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IRS ‘AMNESTY’: “WE’RE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND WE’RE HERE TO HELP YOU”
Vernon Jacobs warns about the IRS amnesty program. Essentially, a taxpayer who participates in the program is providing the IRS with full and complete details of a criminal activity which the IRS can then use to pursue criminal charges. They probably won’t - but they could.More on this story here.
Voluntary disclosure of unpaid taxes: There are two types of voluntary disclosure with the IRS: (1) informal; and (2) formal (negotiated).Discussion here.
UK’S CAYMAN MONEY SPY QUITS AND FLEES
LONDON: Former British police officer Brian Gibbs, who ran the Cayman Islands’ anti-money laundering organisation, has resigned, citing “risks” to his safety after the exposure of his secret role as a MI6 agent. The exposure caused the collapse of a $25m offshore fraud trial in the Caribbean tax haven, which has seen numerous allegations of financial malpractice. It also shed a rare light on MI6’s worldwide operations to penetrate banks used by criminals and terrorists.More on this story here.
MORE INDICTED IN MONEY LAUNDERING CASE
After sending the founder of National Revenue Corp. to jail for money laundering, the government is going after the people and companies he claimed helped him do it, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio. The indictments accuse the defendants of helping the founder of National Revenue, and his brother and business partners, conceal $9 million from creditors - $4 million having been secreted in the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean, and $5 million concealed with a phony state court judgment.More on this story here.
JERSEY RELUCTANT ON E.U. SAVINGS TAX DEAL
According to Jersey Taxation Society President, John Riva, Jersey’s decision with regard to the EU savings tax agreement may be conditional on the kind of deal the jurisdiction secures when the code of business conduct package is discussed by ECOFIN ministers in March. The Island’s participation in the savings tax initiative is reliant on there being a “level playing field” in relation to the whole tax package. If not, Mr Riva announced: “It will be gloves off and back to day one.”More on this story here.
Guernsey’s asset, fund managers feel the pinch - largely due to falling equities prices and, thus, declining assets under management.More on this story here.
ISLE OF MAN CAUTIOUSLY WELCOMES SAVINGS TAX AGREEMENT TERMS
Manx Treasury Minister, Allan Bell, claims “It is clear from the agreement that the Island will not be treated any differently than Switzerland or other third countries and the EU member states of Luxembourg, Austria, and Belgium.”More on this story here.
WHAT GERMAN TAX EVADERS CAN DO NOW
Anybody who has hidden his money from the long arm of the German state in an EU tax haven country now has several options. Among them: 1.) Move funds to a non-EU tax haven, and 2.) Move funds into products largely based on stocks or zero-coupon bonds, since the EU authorities will only register interest income from bonds and funds, not from foundations, dividends and share price gains, all of which already are or will be taxable in Germany.More on this story here.
BRITISH INLAND REVENUE ACCUSED OF BEING “SOFT ON BIG COMPANIES”
LONDON: Peter Back a director at the Revenue until 1995, said: “The Revenue’s compliance programs and investigations are not just open to question - they are in disarray.” Back blamed the “outrageous decline” in tax recoveries secured from non-compliance investigations on under-funding and management changes introduced at the Revenue since the mid-Nineties.
“Staff there have been allowed to do what they want, and inevitably most choose to avoid the most difficult work, such as enforcing compliance among the big corporations. Instead, they go for the soft targets: individuals and the smaller, less sophisticated companies ... That’s why less money is being retrieved.”More on this story here.
ANTIGUA’S SANDERS QUERIES IMF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING METHODOLOGY
Antigua and Barbuda’s Chief Negotiator on international financial services, Sir Ronald Sanders said, “The IMF has adopted a methodology for assessing the member states of the [Caribbean Financial Action Task Force] without full consultation with governments.” The result, he said, “is that CFATF countries will be measured by standards they do not fully appreciate and for which they are unprepared.”
Sir Ronald declared, “We were very disappointed when the IMF representatives told us that they could not engage in a dialogue on the methodology unless CFATF countries signed-up to it blindly and used it to carry out at least three evaluations of our jurisdictions. This was simply an unacceptable position. It reminded many of us of the high-handed position taken by the OECD when it first started its so-called harmful tax competition initiative. We must simply accept dictation and expect no consultation.”More on this story here.
