Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Data Leak Spurs Huge Offshore Tax Evasion Investigation

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the thousands-of-corporate-escape-pods-launched-in-response dept.

Government 190

New submitter lxrocks writes "Tax authorities in the U.S., Britain, and Australia have announced they are working with a gigantic cache of leaked data that may be the beginnings of one of the largest tax investigations in history. The secret records are believed to include those obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that lay bare the individuals behind covert companies and private trusts in the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, Singapore and other offshore hideaways. The IRS said, 'There is nothing illegal about holding assets through offshore entities; however, such offshore arrangements are often used to avoid or evade tax liabilities on income represented by the principal or on the income generated by the underlying assets. In addition, advisors may be subject to civil penalties or criminal prosecution for promoting such arrangements as a means to avoid or evade tax liability or circumvent information reporting requirements.'"

cancel ×

190 comments

Too big to fail (3, Interesting)

DeathGrippe (2906227) | about a year ago | (#43697703)

Nothing will come of this.

Re:Too big to jail (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697729)

There, corrected it.

Re:Too big to jail (2)

dk20 (914954) | about a year ago | (#43697795)

Just wait until they start finding out who's names are on the list and see where it goes. Here in Canada we had the story of a Senator's husband running having accounts in tax havens. http://www.cbc.ca/m/rich/news/canada/story/2013/04/03/merchant-offshore-trust.html [www.cbc.ca]

Re:Too big to jail (3, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about a year ago | (#43697857)

I'll bet most of these are drug dealers, gamblers, or con artists hiding dirty money.

Usually it's easier to simply pay your taxes. The stereotypical argument of the rich always evading taxes typically doesn't happen. It's just not worth the risk of having everything taken away from you if you already run a legitimate operation.

Re:Too big to jail (4, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year ago | (#43697997)

The stereotypical argument of the rich always evading taxes typically doesn't happen.

It's not that they always evade taxes (although that happens too), it's that they have full time staff dedicated to not paying taxes.

Sometimes, it's just middle class people not having all the tools to find ways to sidestep taxes that the rich do.

Re:Too big to jail (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43698453)

This. My dad is in this business, and they're all neck deep in "tax avoidance" and many of them dabble in outright tax evasion.

My dad also tries to do the same thing with very middle-class amounts of money...not much comes of it, I'm convinced he enjoys paperwork.

Re:Too big to jail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698565)

30% of any amount of money is still 30%. If your dad's managing to save some income from the tax man, more power to him.

Re:Too big to jail (2, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43698701)

I don't know why he has such a problem supporting the society we live in. He says it's all going to be mismanaged so you might as well keep as much as you can...not too different from US libertarian rhetoric really. I think he enjoys the challenge of hacking the tax system more than the savings.

Re:Too big to jail (1, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year ago | (#43698829)

He says it's all going to be mismanaged so you might as well keep as much as you can...not too different from US libertarian rhetoric really

Who do you think spends your money better, you or the government? The government wastes vast sums of money on nonsense and bullshit, so I can certainly understand why somebody would want to make sure that as little as possible goes to them by way of taxes. From where I sit, it doesn't look like anybody in Washington DC has a damned clue what it means to really work or how difficult it was for many of us to earn that money in the first place. Most of America is having a hardscrabble go of it these days while dishonest politicians and their fellow travelers in DC just keep spending like drunken sailors, it's disgusting.

Re:Too big to jail (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43698859)

Well the government runs law enforcement, public education, welfare, and infrastructure maintenance, I like having those things and can't pay for them all by myself...

Re:Too big to jail (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43699021)

Well the government runs law enforcement, public education, welfare, and infrastructure maintenance, I like having those things and can't pay for them all by myself...

You don't have to be the only one paying. We don't need taxes to publicly fund this stuff. We can just run a Kickstarter.

Re:Too big to jail (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43699049)

Not sure if serious... [memegenerator.net]

In government by Kickstarter, money would truly equal political power (and Kickstarter would be the world's largest megacorp from all those transaction fees)...doesn't sound good to me.

