Tag Archives | tax havens

Artist Steals Identities Of 200,000 Corporations Avoiding Taxes In The Cayman Islands

Loophole For All is a move of extremely questionable legality but unquestionable inspiration from Paolo Cirio. The press release and introductory video explain:
Paolo Cirio, contemporary artist and pirate, hacked the governmental servers of the Cayman Islands and stole a list of all the companies incorporated in the country. Now on Loophole4All.com, he is selling the identities of those companies at a low cost to democratize the privileges of offshore businesses. Paolo hijacks the identities by moving their addresses to his Caymans mailbox and issuing counterfeited certificates of incorporation from the Caymans company registry. This massive corporate identity theft benefits from the anonymous nature of those companies since the real owners’ secrecy allows anybody to impersonate them. Through Loophole4All.com, anyone can hijack a Caymans company, from 99¢ for a certificate of incorporation for a real company to $49 for a mailbox in the offshore country with mail rerouting.
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Greek Magazine Editor Arrested After Publishing List Of Swiss Bank Accounts

The right to free speech trumped by the right of the powerful to keep their Swiss bank accounts a secret, the New York Times reports:

The Greek police arrested and then quickly released the owner and editor of a respected investigative magazine on Sunday morning hours after he published a list of more than 2,000 Greeks who were said to have accounts at a bank in Switzerland, throwing new controversy into a scandal over whether the government is actively pursuing suspected tax cheats.

Mr. Vaxevanis posted a message to his Twitter account early Sunday saying that 15 officers had surrounded the home of a friend with whom he had been staying “like Greek storm troopers in German uniforms.” The Greek news media reported that the charges concerned the violation of the privacy of those on the list.

Mr. Vaxevanis’s arrest raises questions about freedom of the press in a country that frequently reminds its European Union partners that it is the birthplace of democracy.

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Mississippi Hopes To Lure French Tax Exiles

Is the future of states such as Mississippi — which offers startlingly low life expectancy, sky high rates of poverty and disease, and minimal government regulation and protection — as laissez faire tax havens for rich expatriates? Via Yahoo! News:

France’s new Socialist leader President Francois Hollande plans to slap a tax of 75 percent on all income in excess of a million euros, and territories with lower rates are hoping for a cash exodus. Now the US state of Mississippi is making a bid to recruit wealthy exiles.

Haley Barbour [is the] former governor of Mississippi, a southern US state that was in part founded by French settlers on territory at one point controlled by the French empire. “I wonder if we Barbour boys ought to set up a business to attract wealthy Frenchmen and successful businesses from France to Mississippi,” he mused, in an article for the website of the US magazine Foreign Policy.

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Speculative Fictions: Scientology’s Tin-Pot Real Estate Empire and the Real Owners of the World

Photo: Scientology Media (CC)

Yippee! We'll never have to pay tax on this building! Photo: Scientology Media (CC)

Business Insider pulls the veil aside a little on the vast global real estate portfolio of The Church Of Scientology, with 10 examples from the over 8,500 Scientology Churches, Missions and affiliated groups buildings in 165 countries around the world.

Still, Scientology is way behind the top five largest landowners in the world: Queen Elizabeth II (legal owner of about 6,600 million acres of land, one sixth of the earth’s non ocean surface, valued at £17,600,000,000,000); the Russian state (4,219 million acres); the Chinese state (about 2,365 million acres); the Federal Government of the United States, which owns about one third of the land of the USA (760 million acres); and the King of Saudi Arabia (553 million acres).

And not even in the same class as the more venerable Catholic Church, but of course Scientology hasn’t been able to take advantage of tax exemption for as many centuries …

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St. Kitts & Nevis: Citizenship For Sale

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts & Nevis

The recent discussions of birth certificates and citizenship have rekindled my interest in living and working abroad, and, consequently, my frustration at just very how hard this is for the average person to accomplish. Each government jealousy guards its citizenship and work permits, even from friendly countries with whom it shares close cultural and economic ties. “I want to immerse myself in Europe’s culture and history,” I reflected, “not pop its cherry. Is there any country in the world which is even a little, you know…easy?” That’s how I learned about St. Kitts and Nevis.

If my coveted United Kingdom is an ice princess that does not deign to look down upon me from her ivory tower, St. Kitts and Nevis is her busty niece who is a sucker for men with flashy cars. St. Kitts and Nevis is a tiny English-speaking island state in the Caribbean; an independent Commonwealth realm whose Governor-General answers to Queen Elizabeth II.… Read the rest

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Treasure Islands: The Murky World Of Offshore Tax Shelters

3446025121_072700607fNew Left Project sits down with author Nicholas Shaxson to talk tax havens — a mammoth system of quasi-legal money-laundering which has a far wider impact than we realize, with a large role in the global drug trade and financial crisis. As it turns out, the biggest “treasure islands” are not the Caymans or Monaco, but places such as the City of London and the U.S. state of Delaware:

There is no common definition of what a tax haven is. Everybody has a slightly different definition. Ultimately what a tax haven provides is escape from the rules and the laws of jurisdictions. Tax havens are also about ‘elsewhere’ – the laws of the Cayman Islands are not designed for the benefit of the 50,000-odd population of the Cayman Islands.

The traditional view is…palm-fringed tropical islands in the Caribbean, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein. Small states. But if you do the analysis of what a tax haven is and what they are selling, you will find that these small islands are generally sideshows to the big event.

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