BAHAMAS CLAIMS LARGE FOREIGN RESERVES
NASSAU: Despite reports of reduced ratio of foreign reserves, the Government boasts over $1 billion in foreign currency because of large-scale foreign investment in the country’s capital stock. The current GDP of The Bahamas exceeds $3 billion, 60% of which comes from tourism and 15% from financial services. Foreign reserves allow the Bahamian dollar to be on par with the U.S. dollar.More on this story here.
LIBERTY WILL SURVIVE IN HONG KONG
Since its handover to China in 1997, the city that is widely hailed as the world’s freest economy has been part of a country that, if no longer quite communist, remains very much a repressive dictatorship. Yet freedom in Hong Kong extends not only to markets but to minds and tongues and printing presses as well. Is this strange state of affairs known as “one country, two systems” really sustainable? Serious doubts have been raised in recent months by the local government’s plans for new security legislation.
But critics of legislation overstate the actual threat to civil liberties, which are likely to remain essentially intact for the forseeable future. The laws’ effect on civil liberties will depend on how they are enforced and interpreted by Hong Kong’s government and courts, and how much democratic dissent Beijing will tolerate. Present-day political realities suggest strongly that Beijing will restrain itself. As long as China hopes for peaceful reunification with Taiwan, it has to maintain a hands-off policy towards Hong Kong.More on this story here.
A crackdown by US authorities on citizens who use offshore financial centers to evade taxes could threaten some Hong Kong residents, according to Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu international tax partner Patrick Yip. In particular, those who used offshore trusts to finance the education of children in the US could inadvertently fall foul of the IRS action.
People in the US who wanted to evade tax often opened a company in an offshore tax haven such as the BVI into which they placed undeclared income. They would then have a credit or debit card issued to them by an offshore bank, with the bills settled by the BVI company. “Maybe the offshore arrangements are pretty shadowy, but what doesn’t lie is who benefits from the charges to these credit cards,” Mr Yip said.More on this story here.
NEW ZEALAND: GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS
New Zealand is seen as the second most honest place in the world to do business, a leading anti-corruption group says. Transparency International rated New Zealand joint second with Denmark, behind only Finland. Widespread corruption within police forces in Australia, ranked 11th, continued to arouse public concern, despite major inquiries and reforms.More on this story here.
New Zealand has the highest rates of suicide and juvenile crime in the developed world, a new OECD report says. It also showed New Zealand had the third highest teenage pregnancy rate of the 30 OECD nations.More on this story here.
HIGH TAX AUSTRALIA
Australia is the sixth-highest taxing nation, according to a report by KPMG. And in terms of personal income tax, Australia is the fourth-highest taxing nation in the developed world. OECD figures place Australia’s total take at 31.5% of GDP, which is below the 37.4% OECD average but still above that of its two major trading partners, the US and Japan.More on this story here.
US TREASURY ANNOUNCES DETAIL OF NEW SAVINGS PLANS
The plans announced last week for reform of the structure of the United States’ savings sector would create just three types of savings accounts to replace the existing jumble of schemes.
The Lifetime Savings Account, with a maximum $7,500 contribution in 2003 would be open to anyone can contribute annually, regardless of age or income. There is no tax deduction for contributions, but earnings and distributions from the account would be tax free. Funds can be used for any purpose and taken out at any time without a tax penalty.
The Retirement Savings Account, also with a maximum $7,500 contribution in 2003, also has no income limits, but contributions cannot be greater than a person’s wages. There is no tax deduction for contributions, but earnings and payouts are tax-free when withdrawn after age 58, or after a disability or death.
The Employer Retirement Savings Account would allow contributions up to $12,000 in 2003 with a scheduled increase to $15,000 in 2006. Savers 50 and older may contribute another $2,000 this year. It would be basically similar to existing 401(k) plans, but simpler. It would replace 401(k), 403(b) and governmental 457 plans, as well as SARSEPs and “Simple” IRAs.More on this story here.
NEW YORK FUGITIVE IN DOMINICA
Fugitive hedge fund manager Michael Berger, who jumped the border with as much as $400 million, is reported to have surfaced on Dominica, which has no extradition treaties. Berger was uncovered looting the Manhattan Investment Fund two years ago, plead guilty to various charges, was freed on bail, and then skipped town.More on this story here.
BASKETBALL HERO PLEADS GUILTY IN FINANCIAL SCAM - BANK DEBENTURES IMPLICATED
After a long scoring streak, former basketball star Dick Boushka fouled out. In December, he pleaded guilty in federal court in Wichita, Kansas, to defrauding a bank of more than $17 million. Boushka, 68, admitted that he made false statements that induced the bank to make several large loans to him in 1998. He also admitted cheating another businessman out of $1.5 million. In all, he pleaded guilty to four charges, including two counts of bank fraud.