Re:Too big to jail (1)

Apothem (1921856) | about a year ago | (#43700269)

It's one of those things that sounds like a good idea at the start, but the more you look at the logistics of, the worse it gets.

Re:Too big to jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699741)

Well the government runs law enforcement, public education, welfare, and infrastructure maintenance, I like having those things and can't pay for them all by myself...

You don't have to be the only one paying. We don't need taxes to publicly fund this stuff. We can just run a Kickstarter.

Where's that '-1, moron' mod when you need it?

Re:Too big to jail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699041)

Well the government runs law enforcement, public education, welfare, and infrastructure maintenance

And it's hard to see how anyone else could do a worse job of running those things.

Re:Too big to jail (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43699061)

Your imagination is quite limited, so let me point you in the right direction with two words: Company Town.

Re:Too big to jail (0)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43699599)

I like having those things and can't pay for them all by myself...

And you know what? Government doesn't pay for them either. That means everyone does. Shouldn't you care about how to provide for the golden gooses paying for all that wonderful stuff you want, but aren't willing to pay for yourself?

Re:Too big to jail (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43699689)

I don't follow your argument. The "golden gooses" (I think you mean geese) are other people like me, who are not able (not just unwilling) to pay for everything themselves, but like me are willing to chip in (unlike the tax "avoiders.")

Re:Too big to jail (2)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#43699823)

Well the government runs law enforcement, public education

The first two are done by state governments, not the feds. Maybe all the tax money should go to the states?

welfare, and infrastructure maintenance

Of which they do an absolutely horrible job. You're correct in that you can't personally afford it -- but for what the population is paying in taxes, we should get a hell of a lot more than what we're getting. Frankly, I think things would be better if they privatized it, and decided, whoever has the lowest bid gets to do it, as long as they meet certain standards -- through competition, taxpayers could get a more efficient deal.

what HAVE the Romans done for us? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699945)

sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health

Re:Too big to jail (1)

symbolic (11752) | about a year ago | (#43699605)

>> From where I sit, it doesn't look like anybody in Washington DC has a damned clue what it means to really work

If that's the case, then Washington DC and the 1% have a lot in common.

Re:Too big to jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699791)

I'm a drunken sailor, and I do not spend money like the US Government! I actually have a budget!

Re:Too big to jail (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699973)

The brunt of the tax burden is borne by the middle class.

The lower classes just don't have much money to tax. The rich upper classes use their wealth to manipulate the law such that they do not have to pay taxes.

Of course, the middle class is also shrinking, as wealth only flows upwards and the upper class makes most of their money by charging the middle class high prices while paying them low salaries. So, as the middle class shrinks, the tax revenue will shrink as well.

The most natural response will be...more taxes! For the middle class! And the problem will perpetuate itself until the middle class dries up completely and there will be no means of upward social mobility at all.

Re:Too big to jail (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43699989)

Most of America is having a hardscrabble go of it these days while dishonest politicians and their fellow travelers in DC just keep spending like drunken sailors, it's disgusting.

Less than 1% of the 1% got there through hard work. The most important predictor of success is who your parents are, and it's not simply because they raise you. Indeed, that's far from the most important factor. Nearly no one in American government (at least, at any significant level) has ever really worked for a living.

Re: Too big to jail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43700249)

As a drunken sailor I am offended by your comparison. (For proof I will admit it took 3 tries to write drunken)

Re:Too big to jail (5, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43699637)

30% of any amount of money is still 30%.

That's not very relevant. 30% of $100 is $30. 30% of $1 million is $300,000. For who is it worth more to reduce their taxes? The person looking at a $300k tax bill.

And suppose you could, for $5000, reduce your tax bill from 30% to 29%? For the first taxpayer, that's $5000 spent to save $1. For the second, it's $5000 spent to save $10,000.

Re:Too big to jail (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about a year ago | (#43698655)

My dad is in this business, and they're all neck deep in "tax avoidance" and many of them dabble in outright tax evasion.

Why on earth would you post this on a public forum?

Re:Too big to jail (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43698693)

I'm anonymous enough, why not? It's hardly a secret, ask any accountant.

