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  #101  
Old 07.04.2016, 15:47
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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They did steal data and gave it to a quality news outlet who decided to analyze it with a group of investigative journalists. They spent a year qualifying the leads and did not just throw the data on the internet.


For me personally is this a job for the cops, but the issue is that the data is about heads of states and nobody will do the job... so that's where the "fourth power" (do you call the media this way in English?) comes into play. Its the medias job to control that governments do their job... and when it comes to tax havens do they frankly do a crap job. I personally think that programs like Panorama should not run after small time "business men" but should focus on the big fish instead, but thats a minor matter.
so you think the hackers are criminals but did the right thing?
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  #102  
Old 07.04.2016, 15:49
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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yes in the case of Panama and IS I would say it is right morally

do you think what the Hackers did to reveal the Panama papers is a bad thing morally?
Yes, it should not be the task of "hackers" to make these things public.

do you disagree with Anonymous hacking IS?
No, let them play, not that it is going to do any good, the IS hackers are as good as those from Anonymous any day.
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  #103  
Old 07.04.2016, 15:51
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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so you think the hackers are criminals but did the right thing?
Yes.
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  #104  
Old 07.04.2016, 16:18
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

It is almost Friday.

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  #105  
Old 07.04.2016, 17:03
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

Putin announced today to declassify documents that bear some "very interesting names" from the period 1930 to 1989.
This is being spun as his response to the Panama papers.
Source.

The joke is that in the West such papers are (in most cases) available under the various Freedom of Information acts.

I am not sure how interesting these names will be considering their age; probably many are dead or in their dotage.
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  #106  
Old 07.04.2016, 17:55
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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Switzerland would be an interesting case. I find the tax rate here to be quite fair so could imagine the rates of tax avoidance would be quite low.


Evasion is quite high as punishments are very low. Only high value evasion became a criminal offence for the first time this year .
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  #107  
Old 07.04.2016, 18:02
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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And speak for yourself if you would do the same in their position but many wouldn't.
Who of those on here who have the wherewithal to pay into a 3a account pass on that option simply because it's immoral to reduce one's tax burden? Who with the stones ready isn't sitting in a proverbial glass house?
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  #108  
Old 07.04.2016, 18:04
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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Who of those on here who have the wherewithall to pay into a 3a account pass on that option simply because it's immoral to reduce one's tax burden?
Indeed, like an ISA it's tax avoidance, but because the almighty state allow it, it's OK and not immoral.
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  #109  
Old 07.04.2016, 18:11
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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Who of those on here who have the wherewithal to pay into a 3a account pass on that option simply because it's immoral to reduce one's tax burden? Who with the stones ready isn't sitting in a proverbial glass house?
So you honestly think that using a tool to raise your retirement fund in the way it was intended by your democratically elected government is the same thing as avoiding tax by abusing loopholes in international law?
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  #110  
Old 07.04.2016, 18:45
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

Geneva Attorney General Olivier Jornot announced today he will investigate local firms and lawyers mentioned in the Panama papers.
He seems to be effective; in February 2015 he announced an investigation into HSBC who later settled for CHF 40 Million
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  #111  
Old 07.04.2016, 18:55
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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in February 2015 he announced an investigation into HSBC who later settled for CHF 40 Million
That's over a day worth of work for them! (13.5 B profit in 2015)


I guess that will teach them to stay on the right side of the law...
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  #112  
Old 07.04.2016, 19:34
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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That's over a day worth of work for them! (13.5 B profit in 2015)


I guess that will teach them to stay on the right side of the law...
I guess some lawyers were a little stressed that day thinking of how tell little Izzy that a pony wont be in the stocking at Christmas...
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  #113  
Old 07.04.2016, 19:41
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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Geneva Attorney General Olivier Jornot announced today he will investigate local firms and lawyers mentioned in the Panama papers.
He seems to be effective; in February 2015 he announced an investigation into HSBC who later settled for CHF 40 Million

One of these 2 lawyers used to work in geneva when he realized that with his swiss connections he can open this profitable business.
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  #114  
Old 07.04.2016, 19:59
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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So you honestly think that using a tool to raise your retirement fund in the way it was intended by your democratically elected government is the same thing as avoiding tax by abusing loopholes in international law?
Well, 3a is often used to indirectly pay back the mortgage, which obviously is a convenient way to simultaneously reduce taxes. After all there's a reason why that has been limited to once every five years, the reason definitely NOT being that this mechanism wasn't used often enough. Quite the contrary.

The key question, however is:
Where does immorality begin? Is it a question of effort? Or of the amount saved? Or does it make a difference if it's some big company or some individual?

Do you think it's ethical to use deductions on the tax form, or to use possibilities like a 3a account, or to split major work on your house over two calendar years to reduce overall tax burden? Or to have yourself employed by your own company which, instead of paying you a competitive salary, pays you less so you can distribute the increased profits as dividends which are taxed with a 50% discount? Is it Ok to enlarge your company network with a belgian company which is used to transfer profits to yet another tax haven?