Boushka’s attorney, Stephen Joseph, acknowledged that his client committed the crimes but said this is not a simple tale of wrongdoing. Instead, Joseph insisted, Boushka fell for scams pushed by a group of international con artists, and he ended up with little of the money from the loans. That claim is at least partly supported by federal prosecutors.
“He was solicited to do this, and he borrowed the money to do it and sent the money over there and goodbye, it’s gone,” Joseph said in an interview. The lawyer said the scams stretched from Azerbaijan to London to South America, and are littered with phony documents like multimillion-dollar bank drafts from obscure banks. The schemes feature a cast of characters including London lawyers, now charged with crimes, and a Pakistani businessman. Most involved promises that if Boushka could obtain a few million dollars, it could be placed with European money traders who would earn extraordinary profits in a short period, Joseph said.More on this story here.
A SINGLE TAX THAT CURES ALL ILLS?
Dr. Edgar L. Feige, a retired economist from the University of Wisconsin, proposes to eliminate the entire U.S. federal tax system - including corporate, excise and estate taxes - in favor of a tiny tax on all financial transactions. The whole thing would raise the same amount of money as today’s system does while saving hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs, tax evasion and inefficiencies, according to Dr. Feige.More on this story here.
CURRENCY FUNDS MAKING MONEY AMIDST THE EQUITY GLOOM
Proponents of currency overlay, still a relatively new concept, argue that the asset exposure and foreign exchange exposure of a portfolio should be separated and managed by specialists in each field. The problem is that it is notoriously difficult to make money consistently by taking currency positions. But currency managers have recently found it easier to add value as the dollar’s sustained slide over the past year has favored both technical and fundamental approaches to currency forecasting. Naturally, inflows to managed currency funds are picking up.More on this story here.
Assume the villain in a new James Bond movie has the goal of the economic destruction of Europe. How would he do it? How about bringing government spending up to 47% of GDP (vs. 30% for the US), and then sticking to that level through thick and (mostly) thin.More on this story here.
Last month’s agreement on savings taxation also sounds the death knell for “unfair” corporate tax breaks. The deal means that the EU has finally made it into the home stretch towards eliminating some 66 national tax measures - whereby governments would use “unfair” tax incentives to attract investments away from a neighbour.More on this story here.
EU launches tax evasion crackdown.More on this story here. (Somewhat intrusive registration required.)
The Swiss Bankers Association has issued a strong warning to the EU against using the OECD - which targets tax evasion - as a platform to try to erode Swiss banking secrecy. At a news conference in Zurich, the Association said such a move would be “unacceptable”.
Association CEO Urs Roth: “The EU finance ministers’ request for the European Commission to maintain pressure on Switzerland and work towards an automatic exchange of information is dishonest and wholly unacceptable.” Also: “If the pressure is now to be shifted to the OECD, there can be no agreement on the taxation of interest income.”More on this story here.
Dan Mitchell, Heritage Foundation: Time for the Bahamas to Stiff Arm the OECD. He says that, following the examples of Antigua, Panama, and the Cayman Islands, the Prime Minister should inform the OECD that the Bahamas is no longer obligated to eviscerate its tax and privacy laws for the benefit of high-tax nations. This step is desirable for three reasons: economic survival, to preserve fiscal sovereignty, and because the terms of the agreement have not been met.More on this story here.
The International Herald Tribune thinks banking secrecy plays into the hands of drug smugglers, illegal arms traders and terrorists who need to hide their money. Ergo, they do not like the recent EU deal.Editorial here.
Guernsey announced this week that it will be following Jersey’s lead in refraining from making a decision on the EU’s Savings Tax Directive until the European bloc’s Code of Business Conduct is discussed in March.More on this story here.
VILLALOBOS INVESTORS PUSH FOR LEGAL ACTION AGAINST COSTA RICAN GOVERNMENT
Former investors with Luis Enrique Villalobos Camacho have been asked to stump up $100,000 in order to hire lawyer and former Justice Minister, Jose Miguel Villalobos (no relation) to fight their case against the government. Enrique Villalobos operated a high interest investment scheme, offering creditors up to 3% per month. The Costa Rican government last year raided his operation and froze the bank accounts of Villalobos-related companies on the basis of money laundering suspicions and fraud allegations, in the process tying up some $1 billion of investor money.