Pointing it out for those who don't know has value.

Re:Too big to jail (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43698707)

Why not? Hearsay isn't admissible as an admission to knowledge of a crime.

Re:Too big to jail (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43699661)

So, uh, which firm does your dad work for, exactly? I'm sure the IRS would love to know...

Tax avoidance and tax evasion are markedly different. Tax avoidance is straightforward: You plan decisions and investments so that all money is taxed honestly, but at the lowest rate for the return. For example, if you need to raise cash, you can choose to sell a stagnant stock at a loss, which will raise the cash you need and build a capital loss credit, rather than selling a stock that's moving up and will likely make even more money than it will cost in capital gains.

Tax evasion is where money is dishonestly hidden from being taxed, such as claiming the purchase of that new fishing rod is really a business expense for your car dealership, or moving it offshore to a country with lax enforcement and claiming to the IRS that you're paying taxes there, while telling the foreign government that it's being taxed here. It's pretty easy to tell when you're "dabbling" in tax evasion, because somewhere in the paper trail, somebody lies.

Effectively avoiding taxes does require having enough money to be able to maneuver around so that the minimum taxes are paid. The taxpayer must have enough money available that they can move their profits into inaccessible places (foreign companies, unrealized investments, etc.) while still having cash to live on. Then when the time is right they can move that money back into something easier to work with, paying a lower tax rate and profiting from the time spent.

Source: I work at a financial advising firm. We do some tax avoidance, but no tax evasion.

Re:Too big to jail (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43699711)

Tax avoidance is legal but IMO, can be horrendously unethical. And I think you vastly understate the difference it can make. GE paid zero taxes one year through tax "avoidance" and the famous tech megacorps are only "avoiding" as well.

Re:Too big to jail (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43699851)

What's unethical is Congress not having produced a reasonable and effective tax code. This is their job. Seriously the quality of the work products of the US Congress is really bad.

Corporations are required by law to operate to the benefit of their stockholders. Not avoiding taxes is in fact illegal.

Also I'm amazed the idea of GE not paying taxes is still prevalent. It's not true.

http://www.factcheck.org/2012/04/warren-ge-pays-no-taxes/ [factcheck.org]

No proof of that being correct beyond a puff piece (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43700057)

They're hiding behind the "we're not required to" statement of convenience when it comes to actual proof.

So until there is definite proof (such as the information "not required"), they could say anything.

I'd call bull on there being a difference (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43700043)

They functionally do the same harm and are chosen by the same groups of people.

They're both dishonest, one's just illegal.

Re:Too big to jail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698003)

"I'll bet most of these are drug dealers, gamblers, or con artists hiding dirty money."

are you playing a movie character? or are you for real?

Re: Too big to jail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698135)

It' s a Fox documentary, based on writings by Ayn Rand.

Couldn't quite get themselves to support drug-deaking as a free enterprise though.

Re:Too big to jail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698831)

Oh fuck off you McCarthyite cunt.

Re:Too big to jail (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43699995)

Usually it's easier to simply pay your taxes

Oh yes, I paid my taxes

The $64 trillion dollar question is --- How much tax should I pay ?

Especially when my tax money is being used for purposes that I find wanting

CBC.ca has the list of names (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697863)

100,000 people world wide andso far the USA and UK have copies and shortly canada's govt will too. The measure of democracy in all this will be if anyone is arrested.

Re:Too big to fail (1)

johnny5555 (2843249) | about a year ago | (#43697743)

I really hope you're wrong. Not necessarily optimistic, but still holding out some hope.

Re:Too big to fail (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43698155)

I really hope you're wrong. Not necessarily optimistic, but still holding out some hope.

Hang around here for a while. We'll ring that out of you.

Re:Too big to fail (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697745)

When you say things like that, it makes you sound like one of those dumb Tea Party negro "oreos".

Don't think what people tell you to think! Don't be a slave! You are your own person! Rise up against the oppression!

