Banking Secrecy and Tax Evasion

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Banking Secrecy and Tax Evasion

Post by Henrik on Wed Jun 12 2013, 17:29

It’s almost funny how in the last few years, banking secrecy has become synonymous with tax evasion. Anybody who has a bank account in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Singapore, Cayman etc. is without a doubt a criminal who is hiding money from taxes. With the global crisis, most governments have taken to blaming both the tax evaders and the “tax havens” for all that is wrong with the economy in the world today. The hunt for these terrible criminals has become relentless, and it really has become a question of the end justifying the means.
 
It takes us back to what has been done by the US government (and most EU governments too for that matter) in the aftermath of 9/11. Pretty much all rights have been stripped in the name of national security, and the Government has been able to do what they want in the name of the war on terrorism. Surveillance within the US has been relentless, and from what one can see with Snowden’s claims the US has been doing the same in the rest of the world. However, they were still failing to get in to the banking details of whoever they wanted to wherever in the world. Some countries have still been holding on to the idea of banking secrecy as a way of protecting people assets. So, now the governments are using the whole evil tax evasion practice as a way to remove those final barriers. By vilifying anybody who might have an account in a country practicing banking secrecy, they are getting the support of the masses to go after them regardless of the cost. And the cost is actually quite considerable especially when it comes to an individual’s rights.
 
The way that banking secrecy is now being removed, governments are ensuring that they will be able to get to any funds their citizens (and a very broad definition of their citizens) may have anywhere in the world. I suppose this might be fine and dandy if we all trusted our governments completely. Unfortunately there are so many examples of how this trust has been misused, and not just by the US government. Trust should be a two way thing, and the governments should trust their citizens to properly declare their assets and income.
 
There will always be those who try to evade taxes, and some will always succeed. However, the very large majority is paying what they should in taxes. Also, most of those who are hiding some of their income are already paying a big contribution to society. For starters they pay a fair amount of income tax. Add to that what they are bringing to the economy where they live through the creation of jobs, purchasing of goods and services etc., and they are actually paying a pretty hefty amount to the government and to society. When you consider that there are actually some people in France who last year paid more than 100% of their income in taxes you really wonder.
 
By far the biggest amount of tax evasion is actually done by the big corporations, those that support the governments that are in place. What they are doing is not necessarily illegal, but in many cases it can be morally questionable. Now the governments will never go after these, as at the end of the day it is thanks to them that they are there.
 
The final focus is on the control of people’s assets, and it seems as if the public is fully supporting this. Get rid of banking secrecy at all costs, because only criminals hide behind it! At the same time, we must be sure to maintain the secrecy of the confessional. I mean it would be simply unacceptable that a child rapist might get arrested for having confessed his sin to some priest, no?

 

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Re: Banking Secrecy and Tax Evasion

Post by Danny Boy on Thu Jun 13 2013, 06:54

The Silent Takeover by Noreena Hertz, over 10 years old now, she she wrote a very good book on corporate leverage.

Then you have Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and you realise what a vile world we live in.
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Re: Banking Secrecy and Tax Evasion

Post by Henrik on Thu Jun 13 2013, 08:55

What I find scary is how people are just accepting the total loss of any sort of privacy.

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Re: Banking Secrecy and Tax Evasion

Post by Danny Boy on Thu Jun 13 2013, 10:04

Henrik wrote:What I find scary is how people are just accepting the total loss of any sort of privacy.
We need more people like Edward Snowden, but then again he will be portrayed as a traitor to the american people.
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