Despite the fact that he has been widely discredited as a fraudster, many investors believe that if they can persuade the government to stop pursuing the financier by launching criminal and civil actions against it, Mr Villalobos will return, and begin making interest payments to his clients again.More on this story here.
VENEZUELA IMPOSES FOREIGN EXCHANGE CONTROLS
After suspending the sale of dollars for two weeks because of a crippling general strike, President Hugo Chavez announced a new fixed currency exchange rate to help bolster the country’s flagging foreign reserves.
The fixed rate will be flexible, changing periodically when and how the executive branch and central bank see fit. Venezuelan businessmen warned Wednesday that plans to restrict access to foreign currency will bury the reeling economy, which is highly dependent on imports. Venezuela imports roughly half of its food and refined products.
Analysts say the economic woes caused by the failed two-month strike to oust Chavez will close more than 20,000 businesses and leave 200,000 people jobless. Analysts also said government inefficiency would almost inevitably lead the system to spring leaks, allowing a black market to blossom, undermining the controls and forcing the government to devalue to help it cover a ballooning budget deficit.More on this story here and here.
U.S. LABOR DEMANDS TYCO LEAVE BERMUDA
The AFL-CIO asked Tyco’s directors to move the company’s 2003 annual meeting from Bermuda to the United States and asked Tyco to take the necessary steps to move its legal headquarters back from Bermuda to the US.More on this story here.
FLORIDA ATTRACTS TAX AVOIDING RESIDENTS
Ted Turner moves legal residence to a no income tax state. In contrast, Georgia taxes its residents as well as out-of-staters who make money within its borders. Alaska, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming do not levy personal income tax either. Tennessee and New Hampshire limit their income taxes to dividends and interest.More on this story here.
ISRAELIS SEEK DUAL CITIZENSHIP
Holding relatives’ birth certificates and speaking a few choppy words of Polish, dozens of Israelis line up daily at the Polish embassy to reclaim the citizenship their parents and grandparents lost after fleeing wartime Europe. Thousands of others are doing the same at German, Czech, Hungarian and other embassies in Tel Aviv. They are not rushing to settle in Europe, but want to obtain a second passport as an insurance policy in troubled times. Worries about Israel’s future have been fueled by more than two years of fighting with the Palestinians.
Driving the trend is pragmatism of a younger generation that did not experience the horrors suffered by European Jews in World War II. Gili Regev, whose grandmother was a Holocaust survivor from Poland, said that Israelis sacrificed for decades in hopes of something better, but now “the belief that things would change is weakening.”More on this story here.
PHILIPPINE CONGRESS IN FATF DEBATE
MANILA: Internal bickering in both chambers of Congress has frustrated the passage of a bill criminalizing money-laundering and imperiled the chances of millions of overseas Filipinos of sending money to their relatives here. FATF had warned of sanctions on the Philippines — either stricter scrutiny of all inbound bank transactions or the refusal of foreign banks to transmit money to local institutions — should Manila fail to enact the AMLA by February 12.More on this story here.
SECURITY ABROAD DURING WARTIME
SOFIA, BULGARIA: US expats in eastern Europe wonder about how to prepare.More on this story here.
BOND FUND HEAD CLAIMS U.S. A BAD INVESTMENT
Bill Gross, director of the world’s biggest bond fund - Pacific Investment Management Co., or Pimco, manages somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 billion in assets - is ditching the U.S. bond market for greener pastures. On his company’s Web site he wrote: “While the United States rules the waves as well as turf and sky, I’m not so sure that we are, or perhaps will be, the economic powerhouse we once were.”
U.S. “hegemony,” as he puts it, is at an end. “The U.S. [economy] ... rests on a fragile foundation built upon consumer spending and trade deficits as opposed to mercantilism and trade surpluses. ... These deficits, coming at a time of American military expansion in pursuit of terrorist containment, threaten to reverse our hegemonic benefits and end our economic domination. Our SUVs, as well as our top cat near-monopoly of the good times are at risk.”More on this story here.
KOREAN-AMERICAN BANKS AN INTERESTING BUSINESS
After the 1992 Los Angeles riots, banker Benjamin B. Hong told his branch managers to offer existing customers loans of up to $100,000 without collateral. Fifty customers took him up on the offer. Not one defaulted. Such community support has turned Korean-American banks into some of the fastest-growing and most profitable financial institutions in the nation.More on this story here.