Re:Too big to fail (1)

hydrofix (1253498) | about a year ago | (#43697875)

Even pessimistically speaking, even if it was conceivable that IRS would turn a blind eye on very big corporations and big-shoed politicians who are "too big to fail", I can't wrap my head around why would they ever not go after the property of private tax-dodging millionaires, who have little or no influence on politics and/or national economy.

Re:Too big to fail (1)

dk20 (914954) | about a year ago | (#43698277)

Its easier to just hire new auditors to make sure the small guy paid taxes on the 0.0002% interest the bank paid them on their "daily savings account".

Re:Too big to fail (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43698481)

I can't wrap my head around why would they ever not go after the property of private tax-dodging millionaires, who have little or no influence on politics and/or national economy.

LOLWUT? These are the people who fund the super-PACs (and perhaps more importantly, give the 5/6-digit under-the-table "campaign donations") and run the megacorps, they have LOTS of political and economic influence.

Re:Too big to fail (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#43698897)

The biggest reason to target those accounts is bribery. Easiest way to pay bribes is to have an off shore account and get the person receiving those bribes to open an offshore account. This enables the simple transfer of funds from one account to another. The person the spends that money whilst on overseas lavish holidays and personal items while off shore. So what funds were transferred to what account and why becomes very important in the passing of certain legislation and this is a global issue.

I thought this was common knowledge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697709)

Kinda sucks to be one of the fools that thought they wouldn't be found out, though. I heard rumors that in order to engage in illegal betting online (in the USA), you needed to have some secret squirrel bank accounts. I'm not sure if that's legal or not. I really don't know.

I feel bad for all those people that knowingly decided to violate the law and are now getting punished doing so. My crocodile tears are soaking the floor.

Re:I thought this was common knowledge... (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43699033)

I heard rumors that in order to engage in illegal betting online (in the USA), you needed to have some secret squirrel bank accounts.

Nah, you just need to have money in a foreign bank. Not everyone is as pathological about gambling as the US is. The UK and Ireland have a pretty common sense approach to it, for example. The credit card companies won't have anything to do with it (internet gamblers are notorious for canceling charges for losses apparently).

Not new news (5, Informative)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year ago | (#43697719)

This has been public knowledge since the end of March, yet there has been almost zero coverage of it in the mainstream U.S. media. Here's a bit of info in map form from the CBC on April 3, 2013:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/icij-map/ [www.cbc.ca]

and an interactive feature, also from the CBC:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/interactives/offshore-tax-havens/ [www.cbc.ca]

Re:Not new news (1)

evenmoreconfused (451154) | about a year ago | (#43697761)

But even though the CBC gave good coverage to the leak story, Canada has been left out of this new group of governments agreeing to dig deeper into it. Baffling....

Re:Not new news (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year ago | (#43697799)

The CBC, as a public broadcaster, has no boots to kiss in this issue, but it doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to suspect that the present Conservative government of Canada has numerous vested interests to protect. I agree 100% that Canada's official absence from this investigation is extremely embarrassing.

The interactive feature linked in my earlier post is a must-read for anyone trying to figure out some of the ploys used by tax evaders worldwide.

Re:Not new news (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698183)

WRONG! The Canada Revenue Agency has requested the information (Which the CBC has a copy of), and if I recall correctly, they announced [ottawacitizen.com] that they are investing $30 million to create a tax "Swat Team" to investigate offshore tax havens used by some 400 Canadians and recoup some $170 Billion in unpaid taxes held in those offshore accounts.

Re:Not new news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698993)

WRONG! The Canada Revenue Agency has requested the information (Which the CBC has a copy of), and if I recall correctly, they announced [ottawacitizen.com] that they are investing $30 million to create a tax "Swat Team" to investigate offshore tax havens used by some 400 Canadians and recoup some $170 Billion in unpaid taxes held in those offshore accounts.

