What next for global tax reform?

Head of IMF says it’s time to think outside the box on global taxHead of IMF says it’s time to think outside the box on global tax

The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, has advised governments to start thinking ‘outside the box’ on global tax issues. At the same time, she cautioned against proposals by British-based charity Oxfam to create a UN global tax body which might face insurmountable challenges. The Panama Papers raised concerns all over the world about the tax-avoidance strategies of multinational companies and many – including US president Barack Obama – to call for international tax reform. The creation of an intergovernmental tax body seems unlikely because of the unwillingness of nation states to surrender their tax powers. Read more…

EU announces crackdown on tax avoidance

EU to force multinationals to disclose country-by-country profits and tax arrangementsEU to force multinationals to disclose country-by-country profits and tax arrangements

Following the publication of the Panama Papers there’s a growing call for increased transparency in the tax affairs of politicians and multinational companies. With this in mind, European Union (EU) regulators have recently announced proposals to make multinationals disclose profits earned and taxes paid in Europe’s 28 member states, as well as in tax havens. The new rules will affect all corporations with a significant presence in Europe and will put high-profile companies like Apple and Starbucks back into the spotlight over the issue of taxes. Read more…

Is the US tax friendly or is it a tax haven?

Super-rich Americans using US laws to create on-shore tax havenUS companies avoiding tax with on-shore shell companies

Only a couple of hundred US accounts have emerged as Mossack Fonseca clients in the Panama Papers leak. It’s not that Americans have a bigger sense of obligation towards paying taxes but because for many it’s easier to create a shell company in the US rather than overseas. A limited liability company (LLC) can be incorporated in every US state without disclosing its beneficiary. In fact in a Tax Justice Network 2015 ranking of tax havens, the US occupies the number three slot, behind only Switzerland and Hong Kong. Read more…

Lifestyles of the rich and famous exposed in the Panama Papers

panama papersBiggest-ever leak causes political fall-out across the globe

The secret wealth of some of the world’s highest-profile politicians and celebrities has been unceremoniously unmasked in the biggest information leak in history. Millions of documents obtained from law firm Mossack Fonseca – collectively known as the Panama Papers – has demonstrated how the rich and famous take advantage of international fiscal havens to avoid paying tax and to mask their commercial activities. Read more…