Tax Justice Network: Italian ‘fraudsters’ mock lax UK companies regulations

TJNThe latest edition of the Offshore Wrapper,


Italian ‘fraudsters’ mock lax UK companies regulations

Italian fraudsters and mafia associates are having fun with the lack of regulations at the UK business registry Companies House, as well as the well known poor language skills of the Brits.

It has been revealed that an alleged mafia money launderer used UK companies to help him move the proceeds of crime.

The UK was chosen because of the extremely light touch regulatory environment which means that practically anyone can set up a company in no time at all. At the same time, the use of a UK company in a chain of companies can bestow an illusion of respectability on the group.

Indeed the Italians it seemed decided to test how far the UK’s no questions asked culture went when filling out their forms.

Companies they set up had addresses like “0, Street of the 40 thieves”. Companies were set up by people with fake names such as “the chicken thief” who put down their occupation as “fraudster”. All of these titles were in Italian, but still you might think someone might have checked what the Italian for fraudster was?

The full story is here.

Continue reading

Tax Justice Network: Banking secrecy is not over in Switzerland

TJNHappy Paniversary!

This week it has been one year since the Panama papers were released, and a number of organisations around the world have been marking the occasion though the global week of action for tax justice.

In London, activists from the TJN and Methodists for Tax Justice held a protest outside the offices of PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Why PwC? Well the auditor has been one of the biggest promoters of tax avoidance schemes for multinationals, as well as having been implicated in a host of other corporate scandals.

From watchdogs to lapdogs

But of course it isn’t just PwC that has been asleep at the wheel whilst the companies they audit crash. A new report out from the Atul Shah of the University of Suffolk Business School looks at the failure of KPMG to warn shareholders of HBOS, a major UK bank, of problems with the company before they collapsed in 2008.

Continue reading

Taxpayers’ Alliance Campaign Update

tpaThe new tax year means a series of changes to taxes and benefits, and one we are particularly happy to see is the lowering of the benefits cap. This is a policy that began with the TPA when we called for it in our Spending Plan and one we have campaigned for since. Our Research Director Alex Wild spoke about it on BBC Panorama on Wednesday night. You can watch him here (part one) and here (part two).

James Price
Policy Analyst

Continue reading

Taxpayers’ Alliance: The chancellor u-turns on national insurance

TPAllianceBy John O’Connell, Chief Executive, Taxpayers’ Alliance

You may remember last week that our Chairman, Andrew Allum, predicted that the Chancellor might U-turn on his decision to raise National Insurance. Well, he was right. While the Chancellor’s aim was to make the system fairer, so the self-employed would pay roughly the same as employees, the move went down badly amongst the public, the media and even the party’s own MPs.

The move was reminiscent of George Osborne’s attempted ‘pasty tax’ back in 2012, and goes to show that marginal tinkering around the edges of the tax system simply does not work. Parliamentarians may indeed be worried that the changing nature of work will erode the tax base, but instead of fiddling with individual levies, they should use this opportunity to undergo a full review of our overly complicated, often punitive tax system. The first place they should start is our 2012 Single Income Tax, which you can read online here.

John O’Connell
Chief Executive

Continue reading

The Tax Justice Network Weekly – Friday 14 October

TJNStories about Uber, eBay and Donald Trump appearing with best wishes from the team at the Tax Justice Network.

  • US – One particularly interesting article comes from the New York Times, an op-ed written by two former White House ethics counsels. It was their job to check the tax returns of presidential nominees under both the Bush and Obama administrations. In their view Donald wouldn’t have made the cut.
  • Ireland – Comedy tax policy of the week goes to Ireland. Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said he is cracking down on individuals who use tax havens to hide their money. Didn’t mention anything about the multinationals funneling billions through Ireland every day, undermining the tax systems of other countries.
  • Malaysia- the ramifications of the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia continue to rock the world, with the Singaporean government shutting down one Swiss Bank, and allegations surfacing of the money being tied to White House lobbying.

Stories from the TJN Blog and links to stories from around the world about multinational corporations and their Tax manipulation/avoidence/evasion

Continue reading

Facebook UK tax – TJN statement

October 9, 2016  Blog, Taxing corporations

Facebook UK’s accounts for 2015 were published Oct 9th 2016, online at Companies House. TJN Director of Research Alex Cobham commented:

“Facebook UK’s accounts show specific issues, but point also to the real problem: that major multinational companies appear to be able to pick and choose, unlike the rest of us, where and how much tax they will pay. Theresa May has said her government will fight back against tax avoidance – if the Prime Minister is serious, she will immediately implement the tax transparency measure that passed in the new Finance Bill so that the public can see which companies are meeting their UK responsibilities.

“There are two main points of interest in these accounts: first, it appears that Facebook UK has paid no tax, despite the misleading spin being put on the company’s position; and second, that Facebook continues to claim that its UK operations are significantly less profitable than elsewhere.

Read full story:

Tax Justice Network: Campaign Update Friday 30 September

TJNWelcome to the tax justice weekly, a weekly roundup of all the news from the world of tax justice.

EU Leaks – a new platform for whistleblowers

From the Greens / Europe Free Alliance in the European Parliament, a new initiative called EU Leaks: EUleaks is a European platform where you can submit information in a highly secure and anonymous way. Transparency and accountability are essential for democratic governance. The EUleaks project provides a platform for increasing transparency by providing a new […] The post EU Leaks – a new platform for whistleblowers appeared first on Tax Justice Network.

Read more about EU Leaks, 2016-09-28  • By Nick Shaxson

Much more below, read about the nefarious activities of global tax havenry

Continue reading

Tax Justice Network – Campaign Update Saturday 24 September

TJNWelcome to the tax justice weekly, a weekly roundup of all the news from the world of tax justice.

This week the big story has been the Bahamasleaks.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has published a new leak of information from the Bahamas corporate registry, which will now be added to the data from the Panama Papers and BVI leaks to make one large searchable database of offshore companies. Go and have a play.

World leaders were also meeting in New York for the annual opening of the general assembly. Tax justice issues were on the radar, with the Foreign Minister of Equador using the opportunity to repeat calls for the establishment of a global tax body to co-ordinate agreement on international tax rules.

Have a great weekend.

With best wishes from the team at the Tax Justice Network

Continue reading