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PARIS. French Socialists continue calls for a European super state and EU-wide taxes. A nation where leftist parliamentarians have made tax haven bashing a sport with unfounded attacks on Switzerland, Monaco and Luxembourg, itself now stands revealed as a hot bed of tax evasion, money laundering and corruption.More on this story here and here.
ESCAPE TO BERMUDA
HAMILTON. Ex-US corporations of all sorts continue to make the island their new home to escape high US taxes.More on this story here.
TIRED OF BEING CANADIAN?
TORONTO. A leading Canadian businessman bails out, renouncing his citizenship. 96 others did the same last year.More on this story here.
I.R.S. OFFSHORE REPORTS REQUIRED JUNE 30
Foreign Account Form TDF 90-22.1: If you had offshore financial accounts during 2000 with a combined value of more than $10,000, you must file this IRS form no later than June 30th. Get a copy of the form & info at,More on this story here and here.
WASHINGTON. "The Internal Revenue Service, US tax enforcer, has a history of tactics and transgressions that would "make the hot poker wielders of the Inquisition proud."More on this story here.
OFFSHORE LEGAL STRUCTURES
Consider an LLC combined with a trust. Here are the facts.More on this story here.
IDENTIFY THEFT EXPANDS
It's one of the fastest growing crimes. It can ruin your credit and make life miserable. And credit agencies are in part to blame.More on this story here and here.
For more information and how to protect yourself, visit here, here, and here.
U.S. PONDERS THE FUTURE FOR FATF, OECD CAMPAIGNS
After US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill publicly distanced the US from the OECD's 'harmful tax competition' initiative, the Treasury Department is understood to be reviewing the whole subject of US support for anti-money laundering legislation.
Even under the Clinton administration, Congress was no push-over for such legislation, rejecting both an attempt to install 'know your customer' rules for US banks, and an administration request for additional funding to be used for tightening up on international money-laundering.
The right-wing activists who have a strong influence on the new administration are fighting from a 'privacy' and individualist platform which has much support in the administration itself and of course from the strong banking lobby in Congress.More on this story here.
THEY PRICE LAUNDERED MONEY
Ask John Zdanowicz for evidence of suspicious activity in cross-border trade, and he'll provide plenty of examples.
There are the cotton pillowcases worth more than $900 each that one importer brought in from France.
There are the disposable batteries sold for hundreds of dollars each.
There are the single-lens reflex cameras -- retailed for upwards of $200 -- which another exporter shipped to Japan for a bargain price of $3.50 each.
Those are just a few examples in a long list of oddly priced items that popped up in an analysis of U.S. import and export data performed by Zdanowicz and his partner Simon Pak, both finance professors at Florida International University.More on this story here.
THE NATION PITCHES A FIT
WASHINGTON. Nation magazine does a hatchet job on Bush, tax havens and financial freedom. It loves the OECD.More on this story here.
And The Nation tries to carve up Citibank as well.More on this story here.
F.A.T.F. “NAME & SHAME” GAME
PARIS. Here, from the belly of the beast, is how the Financial Action Task Force’s game plan is supposed to work.More on this story here.
FORFEITURE LAWS COMPARED
Comparison of civil forfeiture laws, US, UK, Ireland, Australia, with implications of expanding U.K. civil forfeiture laws.More on this story here.
READ your privacy notices. A new US law allows consumers to exempt themselves from business information exchanges. Banks and credit card firms that trade personal information are now mailing out millions of "privacy notices" informing customers of this right but the opt out provision is often buried in fine print.More on this story here.
U.S. RADICAL LEFT ATTACKS BUSH, O’NEILL
Mother Jones has a fit over the new US pro-tax haven policies.More on this story here and here.
HOW WE GOT WHERE WE ARE
A UK law firm provides a lengthy history of the OECD, FATF campaign against tax and asset haven nations.More on this story here.
Derek SAMBROOK's latest observations on the offshore scene, as seen from one of the remaining tax/asset haven nations.More on this story here.
Only 12 free nations out of 161 remain. That's only 7% of the world's countries. 10 of the 12 free countries are among the world's smallest, so freedom occupies less than 7% of the world's land mass.More on this story here.