SINGAPORE GETS READY TO RIDE THE INVESTMENT WAVE IN INDIA AND CHINA
For Singapore, the massive new markets of China and India can be either a goldmine or landmine. And how things turn out depends on how it prepares for the journey. The Economic Review Committee (ERC) gave a list of must-dos for getting the most out of these two Asian giants.More on this story here.
“SHAM TRUST” PROMOTERS PROSECUTED
Two Greater Cincinnati men were accused in federal court Wednesday of creating a fraudulent tax scheme that has cost the government more than $30 million the past three years. Federal prosecutors claim that Wilson Graham and Homer Richardson worked together to set up “sham trusts” that allowed clients to hide a significant portion of their incomes. The complaint states that the clients listed their income on tax returns as being part of business or charitable trusts, which are taxed less than regular income or not at all.
“Graham and Richardson promote abusive trust packages that falsely promise taxpayers that they can legally reduce or eliminate their federal income taxes,” the complaint states. The complaint asks a federal judge to bar the two men from continuing to promote and profit from “abusive trusts”. Neither Graham nor Richardson is charged with a crime, but the complaint indicates that authorities are investigating their activities.
Richardson said the IRS has violated its own administrative procedures, and he disputes the agency’s authority to enforce the federal statutes cited in the case against him. He said the IRS is targeting him because he is a party to a lawsuit that claims the agency abuses its power.More on this story here.
MICHIGAN MAN GETS PRISON TIME FOR HIDING HIS INCOME
Claudy R. Herron, 54, who IRS investigators said hid more than $1 million of income was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids to five months in prison for tax evasion in connection with his 1996 income tax return. Herron was also fined $9,000 and ordered to file corrected tax returns and pay his back taxes, including interest and penalties.
Herron established what investigators called two “sham trusts” to hide income. Over a period of three years, he deposited $966,000 into one of the trusts and $468,000 into the other, some of which he used to buy automobiles, boats and a house in his home town.More on this story here.
CLINTON’S BOAT TAX COST 25,000 JOBS
George Will reminds us that the luxury taxes foisted on us back in 1990 have thankfully expired. These soak-the-rich taxes on boats, private planes, jewelry and luxury cars were to rake in $31 million a year for federal coffers. Instead, the taxes created havoc and cost the government over $7 million.
Jobs were lost - over 25,000 in New England alone - because folks stopped buying boats. In fact, although Senator Ted Kennedy supported imposing the luxury taxes in 1990, years later - after the devastation had hit - Ted’s son Patrick, a Rhode Island congressman, offered a bill to subsidize the shipbuilders destroyed by the taxes. Thanks a bunch, buddy.More on this story here.
CLEAN UP THE MESS AT THE IRS
Heritage Foundation’s Dan Mitchell says more than a new IRS Commissioner is needed to clean up the US tax collection mess. In view of Charles Rossotti’s business background, many taxpayer advocates hoped he would rein in the IRS’s 100,000 bureaucrats and put an end to abusive practices. Unfortunately, things became even worse on his watch. Now it is Mark Everson’s turn.More on this story here.
BUSH BUDGET BEEFS UP IRS - MORE AUDITS
Bush would give the IRS a 5.3% boost to $10.4 billion for the budget year that begins Oct. 1. That will include $133 million for added audits of businesses and high-income taxpayers, including those who hide their income offshore, the Treasury Department said. The proposal would seek to let private collection agencies help the IRS pursue people who owe unpaid taxes. (Similar plans have failed in the past due to objections that taxpayers’ rights might be violated.)More on this story here.
Under President Bush’s budget plan the I.R.S. would get an additional $133 million for audits of taxpayers suspected of hiding income received from their businesses, partnerships, investments and offshore accounts, and for other law enforcement work in 5 areas: abusive corporate tax shelters, unreported income among higher-income taxpayers, failure by employers to turn over taxes withheld from paychecks or even to withhold them, misuse of trusts and offshore accounts to hide income, and “tax denial” schemes that are based on claims that the tax code does not apply to most Americans.
Over all the I.R.S. would receive $10.4 billion, a 5.25% increase, but still less per tax return, after adjusting for inflation, than it got five years ago. Law enforcement, which includes audits, takes up almost 40% of the I.R.S. budget. This year the vast majority of tax cheats the IRS identifies will get away without paying. Mr. Rossotti's report showed that the I.R.S has only enough money to pursue about a fifth of individual cheats.More on this story here.
