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Secrecy Jurisdictions, Offshore Centres, Tax Havens: which terms to use with the big corporations?
September 26th, 2010
Terminology is essential to any serious action against secrecy jurisdictions. The term of secrecy jurisdiction is relatively recent and we owe it to Tax Justice Network and others, which have demonstrated the important secrecy component of a certain number of jurisdictions. The term tends to replace “offshore centres”, a more descriptive and a bit misleading expression which does not refer to offshore islands but tries to depict the role of the centre as a financial intermediary in a trade conducted elsewhere, with most assets and most liabilities being invested or held abroad. The advocacy value of the term...
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A Change of a Name
September 9th, 2010
You’ve heard the story before. A corporation with something to hide uses a tax haven as a host for its phony subsidiaries. In the classic tale, it is for the purposes of evading millions in taxes. Sometimes the corporation exploits the tax haven for other evils, like hiding losses from investors. My favorite example is Enron’s executives, who used shell corporations with snazzy names like “Raptor” and “JEDI” to hide losses and fabricate earnings—with disastrous results. But never before have I heard of companies using tax havens to win U.S. government contracts. That sentence sounds shady...
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