Monday, February 16, 2009

Links - Feb 16

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

Closing the gap
Feb 14 (Guardian) - Whatever one's choice of euphemism for the now near-epidemic engineering of minimal taxes, there is no mistaking the harm. Here are some things Messrs Brown and Darling need to consider.

A climate of private and state secrecy
Feb 14 (Guardian) – Editorial wrapping up its Tax Gap series. Identifying companies that have not disclosed tax haven business as required, criticising the Revenue for its secrecy. Nor will the Revenue identify which of the "big four" accountants are peddlers of the tax avoidance schemes compulsorily disclosed to Whitehall.

Billionaire Oil Man & West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy Have Their Say about Tax Incentives
Feb13 (CTJ) - Billionaire George Kaiser, head of Kaiser-Francis Oil Co., during testimony, "Kaiser said he could "say unequivocally" that the tax subsidies in question have never influenced his companies' decisions to drill or restore any well in Oklahoma." Kaiser even joked, "In fact, I may lose my day job as a result of my testimony."

Reaction to the Tax Gap series
Feb 14 (Guardian) - Some great quote culled from the Guardian investigations. Find lots more quotes here http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/front_content.php?idcat=93

Behind tax avoidance lies an ideology that has had its day. We must end it
Feb 14 (Guardian) - Neoconservatism has collapsed. The need for the state should now be evident to all - and that includes big companies. What is most dismal is the scale. If we cannot slay tax avoidance now, we never will.

The US Tax Gap
A new report, regarding the $345bn estimated US Tax Gap figure for 2001. " it is doubtful that the $345 billion estimate includes the entire international tax gap. . .. it is unlikely that hidden offshore income is comprehensively included in the IRS tax gap estimates.

Noble Corporation to Hold Shareholders' Meeting to Vote On Proposed Change in Place of Incorporation
Feb. 11 (PRNewswire) - Noble Corporation announces it will decide whether to change its parent’s incorporation from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland.

Diageo tax settlement - trebles all round?
Feb 13 (Guardian blog) – An investigation concluded last November on terms that led Diageo's advisers to hold a champagne celebration. Nobody knew what those terms were but one clue emerged in the company's half-year results.

Darling offers tax abuse pledge but few words on Lloyds
Feb 13 (Guardian) - The UK chancellor, Alistair Darling, promised further action to stop corporate tax abuse when challenged by MPs. But he would not be drawn on whether the government knew about the alleged schemes before bailing out the bank.

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