THE OECD BATTLE REPORT
The Center for Prosperity & Freedom sums up the anti-OECD battle in a memo to tax haven leaders.More on this story here.
TAX FREE CANADIANS
Unlike US citizens forever doomed to pay taxes, Canadian citizens can become non-residents and bid Canadian taxes good-bye.More on this story here.
KWAJALEIN ATOLL. Having unjustly tarred the Marshall Islands for alleged money laundering, the US government treats its inhabitants like colonial vassals.More on this story here and here.
OECD THREATENS US LAWS
Noted offshore legal expert, Bruce Zagaris, explains.More on this story here.
U.S. TRIAL LAWYERS
Yet another reason Americans move their finances offshore; the rapacious greed of litigious US attorneys.More on this story here.
HIGH TAXES = BLACK MARKET
ATHENS. A highly politicized GREEK tax system causes tax evasion and a black economy of 30% of its GDP.More on this story here.
COMPUTER VIRUS NOTIFIES POLICE
Consider the wider implications of a new rogue "worm" that invades your computer, looks at your files, then reports you to the police.More on this story here.
U.S. FBI CAN INVADE FOREIGN COMPUTERS
A federal judge rules that FBI agents can download evidence from computers of suspects outside the US, that foreign PCs are beyond protections of US law.More on this story here.
U.K. CYBER COPS SNOOP SOFTWARE
New trojan software allows police remotely and secretly to monitor in suspects' computer activities anywhere in the world.More on this story here.
U.S. POLICE GET MEDICAL RECORDS
U.S. police searching for criminals may get broad access without a warrant to private medical records.More on this story here.
PGP AT 10
Phil Zimmermann's Pretty Good Privacy encryption software was first released on June 5, 1991.More on this story here.
The U.S. Postal Service conducts constant customer surveillance program, reporting suspicious activity to the police.More on this story here.
DIGITAL CASH STRUGGLES ON
It's not dead, but it it isn't very lively either.More on this story here.
U.S.A. The IRS wants to inform on foreign citizens who invest in America. The Free Congress Foundation explains why not.More on this story here.
Is the US estate tax "repeal" real? Maybe not!More on this story here and here.
U.S. SUPREME COURT LIMITS SEARCHES
The US Supreme Court rules that police violate the Constitution by using a heat sensing device (and many other devices) to peer inside a home without a search warrant.More on this story here.
OUT DAMNED CARNIVORE!
The courageous Rep. Dick ARMEY, Majority Leader of the US House of Representatives, demands the Atty. Gen. kill the spying beast CARNIVORE, once and for all.More on this story here.
INVASION OF PRIVACY -- WHY PERSONAL SECRETS ARE NO MORE
In digital age, information can be a matter of life and death, Amy Boyer was being tracked. The beautiful young girl was soon to graduate from college. Not yet 21, Amy was still living at home with her family, whom she loved greatly. She and her boyfriend were planning to purchase a home and begin the next stage of their life together. A hard worker, she held two part-time jobs while she attended school. With many friends and a loving family, she had no reason to think she had any enemies.
Liam Youens was a young man who had gone to school with Amy. From at least the 10th grade, he had been obsessed with her. Eventually, he began a Web page to chronicle the ways in which he watched her. He discussed how he planned to kill her, her family and then himself. But he had difficulty keeping tabs on Amy. He had dropped out of college after a year and was living at home, which afforded him limited use of a car. Amy often wasn't home when he was driving by to spy on her - she was probably working - and Youens needed to find out where she was if he was going to carry out his plan.
He was able to find Amy because she was being tracked - just as we all are. Youens simply needed to know who could pull together the information available in public documents and elsewhere. Using the Internet, he paid for several public-record searches for personal information about Amy. He then obtained her Social Security number from Docusearch.com, a private investigation agency in Boca Raton, Fla. Finally, he paid $109 to get the address of Amy's workplace.
At 4:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 1999, Amy left her job at a dental office. As she was getting into her car, Youens pulled up, jumped from his vehicle and fired 15 shots into her. Her injuries included a fatal head wound. Youens used the 16th bullet to shoot himself in the head.
