Thursday, 2 May 2013


Latest News - 2nd May 2013 - The Guardian Newspaper, UK.

George Osborne claims progress in tax haven plan

All British overseas territories with large financial operations have signed up to transparency strategy, says chancellor
Who in government uses tax-havens?
1st May 2013.
To – The Rt. Hon Andrew Smith MP
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
By email.
Dear Andrew
David Gauke, HM Treasury, and Tax-Havens.
Thank you for your further letter of 12 April 2013 with Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke’s reply to you dated 8 April 2013.  Since first asking you in December 2012 to enquire who in government use tax-havens, the issue has exploded. These tax articles refer to recent relevant examples of UK and global public interest. TAX AND ECONOMICS ARTICLES 29TH APR 13
My purpose here is to add momentum to UK tax-and-capital-clawback of assets, to be invested in jobs for my children’s and grandchildren’s generations; unemployment is today 12% with up to 25% of jobless young people. This is tragic and a danger to ordered society. The UK might follow Greece into the social chaos caused by endemic offshore-tax-evasion.
Referring to David Gauke’s letter:
1) It ignores my essential question “Who in government use tax-havens”. It is vital to know which MPs, Peers and Civil Servants have interests in sabotaging the application of tax-law.
And it is risible that some HMRC non-executive directors are tax-planners from the Big Four, and Law practices, banks and international companies who have powerful vested interests in defending exotic tax-plans for large companies – and that disgraced ex-Head of HMRC, Dave Sweetheart-Deals Hartnett is now a high fees tax-planner. Revoke the sacred anonymity of tax-payers to restore democratic accountability; and be seen to prosecute the top dogs.
2) Thank you for these excellently researched and presented papers:
I note that the Tax-Gap (due but uncollected) is £32 billion 6.7% of The Budget, per annum; and it is reassuring that existing back-duty-tax laws are being applied onshore and offshore by enlarged teams and with more vigour. However, I think the £14 billion per annum targeted is a small fraction of recoverable UK assets illicitly siphoned to tax-havens. I note that HMRC cannot estimate the total in tax-havens. We need to claw-back UK funds before the Americans confiscate it all. Now! – would be a good time.
3) It is disturbing that HM Treasury makes no mention of the total assets hidden in tax havens; of which about $3 trillion is probably recoverable UK tax-evaded money.  Are they unaware that the OECD Paris estimated offshore assets, in 2008, as $18 trillion, and in 2010 as $21 trillion – thus growing by $1 trillion a year. Recently, McKinsey economist James Henry estimated 100,000 people “own” $9.8 trillion of $32 trillion hidden in tax-havens.  It is even more disturbing that last month’s international release of 2.5 million emails and 130,000 names of BVI account holders by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists reported worldwide – here in the New York Times – many of whom will be UK taxpayers, is so far unremarked by Parliament, UK Government, the BBC, ITV and by The Treasury.  
As the above HM Treasury and HMRC papers point out - applying existing back-duty-tax-laws recoups not only the evaded tax but also up to 200% penalties - plus compound interest. My experience for clients in Back-Duty-Cases is that these HMRC claims usually add up to ALL the hidden cash and assets. The Treasury could therefore recover the whole $3 trillion which is equivalent to 8 million jobs for ten years. While all fixed Budgets need constant reviews, recovering $3 trillion would end the need for the Austerity Drive.
It is this seeming lack of interest in the UK’s share of the offshore $32 trillion that prompts my central question which urgently needs answering – Who in government use tax-havens?
Please put the question again to the relevant authorities.
Many thanks for your intervention.
Best wishes
According to Tax Justice Network, a U.K.-based organization that campaigns for transparency in the financial system, wealthy individuals were hiding as much as $32 trillion offshore at the end of 2010. Fewer than 100,000 people own $9.8 trillion of offshore assets, according to research compiled by former McKinsey & Co. economist James Henry.
(Mr) Noel Hodson
16 Brookside, OXFORD, OX3 7PJ, UK 
Tel +44 (0)1865 760994
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