But that just creates a bit of activity to use as a screen, rather than going full force into the investigation described in TFA.

even more wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699671)

and then they fire 2000 people that would do the work removing 230 million fomr the agency
ya smoke meet mirror

Re:Not new news (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#43700117)

Yes this all depends on who, when and how the banking links where set up.
Was it one law firm in the EU with a lawyer, another lawyer and a secretary as a witness?
The person used their own name on the day thinking they could rescue their account if the input or output entities ever got shutdown?
Where they more creative using a Caribbean, old EU and Asian linked network of companies in their own names?
Where they more creative using a Caribbean, old EU and Asian linked network of companies as end account access only in their own names via one distant end bank?
Where they more creative using a Caribbean, old EU and Asian linked network of companies as end account access only in a chain of trust or funds names ending in one bank?
Or do they live poor in a "rented" apartment, a company car, a few luxury company cars in a garage, enjoy cruises, skiing, trips around the world but on paper still qualify for income assistance, partial pensions and/or reduced rates?
It can also depend on the age of the system you set up, grandparents, parents might have done the best they could afford with the best advice at that time and it has been updated as laws and treaties changed...
The fact that a real name is sitting on a database with real numbers is now been shared via a leak or under a "federal approach" by outside tax authorities can get interesting.
What kind of "federal approach"? The law firm/bank is made an offer - give a list of all people with this nationally or your bank is digitally isolated from international banking.
Once the details are handed over hundreds of years of banking secrecy revert to been safe again and its back to greeting now and old clients minus a few who used their own names/details.

Re:Not new news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698463)

Fuck Canada.

not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699517)

its cause half the govt mps in hte ruling party are on the list.....

of the 450 canucsk i bet a majority are conservatives.

Re:not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699705)

Waht an isreninettg mdoe of wiritng.

Where's Murdoch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43700045)

That's because the people known to use offshore vehicles and presumed to be dodging tax are not on the list.

In fact none of the USA RICH AND MIGHTY people seem to be on the list. It's almost as if they simply took the SWIFT data, filtered it by British Virgin Islands AND 'people we don't like', and published a list.

Nobody will go along with that, because it just means they have a bank account, not proof of anything, and they don't want to be sued (or worse used) for false accusations.

Hypocrisy.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697751)

When it's the governments data that is released to the public it is helping terrorism/illegal/national security issue. When it is private data that the government obtains without permission (usually defined as "illegally") it is "A “weapon” against tax evasion". The hypocrisy is deafening.

Re:Hypocrisy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697881)

When it's the governments data that is released to the public it is helping terrorism/illegal/national security issue

Welcome to earth prime, you must be from earth '32881 where slashdot is pro-data-collecting. Enjoy your stay, but don't forget to go back home before midnight or you'll be stuck here for the next 8000 years!

Stroy Fail. Legal Fail. (0)

Darth Hubris (26923) | about a year ago | (#43697801)

"The IRS said, 'There is nothing illegal about holding assets through offshore entities; ..." Stopped reading after that. This story seems to rely on the reader's sense of right and wrong; morals and ethics. Fail.

Re:Stroy Fail. Legal Fail. (1, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43697981)

Not inherently, no.

I've also laughed at the occasional story that tried to shame "the rich" for not "paying their fair share" in otherwise legal activities.

Governement promises teradollarz in benefits, and then acts shocked -- shocked! -- that people try to squirm out from under it. Some powerful gain the upper hand, gaining power promising to hand out other powerful peoples' money.

Say it ain't so!

Re:Stroy Fail. Legal Fail. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43698013)

tl;dr It's all a game between the powerful; stop buying into memento streams.

Re:Stroy Fail. Legal Fail. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43698021)

Meme streams. This is why we can't have nice things, spellcheckers.

the actual investigation (5, Insightful)

waddgodd (34934) | about a year ago | (#43697831)

My bet is that the actual investigation targets "who got this data" rather than "who does this data show cheated on their taxes". Mark my words, it'll be along the lines of "we can't use this data in court, so we HAVE to find out the source, so we can have them testify", only when the source comes forward, they'll find themselves jailed and the tax evaders will either never get prosecuted or make a sweethart deal.