Amy Boyer was unique in many ways, but her vulnerability was anything but atypical. There was nothing about her that made her especially easy to track. She had a Social Security number, just like you do. She lived in a society in which private investigation firms advertise over the Internet and perform investigations for customers they never meet, just like you do. Her place of employment and other details of her life were available to anyone who wanted to spend a few dollars, and the same is undoubtedly true of you. Amy was a victim precisely because it has become relatively cheap and easy for anyone to get the information necessary to track a person down. Her stalker found out everything he needed to know without her ever knowing she was the object of his study.
Amy's tragic death has spurred some late, but important, discussion of the need for privacy in modern life. There has even been a bill proposed that would forbid companies from refusing services to someone who will not reveal his Social Security number. Another proposed bill would, as New York Times columnist William Safire points out, "[prohibit] individuals from 'displaying to the public' anybody's Social Security number without consent." But even that legislation would exempt the "information brokers" that gave Liam Youens the information he needed to find and kill Amy Boyer.
Although such efforts to protect privacy are a start, in truth they do not take into account the deep-rooted nature of the problem. For instance, even while the use of Social Security numbers has proved so dangerous, many states still prominently display them on their drivers licenses. We are coming closer and closer to living in the "panopticon" - a world of total surveillance.
In 1787, Jeremy Bentham, a British philosopher, made a proposal for prison architecture called a panopticon - (literally, "the all-seeing thing"). The idea behind the panopticon was that a prison would be most secure when the jailors watched the prisoners at all times. Since that was not possible, the next best solution was a structure where the guards could watch the prisoners at all times and where the prisoners never knew if they were being watched. That way, the prisoners would always behave appropriately.
Bentham never sold the British government on his plan, but he has proven to be something of a visionary nonetheless. Our society has become a sort of panopticon. It is all too easy to monitor someone without his knowing about it. We never know when the civil government, corporations or predators are watching us.
Unlike Bentham's prison, which had only one set of watchers, we are now in a situation in which any number of people might be watching us in different ways and at different times. We are being tracked, or at least we can never know for sure that we're not being tracked.
As tragic as Amy Boyer's death is, it probably won't be enough to galvanize the public. Why? Because even though stalking is a growing problem in our society, being killed by a troubled youth - certainly a terrifying possibility - is still not all that likely. The fact is, however, that there are many other ways in which we can be victims of the panopticon. Indeed, even after her death, Amy was a victim of yet another invasion of privacy. The August before she died, Amy's pocketbook had been stolen, so she canceled her credit cards and checks, thinking that was the end of it. But two days after her death made the news in New England, the thieves, who had gotten her Social Security number, were able to assume her identity. They managed to spend $5,000 by using checks in her name.
Whether you realize it or not, you are being tracked, just as Amy Boyer was, and it can cost you time, money, freedom - even your life.More on this story here, here, here and here.
BAHAMAS ABANDONS FINANCIAL PRIVACY
NASSAU. The Bahamian Atty. Gen./Minister of Justice pledges full cooperation with FATF in exchanging financial information. As clients flee the island, he wants off the phony FATF blacklist.More on this story here.
CENTRAL AMERICAN SUMMIT
PANAMA CITY. At the behest of MEXICO's Pres. FOX, Mexico and central American nations sign a pact to develop the area, including the tax haven nations of BELIZE and PANAMA.More on this story here.
SOCIALIST E.U. WANTS DIRECT TAXES
BRUSSELS. EU leaders line up behind a Europe wide tax to finance EU bureaucrats and their many schemes. Euro skeptics are opposed.More on this story here.
"The arrogance of the EU, its bureaucratism rivals that of the old Soviet Union in its wastefulness and self-aggrandizement... its explicitly socialist ideology." A very interesting essay on the EU.More on this story here.
GOLD BACKED CYBER MONEY
In a strange twist of fate, the Internet may be breathing new life into an ancient currency -- gold.More on this story here.
GOING POSTAL 2
An inside look at how the US Postal System spies on customers using profiling and other dubious tactics.More on this story here.
