Opinion – What Is Mossack Fonseca, the Law Firm in the Panama Papers? – The Atlantic – John Gelmini

The answer to Dr. Alf’s question is that it will make very little difference firstly because it is very old news, more than 40 years old and of the kind that Private Eye the English satirical magazine was writing about and still writes about today.

The UK invented tax havens and special tax treatment of non-doms, using this last creation to pay for the Napoleonic Wars which were financed by Lord Rothschild of that time more than 210 years ago.

Now there are more than 40 UK tax havens, plus Dutch ones and over 200,000 companies registered tax efficiently in the State of Delaware. Panama was used by Lord Hanson and Gordon White as far back as the 1980s and Sir Richard Branson uses his own bank on the island of Necker to create self-liquidating loans and hide losses made by his UK companies.

Some 35 trillion GBP sits offshore and no doubt it is leveraged into even bigger sums using binary options trading robots by the UK Government which controls its tax havens and by other Governments which control theirs.

Leona Helmsly the now deceased hotelier from New York said that “Little people pay taxes” and despite her downfall she was right,Vodaphone which was investigated by HMRC three times has not paid a penny in taxes in 10 years and the amounts paid by Facebook, LinkedIn, BT PLC, HSBC PLC, GOOGLE, Mandiant, State Street, Commerzbank, Bank of America and others in the Dublin Financial District are no more than 3% which is pretty derisory by any standards.

Last year, Sir Philip Green the CEO of Arcadia Group PLC who lives in Monaco and flies to the Dorchester hotel by helicopter when he has business here paid £80,000 GBP in taxes. His accountants told him they could reduce his tax liability to zero but Sir Philip with his usual directness told them” I think £80,000 GBP is fair, I don’t want to poke them (HMRC), in the eye”.

In summary, offshore tax havens and minimal taxes are in the gift of the of the rich and powerful whilst the great unwashed masses have to pay their full measure.

John Gelmini

A hard look at the European Commission and multi-nationals’ tax evasion – John Gelmini

European flag outside the Commission

European flag outside the Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thank Dr Alf for reblogging the FT article entitled Brussels probes multinationals’ tax deals. Here are my own views.

The European Commission is a failed institution with a deep and enduring financial problem which it continues not to address.

That problem is that apart from Germany, the rest of the EU is in financial difficulty due to lack of exports, lack of productivity, lack of competitiveness and awful productivity.

The shortfall is $6 trillion USD, yet the proposed measures only amount to $1.6 trillion USD.
Raising taxes is the way that the Eurocrat apparatchiks see as the way forward, yet already their own legal advice has told them that a Financial Transaction tax is illegal.

Having been cut off at the pass, the European Commission now wants to get more money out of multinationals by raising corporation taxes on multinationals.

Advice I’ve been given privately by an expert in the area of tax avoidance and financial discovery in Suffolk last week tells me that many of the current tax havens will within the next 3 to 4 years adopt greater transparency as far as corporations go. This will in theory make it easier for the Commission to tax multinationals more heavily. The reality is however, somewhat different.

As one tax haven becomes “more transparent”, another will spring up in its place, and if one goes to the Dublin Financial district as I did in the Summer one can see swathes of American companies plus State Street and BT basing themselves and major operations there.


Because the Irish Government has secretly agreed to charge just 3% corporation tax versus the 23% charged in the UK and the much higher rates levied elsewhere.

State Street is the fund manager responsible for managing all the monies in the UK Government‘s “Auto Enrolled” pension scheme, so it has chosen to base itself in Dublin rather than London with the knowledge of both David Cameron and the Chancellor whose silence on the matter is as deafening as their rhetoric on tax avoidance by everyone else is very loud indeed.

The best way for the European Commission to get more taxes out of multinationals is for them to lower taxes so that it is more expedient for the multinationals to pay the taxes and keep employment in Europe than it is to employ armies of tax avoidance specialists, hide the money offshore in tax havens, not invest and outsource /offshore the work to low-cost countries wherever possible.

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