Yves here. Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands, a path-breaking book on tax havens, or what he calls “offshore,” pointed out that the US was the biggest tax haven. This Taxcast describes how even more tax avoiders are using the US, this via a South Dakota dodge.
Originally published at Tax Justice Network
In this month’s Taxcast, our monthly podcast: we look at tax justice and public procurement – the efforts to hit tax dodging companies where it really hurts on a local level – trying to stop them bidding for public money for public contracts. Also:
- how massive amounts of money are flowing into Tax Haven USA to circumvent the flawed Common Reporting Standard – South Dakota is apparently raking in tax evading capital
- the slippery world of ‘residence planning’ and the ‘synthetic residency’ dodge
- we discuss the UK’s Criminal Finances Bill likely to be passed this year, which includes proposals for ‘Unexplained Wealth Orders’ and holding tax evading enablers to account. An amendment to the bill could force UK satellite tax havens, the overseas territories to create public registers of the real owners of companies, something they’ve so far refused to do.
- and we consider the British threat to the EU: ‘if you give us a bad Brexit deal, we’ll push regulation-lite, tax haven UK even further in a race to the bottom and shoot ourselves in the foot.’
Featuring: John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network, Paul Monaghan, co-founding Director of the Fair Tax Mark and Miguel Alba, Policy researcher in private sector and tax policies in Oxfam Intermón, Spain Zonas LIbres de Paraisos Fiscales initiative. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler for the Tax Justice Network.
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‘I would like to see a world where…some of the…providers, if it was possible, such as Microsoft and Apple [were] potentially not being able to operate on these public service contracts and the quid pro quo would be those businesses that were trading ethically… could start to pick up the contracts that were being vacated by the tax avoiders.’
‘If we can make a European or a global movement fostering tax responsibility or social responsibility in general from public procurement policies I think that is a really interesting transformative tool for getting changes.’
Miguel Alba, Policy researcher in private sector and tax policies in Oxfam Intermón, Spain
‘this race to the bottom on tax, social protections and environmental protections…[is] an astonishing exercise in self-harm by the British…the vast majority of people in Britain will lose out as their public services are cut further, as their living standards decline and as their environmental standards are degraded. So at the end of the day, engaging in a race to the bottom is a losing strategy, it’s a sign of weakness on the part of the British government because after all, who wants to win a race to the bottom? There is no limit to the amount of subsidy big companies will chase if they’re given the opportunity by weak politicians.’
John Christensen, Tax Justice Network
Want more Taxcasts? The full playlist is here.