If that is Ok, what if the company network gets a bit more complicated with a few companies on the Isle of Man, Malta, Cyprus (all well-known tax havens)? Or does the network need to make use of companies on the Caymans, Bahamas and Delaware, perhaps also Singapore, Macau and Hong Kong?

Why is it not ok to use legal(!) so-called loopholes, especially if pre-approved by Mr Taxman, and where is the line that separates the two?

And why is it OK for you yourself to make good use of a tax haven (Kanton SZ in CH) by physically moving there, but not for a company?
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  #115  
Old 07.04.2016, 20:10
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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So you honestly think that using a tool to raise your retirement fund in the way it was intended by your democratically elected government is the same thing as avoiding tax by abusing loopholes in international law?
In the end, intention needs to be more or less irrelevant under the rule of law. We can only hold people accountable for actually breaking the law as it is written, else law has no meaning.

That said, feel free to raise hell and convince people not to vote for these people or buy from them or whatever. That's also your right as an individual - to make decisions based on morality above and beyond legality.
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  #116  
Old 07.04.2016, 21:14
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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That's over a day worth of work for them! (13.5 B profit in 2015)


I guess that will teach them to stay on the right side of the law...
From the other side that is equal to roughly 1.5 days tax revenue for Geneva
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  #117  
Old 07.04.2016, 22:55
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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This is not some list of heinous war criminals hiding their money (well, not per-se), it's just a list of people with offshore companies managed by a particular law firm in Panama. Ian Cameron didn't have to do anything to "get on this list" apart from enlisting the help of the law firm. To what end he did that remains to be seen, but I fail to see how this particular thing should affect David Cameron in any way. Unless it can be proven that there was something illegal and he was personally involved.

There are many legitimate reasons for using offshore companies, tax avoidance being one of them. If tax avoidance is legal in a country (e.g. Switzerland or the UK), there is nothing stopping (apart from their morals) the residents from taking advantage of it.

Years ago (I don't know these days), consultants (IT or finance mostly) working in the UK would often set up companies and take out their earnings as capital gains because it would be far more tax efficient. Is it bad? Be honest about this, imagine you are earning 100-200k pounds a year and have the choice of paying 20% tax instead of the regular 50%. No catch, nothing shady or illegal. Would you have honestly rather paid 50% because of some moral code that you should pay your fair share? What is a fair share to begin with?

Many of the people on that list did the same thing, but they had to be a bit more clever because there were larger sums involved or their circumstances were different (e.g. complicated business deals).

Again, I'm not talking about the Putins and the Assads, but guys who may have made a nice treasure chest in perfectly legal ways and then wanted to minimize their tax burden in (again) perfectly legal ways.

Let's not judge before we see the details.
"David Cameron has finally admitted he benefited from a Panama-based offshore trust set up by his late father.
What David Cameron did and didn't say about his father's offshore trust
The prime minister chose his response to reporter’s question about Blairmore Holdings very carefully – and he will probably get away with it
"

After three days of stalling and four partial statements issued by Downing Street he confessed that he owned shares in the tax haven fund, which he sold for £31,500 just before becoming prime minister in 2010.

Peanuts of course, but is this the last instalment in this story?
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  #118  
Old 08.04.2016, 09:35
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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"David Cameron has finally admitted he benefited from a Panama-based offshore trust set up by his late father.
What David Cameron did and didn't say about his father's offshore trust
The prime minister chose his response to reporter’s question about Blairmore Holdings very carefully – and he will probably get away with it
"

After three days of stalling and four partial statements issued by Downing Street he confessed that he owned shares in the tax haven fund, which he sold for £31,500 just before becoming prime minister in 2010.

Peanuts of course, but is this the last instalment in this story?
Cameron had a some shares, sold them and paid tax on them. If anything he should resign for making so little money on it.
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  #119  
Old 08.04.2016, 09:45
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

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The key question, however is:
Where does immorality begin? Is it a question of effort? Or of the amount saved? Or does it make a difference if it's some big company or some individual?
its not rocket science, you know.

how about starting with politicians who have plundered their countries wealth and stored it offshore while the people have to pay taxes or have to make do with very little? then let's move on to criminals, drug dealers. then businesses like PE, Amazon Starbuck and Google etc, then rich individuals who have billions but don't want to pay any tax.
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  #120  
Old 08.04.2016, 11:22
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Re: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens

So essentially you want to remove the rule of law: Doesn't matter if it was legal, the mob decides at will.

Do take note that part of the reason for the taxpayer-friendly tax regime here is exactly because part of the swiss business model has been, and continues to be, to attract wealth in search of a tax haven. Therfore each and everyone of us has been and still is profiting from exactly these schemes.

Two years ago when the machinations of exactly the same nature of our 'dear' Bundesrat Schneider-Amman came to light this forum was eerily quiet. How come?

Just to be clear:
I'm talking about legal actions only, euphemised as tax optimisation and evasion, not about tax fraud. I deeply despise the general concept behind the euphemised actions, but I realize that you can't have the cake and eat it too - what I'm pointing at is the hypocrisy and mendacity behind the outrage by the swiss population including those who happen to be on this board.

Last edited by Urs Max; 08.04.2016 at 11:59.
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