Re:the actual investigation (3)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43700125)

You'll lose the bet. The IRS is on a tear right now to crack down on Tax Evasion. in fact they're offering a partial amnesty for coming forward voluntarily (normal penalties for offshore tax evasion is an immediate forfeiture of 50% of the balance, and then you owe the taxes you should have paid, depending on the situation you could end up owing more than the entire account is worth) where they are dramatically reducing the penalties and close to 5000 people have come forward.

This is partially due to the prosecutions and other actions the IRS is taking against the banks hiding the money. The IRS has already put one of the oldest Swiss banks out of business and they are working on the others, they are generally offering significantly reduced fines to the banks if they provide the data to go after the evaders. It's open season on evaders right now and the IRS has had more traction in getting the banks to reveal the evaders in the last 3 years than they've had in more than 50 years.

The IRS loves whistle-blowers and others that have handed over data. They've offered amnesty to hackers and whistle-blowers in the past that provided bank records that reveal tax evaders. Tax evasion is IRS priority number one for the last several years. Lots of people are coming forward out of fear because it's not just the money, you can actually end up in jail for it as well. All they need is the proof you've done it and not declared the assets and you are toast.

32.3 trillion (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697833)

100,000 people world wide..... that's 500BUCKS stolen for every man women and child on earth....are you feeling angry yet?
This is one bank

Re:32.3 trillion (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43699583)

The "tax is theft" people certainly would disagree. They would see that as $500 per person not stolen. Depends on your view, doesn't it?

Re:32.3 trillion (4, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year ago | (#43699871)

If they don't want to be part of society, they should leave. Go live in somalia. There are no taxes there.

If you want police, fire, sewers, working traffic lights, hospitals, a military, air traffic controllers, etc. etc. etc. then you will need to pay taxes.

Re:32.3 trillion (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43699949)

If you don't want to be part of society, you can go live in Somalia too.

If you want police, fire, sewers, working traffic lights, hospitals, a military, air traffic controllers, etc. etc. etc. then you will need to pay taxes.

I don't see "want to be part of society" in that list. And I notice that you fatuously ignore that government spends a lot of money on things other than that small list.

Re: 32.3 trillion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699923)

This is a very niche belief. Very few people around the world would equate tax with actual theft, mostly in the US. Vastly more people believe in angels.

  I grew up in one of the richest areas on one of the wealthiest cities of the world, and never met anyone who voiced this belief.

Re: 32.3 trillion (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43699971)

This is a very niche belief.

So what? Most beliefs are niche beliefs.

I grew up in one of the richest areas on one of the wealthiest cities of the world, and never met anyone who voiced this belief.

That's because it's generally not an urban-based belief. A common error of thought is for people to assume everyone is like the people that they happen to know. One of the things I discover from interacting on Slashdot is that actual beliefs are much more varied that I would have experienced otherwise. Slashdot is obviously a very skewed sample, since I'm only seeing the people who bother to post, but it is still quite enlightening.

Proof of wrongdoing? (1, Interesting)

kervin (64171) | about a year ago | (#43697859)

This entire article is alarmist, and I even wonder if that information can be used in a court of law. As the IRS points out, here is nothing wrong in owning an offshore corporation or accounts. As long as you report it properly.

International Business Corporations are ridiculously common. You don't have to be rich, many people with average income have those. It just depends on how you spend your money and the business you're in.

Deliberate Leak to evade Privacy Law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697951)

This entire article is alarmist, and I even wonder if that information can be used in a court of law.

Actually, my guess is that it's a deliberate leak of accounting info by the intelligence community so that it would be reported in the press without an origin (and thus isn't attributable to state action that violates the fourth amendment) and then could be followed up on by government agencies like the IRS.

Re:Proof of wrongdoing? (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#43698185)

International Business Corporations are ridiculously common. You don't have to be rich, many people with average income have those.

I would be surprised if that's true. How common are IBCs among people making, say, $50k (the median U.S. household income)? How about even $80k, or $120k? My guess is that they're negligible until you get to more like $500k+, though I'd be interested in some numbers either way.

