måndag 6 april 2009

What is the Tax Justice Network really up to?

The Tax Justice Network has been running a strident campaign against tax havens, an issue which has been taken up by the British and US governments and was one of the matters discussed by the G20 meeting.

The mystery is why doesn't TJN go for a two-pronged attack? Most of the opportunities for tax avoidance arise due to the way that tax systems are constructed. If the tax systems are redesigned, then many, if not all, of the opportunities go away, and there is no need for draconian regulation and exchange of information between jurisdictions. TJN seems to have said nothing at all on this aspect of dealing with the problem of tax havens. This seems inconsistent. In its latest blog it complains about
  • Transferring assets to offshore tax havens that maintain secrecy to avoid IRS detection.
  • Fraudulently taking advantage of an exemption for portfolio interest paid to foreign persons.
  • Posing as foreign persons and taking advantage of U.S. income tax treaties.
If taxation is tied to land titles then there is nothing to transfer. UBR and Council Tax revenue is not lost to tax havens. And if taxation is tied to land titles, the nationality of the holder is irrelevant. Again, no UBR and Council Tax revenue is lost due to the nationality of the person or company liable for the tax.

The British UBR and Council Tax are bad examples of property taxes but they demonstrate the principle. Why does the TJN have this blind spot?

Inga kommentarer:

The Power of Silence by Cardinal Sarah

Cardinal Sarah is the Guinean cardinal who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship. He is also the author of The Power of Silenc...