Don’t be duped by phony US tax scams. Every year thousands pay for illegal tax “advice”. Here are three prominent scams. Illegal tax havens, slavery reparations, and tax protester arguments.More on this story here.
U.S. TREASURY’S TOP TAX MAVEN AIMS TO SIMPLIFY SYSTEM
Pam Olson readily acknowledges that the government is partly responsible for the games - sometimes legal, sometimes not - that people play with their taxes. But the Bush administration’s top tax policy-maker wants the games to stop.More on this story here.
SUMMARY OF U.S. OFFSHORE TAX LAWS
The US Treasury has provided a layman’s statement of the current US tax law in international business. A telling point about the US system, which the EU ministers might like to notice, is elsewhere in the US Treasury statement: “The U.S. international tax rules can operate to impose a burden on U.S.-based companies disproportionate to the tax burden imposed by our trading partners on the foreign operations of their companies. The U.S. rules for the taxation of foreign-source income are unique in their breadth of reach and degree of complexity. That complexity itself represents a significant burden that should be addressed.”More on this story here.
IRS DEMANDS MILLIONS IN BACK TAXES FROM TOP US HEDGE FUND
The IRS is claiming that III Offshore Advisors, a Florida-based bond fund headed by Warren Mosler, has understated its income by $192 million between 1994 and 1997. The move is part of a wider clampdown on hedge fund managers deferring taxes on offshore income.
The IRS claim against III seems to be mainly that it did not do its paperwork properly. “III Offshore Advisors has not received any legal opinion, nor requested any Private Letter Rulings or any Technical Advice Memorandum from the Internal Revenue Service to defer the incentive fees earned, in accordance with the deferred compensation agreements,” the IRS letter says.
For years III delivered on its promise of low double-digit returns with minimum volatility but suffered in 1998. When Long-Term Capital Management nearly collapsed, III’s High Risk Opportunities fund folded under the weight of its Russian debt investment, giving rise to continued litigation.More on this story here.
OFFSHORE TAX SHELTERS LEAD TO FIRING OF SPRINT HEAD OFFICERS
The CEO of the Sprint Corporation, William T. Esrey, said last night that he could lose his entire fortune if the IRS decided that a tax shelter that he and President/COO Ronald Le May bought from the company’s auditors was improper.
Several lawyers and accountants said the scheme and similar ones sold by some competitors worked this way: The executive sold options to a family trust in return for a note promising that the trust would pay him in 30 years, at which time the executive would owe tax. The price for the options was based on a computer model, known as the Black-Scholes technique, which many companies use with SEC approval.
The crucial issue is whether the sale of the options was at the same price that the executive would make with anyone else, a standard known as an “arm’s-length transaction”. The I.R.S. would question whether a bona fide sale had taken place, said Stuart J. Offer, a tax partner at Foerster & Morrison in San Francisco who has litigated tax cases involving compensation. IRS auditors would ask “what is the game being played with the note,” he said.
Notwithstanding the lack of indication that anything illegal took place, the Sprint board, after seeking legal advice, decided that it could not appoint Mr. Le May to succeed Mr. Esrey (who was due to depart anyway, having been recently diagnosed as suffering from lymphatic cancer), and forced the two men out of the company.More on this story here and here.
Once a cash cow, tax shelters now haunt firms. Creative tax shelters, a money maker for accounting firms and money saver for executives during the boom days of the 1990s, have come back to haunt those who once embraced them. In recent months, regulators have zeroed in on aggressive tax strategies, scrutinizing firms that marketed them and executives who saved a hefty tax bill because of them.More on this story here.
CALL FOR HEAD OF UK INLAND REVENUE TO RESIGN
The chairman of the Inland Revenue should resign over the sale of its property to a firm based in a tax haven, a Labour MP has said. The Revenue sold its estate of more than 600 buildings to a Bermuda-based company, and later admitted it wrongly announced the properties were sold to a UK firm.More on this story here and here.
UK death tax to be extended to offshore Brits.More on this story here. (Somewhat intrusive registration required.)
United Kingdom amends crime bill to allow freezing of terrorist assets throughout EU. The new provision will require EU courts to act on asset freezing orders issued in the UK.More on this story here.
IRISH CREDIT UNIONS MUST INFORM ON SUSPECT TAX EVADERS
Credit unions must now report to the Revenue Commissioners any customer whom they suspect of cheating on their taxes.More on this story here.
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