Re:Proof of wrongdoing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698421)

You'd be surprised. I have an IBC, and I make around $130,000 a year. About half my income is from consulting in China, and is paid by Chinese firms into my IBC. I then use the funds in that account to buy my airfare and pay for my expenses whilst overseas. I save a good chunk of change doing this - and it costs me around $600 a year for the accounting fees, registration fees, and audit fees for my annual IBC licensing. Accruing assets overseas outside the reach of Uncle Sam is definitely a good benefit in and of itself (especially since I already pay Chinese taxes on those earnings).

Re:Proof of wrongdoing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698609)

Also own an IBC and make around the same as you. Quick question: why don't you just have them pay your US corp. and buy your airfare and cover your expenses from your US corp? Any expenses paid by the business while in the process of conducting business are not taxed because they are losses to your corporation. Your reason for owning an IBC is flawed.

Re:Proof of wrongdoing? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about a year ago | (#43699449)

State taxes are one good reason.

Re:Proof of wrongdoing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699919)

A payment would be income, which he wants to minimize. What he really should be doing is expensing everything to his US corp, in that way making as big a loss as possible for the tax benefits. While the (ostensibly unrelated) profits drop overseas.

So you doubly act against the US. Not surprised. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43700123)

Not only do you evade taxes (which if you were to hit the hornets nest enough, you would find out that nobody and nothing is out of reach of the US), you deal with the US's enemies.

GITMO would be too good for you since it's too close to a few tax domiciles.

Re:Proof of wrongdoing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43699303)

Oh, for certain! Its just that in many cases, the countries where these people earn the majority of their income don't know about these accounts, and in at least the case of Canada, all income whether foreign or domestic must be reported for the purposes of taxation. Hopefully all of the people whose names are listed and all of the accounts are known. However, in at least one case (a Canadian) a large overseas account (if I recall correctly it was in the Grand Cayman Island) was not reported, and many millions in undeclared earned income was not reported. At least one 'proof of wrongdoing' case has been identified (that I know of). Perhaps of the thousands of names, it will be the only one. So apart from the one bad apple, all the rest are clean until proven otherwise. No worries!

Re:Proof of wrongdoing? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43700097)

The problem is that evasion (aka avoidance) as you describe it indicates a likelihood of hiding something that shouldn't be happening.

To suggest that "average" people have them is to provide the rhetorical equivalent of a human shield.

fucking tyrannical american government! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43697975)

Luckily we have Rand Paul who will guide us back to glory by making sure a law is passed protecting these patriots from having to pay taxes, I mean get caught not paying taxes. Small government ftw!

You still have to pay all your taxes, though shit face.

Tax Evasion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698011)

In the same way the government wants to tax the sales of internet transactions across the United States, they should be taxing US corporations who set up shop in (foreign countries) and yet do tons and tons of business in the US. They know who they are..

Dude, I sympathize (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698129)

In the same way the government wants to tax the sales of internet transactions across the United States, they should be taxing US corporations who set up shop in (foreign countries) and yet do tons and tons of business in the US. They know who they are..

Dude, I'm with you. But when we, the US, have the most Byzantine Tax Code on the planet, something has got to give.

The US Congress has drunk the "use taxation as a policy tool" Kool-Aid as well as helping their cronies.

We're all about Crony Capitalism here in the US and it sickens me that we still hear the fairy tail of "work hard and you'll get ahead!"

When I see some dork become a billionaire because his "Hot or Not" cruel, insulting, simple, beginner web coder and assholish website became a marketer's wet dream, I just want to get a sandwich board with "The World is cumming to a end!" written all of over it while I just repeat, "Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit! Bullshit!" until the cops kick my ass.

I have seen talented and creative people - more talented than anyone you see in the media - get drowned out just because he doesn't know the right people. OR he doesn't know how to promote himself. We are not a meritocracy: we are an aristocracy.

The last true meritocracy was back in the late 70s.

face folks, the America you think exists died out a long time ago.

I had to watch several thousand kids graduate today. Most of them with marketable degrees - half the auditorium stood up when the school of nursing was called, for example. Just a couple in the Arts and Humanities - with a few snickers heard here and there.

The Lefties who ranted here years ago are being proven right, I'm afraid.

