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Exchange of infomation on requet is a charade

The British political-satirical magazine Private Eye has assessed the efficiency of the exchange of information"on request" for three tax havens (Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man) in the last three years. Information was provited 17 times, which does not comply with the number of clients.


TJN observes that

1) a  back-of-the-envelope calculation puts this at 1.8 transfers of information per haven per year. Britain's revenue and customs authorities, in addition, made 141 requests - that is, 16 times a year from each haven - but we don't know the results.
2) Private Eye correctly notes how the secrecy jurisdictions like Jersey are using the OECD's appalling system of allowing anyone who signs 12 TIEAs to be put on their "white list."


In this context, what Angel Gurria recently said in the Guardian : "It seems almost unbelievable, but the era of banking secrecy for tax purposes will soon be over. In tomorrow’s world, there will be no more havens in which to hide funds from the taxman."


As Richard Murphy observes, Gurria’s statement feels horribly like that announcement by George W Bush on an aircraft carrier that the mission in Iraq had been accomplished – both horribly premature and horribly wrong. He suspects the causes are also common to both: a lack an understanding of what is happening on the ground and no strategic vision as to what to do about it.


As TJN observes, the tax havens (Jersey taking the lead again, ho-hum) are mounting a major public relations exercise to re-assure the public that the anti-tax haven mission is accomplished and everyone can go home safely to their families.



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