O’NEILL LIMITS INFORMATION EXCHANGE IN OECD LETTER
Tax-News.com has obtained a copy of a letter written by US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to a group of his OECD Finance Minister colleagues following his public renunciation of some aspects of the OECD's “harmful tax competition” initiative. The letter, to Gordon Brown of the UK, Hans Eichel of Germany, and Laurent Fabius of France, among others, makes it clearer that O'Neill is both against any attempt to rein back tax competition, but also against the OECD's attack on “discriminatory” tax regimes. The letter also would seem to say that information exchange between countries is only justified when information exists to inculpate a specific individual. This clarification is important in view of the OECD's attempt to portray recent meetings in Paris as heralding the US's recommitment to extensive information exchange.
See a full copy of Secretary O'Neill's letter in Tax-News.com Resources.More on this story here.
KINGDOM OF SEALAND ENDURES
Sealand, the would be "data haven" off the coast of Britain, a "tax haven on steroids," takes on new meaning as New Labour's Draconian plans to restrict British liberties expand.More on this story here.
U.S. COURTS ASSERT OFFSHORE POWERS
A growing trend in US courts has offshore financial implications; successful US lawsuits against foreign persons and entities.More on this story here.
BLAIR KILLS BRIT’S FREEDOMS
LONDON. Curbs on the ancient right to jury trial, greater police powers, asset forfeiture, money laundering restrictions, relaxed evidence rules, eliminating protections against double jeopardy; New Labour's grim second term.More on this story here and here.
Add to those assaults on freedom, planned UK government computerized checks on every aspect of each citizen's life.More on this story here.
NEW ZEALAND REJECTS O.E.C.D. HOME TAX
Mark Parson alerts us to the NZ government's rejection of an insane OECD idea that owners' home equity be taxed. Isn't anyone safe from these Paris bureaucrats?More on this story here and here.
An historic coalition of 33 citizen taxpayer groups worldwide jointly declares against the OECD and EU tax cartel plans.More on this story here.
BIG FIVE ACCOUNTING FRAUD
Arthur Anderson is fined $7 million for the civil fraud of cooking books, the largest US accounting fine ever.More on this story here.
IRS TARGETS SELF-EMPLOYED CONSULTANTS
WASHINGTON. Also a target, their business travel expenses.More on this story here.
C.P.A.s & MONEY LAUNDERING
An expert explains the growing role of accountants in spotting dirty money, and in watching you on behalf of the government.More on this story here.
ABOLISH THE U.S INCOME TAX?
US Rep. Ron PAUL of Texas introduces The Liberty Amendment, repealing the 16th Amendment and ending income taxes.More on this story here.
LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO OFFSHORE BANKS
Business Week frets over the BUSH administration's policies favoring offshore banking and world tax competition.More on this story here.
MOSCOW. As in the old Red days, Russians are spying on their neighbors for PUTIN's KGB style government.More on this story here.
KEY US CONGRESSMAN OPPOSES O.E.C.D.
WASHINGTON. US House Whip Tom DELAY (R-Tex), has come out strongly against the OECD/FATF demands for tax information exchange, threatening to cut US budget funding for any such programs.More on this story here.
THE WORLD'S RICHEST PEOPLE
FORBES magazine publishes its annual list of the richest of the rich; 538 billionaires from 46 nations.More on this story here and here.
And here's what worries rich Americans,More on this story here.
OFFSHORE BANKS BROADEN APPEAL
Once the preserve of the very wealthy, offshore banks now cater to all sorts of rich people.More on this story here.
OFFSHORE TAX SHELTER UPHELD
ATLANTA. A federal appeals court overturns a 1999 ruling that United Parcel Service illegally used offshore companies as tax shelters. UPS could save $1.8 billion.More on this story here and here.
W.T.O. THREATENS F.S.C.s
US tax breaks for foreign sales corporations are under fire again from the World Trade Organization.More on this story here.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO HARD CURRENCY?
Contrarian Jim GRANT explains.More on this story here.
FORBES BEST OF THE NET
Forbes magazine picks for "Best of the Net" in:
* BANKING: here.
* INVESTMENTS: here.
* TAX PLANNING: here.
* OFFSHORE NEWSPAPERS: here.
* LEGAL SOURCES: here.
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