The Right is Happy in their Delusion; the Lefties are Right - mostly; sort of.

Re:Dude, I sympathize (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698367)

I agree with you 100%.

This has been a project many decades in the making, requiring hundreds of thousands of man hours, and billions, if not trillions of dollars. You have no idea how hard we've been working to lower the educational standards to where even the white kid with that super high IQ was getting just as good an education as that inbred nigger that is pimping out his sister(s), smoking crack, and killing his fellow gang members (when he's not getting raped in prison as a rite of passage). It is all a part of the master plan that was created by the DNC centuries ago. Creating the KKK and enslaving all those stupid Africans was step one. Step two is the destruction of American Society. Step three will involve enslaving all of America and, get this, we will make all of you fucking RETARDS want to be our slaves. Hahaha! You won't even know that you are a slave!

You are all so fucking stupid. We control what you see, what you eat, what you think, and what you do. There isn't really even a Republican Party. There's just ONE party, and our members pretend to belong to two different parties. It's all a fucking illusion. You stupid fucking plebs. You all deserve what you get. You don't DESERVE to have freedom.

Re:Dude, I sympathize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698661)

I think we know who you are.

Re:Dude, I sympathize (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43699699)

I have seen talented and creative people - more talented than anyone you see in the media - get drowned out just because he doesn't know the right people.

That is a very important talent as well. You seem to have a deeply flawed understanding of how innovation happens. It's not "Come up with a better idea and wonderful things magically happen."

Knowing the "right" people (or just enough "wrong" people with the resources you need), is a part of how things work. How is a "right" person supposed to know a great idea? A network of connections provides both a filter against bad ideas and a degree of trust.

The Attack on Tax Havens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698043)

Not so hidden agenda:

http://www.acting-man.com/?p=22604

Misguided Speculation (1)

muphin (842524) | about a year ago | (#43698601)

These people arent going to go to jail, as the data was obtained illegally.
BUT, their accounts are now known, AND linked to current tax accounts... whats going to happen is more auditing on accounts, they then refer to this illegal data to then pressure the people to pay more tax.... the threat of court would be more than enough to get people to conform

Re:Misguided Speculation (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43700137)

All the data, even if acquired illegally is admissible in court as long as the IRS wasn't involved in the illegal action that collected the data. If a guy breaks into your house and steals your laptop and finds kiddy porn on it, he could turn you in and the prosecutor will give him amnesty and they will use the data to put you in prison. The data would only be inadmissible if the police had been involved in the theft, but if they're hands are clean and the illegal action was by another party they are free to use the information to prosecute you.

Then let the avalanche of audits begin. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43700219)

While there is a very good case for tax cuts, the enforcement of existing tax code comes first along with a permanent disincentive against evasion/"avoidance".

wow, what a terrible article. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year ago | (#43698611)

This is what passes for journalism?

Australian and British citizens as well as families and associates of long-time despots, Wall Street swindlers, Eastern European and Indonesian billionaires, Russian corporate executives, international arms dealers and a sham-director-fronted company that the European Union has labeled as a cog in Iran’s nuclear-development program.

Way to be fair, objective, and unbiased.

Well, it is accurate. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43700143)

It might not have the adjectives you wish to see, but it describes the evaders.

Youk fail it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698667)

Are you GAY With any sort

whoohoo, free college for the DA's kids! (1)

Marrow (195242) | about a year ago | (#43698721)

Thats all that will come of this. Earmarked endowments and guaranteed income for those who didnt benefit the first go round.
Good colleges aint free you know. Esp if you have to afford a mistress and a gambling problem at the same time.

let me fix it for ya (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43698807)

"however, such offshore arrangements are ***always*** used to avoid or evade tax liabilities"

Negligent Administration! (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | about a year ago | (#43699211)

Password set to "Welcome123!"

Tax evasion, Tax avoidance- functionally identical (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year ago | (#43699951)

Both cause the same harm, both show contempt for the citizens of the country evaded, and both represent and enable more criminal activity than any "legitimate" activity - yet only one of them gets punished.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...