday.

IMF: Lower corporation taxes and tax holidays may not boost growth
July 9 (TJN) The IMF has issued a new working paper entitled Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Tax Incentives which reaches some conclusions that are contrary to what the IMF so often teaches. And it seems to be an important one, for as the study says...

Tax Justice in History: The Peasant's Revolt
July 12 (TJN) In the summer of 1381 England was riven by grassroots revolt. London was invaded and the Tower of London, previously thought impregnable, was over-run by rioters. Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury and foremost prelate in the land, was beheaded outside the Tower. One in an occasional series.


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