Posted: February 10th, 2015 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Business News | Tags: Bank, Banking, HSBC, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Tax Evasion | Comments Off on Secret Files Reveal HSBC Helped High Profile Clients Dodge Taxes
A cache of secret bank files shows HSBC’s Swiss banking arm helped wealthy customers avoid taxes and hide millions of dollars, according to a report by a network of investigative journalists.
The files, analysed by reporters in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), showed the British banking giant provided accounts to international criminals, corrupt businessmen, politicians and celebrities.
The files list a range of former and current politicians from Britain, Russia, India and Africa, as well as Saudi, Bahraini, Jordanian and Moroccan royalty, late Australian press magnate Kerry Packer and model Elle Macpherson :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: October 8th, 2011 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: Bailout, Blip, M.Aaron.Silverman, Socially Engineered | Tags: bailout, Economy, Greece, Greek Financial Crisis, James Surowiecki, Shadow Economy, Tax Card, Tax Evasion, The New Yorker | Comments Off on Beware Greeks Baring Reciepts
The only thing certain in life is death and taxes!
Unless you live in Greece, where, as our favorite New Yorker – James Surowiecki – puts it, “Tax Evasion is the National Pastime.” To fix the problem, the government is going to start tracking its citizens’ spending in real-time.
Surowiecki has attributed many of Greece’s financial woes to its huge untaxed shadow economy, which is estimated to be more than 25% of GDP. Some studies suggest that Greece is missing out on more than $30 billion in taxes, so the cash-strapped country is trying something new: forcing consumers to track their spending with a government-issued tax card.
The cards look like credit cards, but contain no personally identifiable information beyond the person’s tax id number. They will swipe during a purchase; the amount of the sale will be sent to their bank; and then the banks will report the spending to the Ministry of Finance at the end of each month. The cards have been made available at Greek banks this week and are voluntary – for now.
According to a remarkable presentation that a member of Greece’s central bank gave last fall, the gap between what Greek taxpayers owed last year and what they paid was about a third of total tax revenue, roughly the size of the country’s budget deficit. The “shadow economy”—business that’s legal but off the books—is larger in Greece than in almost any other European country, accounting for an estimated 27.5 per cent of its G.D.P. (In the United States, by contrast, that number is closer to nine per cent.) And the culture of evasion has negative consequences beyond the current crisis. It means that the revenue burden falls too heavily on honest taxpayers. It makes the system unduly regressive, since the rich cheat more. And it’s wasteful: it forces the government to spend extra money on collection (relative to G.D.P., Greece spends four times as much collecting income taxes as the U.S. does), even as evaders are devoting plenty of time and energy to hiding their income.
Surowieki wrote that “the reason tax reform will be such a tall order for Greece, in sum, is that it requires more than a policy shift; it requires a cultural shift.” Perhaps knowing that Big Brother is watching every loosening of the purse strings will help accomplish that.
Read Surowiekis Full article: www.newyorker.com
source: the new yorker