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Tax summit in Berlin aims to say goodbye to banking secrecy

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posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 10:37 AM
A step in the right direction?

Economist Gabriel Zucman, a specialist in fiscal fraud, has calculated that around 5.8 trillion euros ($7.4 trillion) is stashed away in tax havens, depriving authorities all over the world of around 130 billion euros in revenue each year.

Over the past two years, under voluntary disclosure programmes, more than half a million taxpayers have voluntarily declared more than $37 billion in income and wealth hidden from their tax authorities, the OECD estimated. Another sign of progress is the willingness by Switzerland, formerly seen as the vanguard of banking secrecy, to get involved.


BERLIN: More than 80 countries signed an agreement in Berlin on Wednesday (Oct 29) that could end banking secrecy in the global battle against tax evasion and fraud, even though critics pointed to shortcomings in the deal. Among the signatories were EU countries but also previously staunch proponents of banking secrecy such as Liechtenstein and tax havens like the Cayman or Virgin Islands.

Countries will also be able to decide on a case-by-case basis which information will be automatically exchanged. Switzerland, for example, has said it will hand over information only to countries which are important for Swiss industry. Thus, the holdings of wealthy citizens from poor countries will not come under scrutiny. Tax evaders could also hide behind "smoke-screen" companies or foundations in certain cases where banks are not obliged to reveal the identity of the account holder. That will not help the fight against international money-laundering, the critics complain.


Finance ministers from over 51 countries signed an agreement in a step closer to ending the dark financial underworld of tax-evasion and money-laundering. Another 30 countries pledged to join by 2018.

Asset hideouts like Austria, Switzerland, and the Bahamas didn’t sign the agreement itself, but promised to join the initiative by 2018.

edit on 1-11-2014 by AlaskanDad because: added another source and more info

posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 10:39 AM
Oh heck no. America is going to have to bring democracy to Switzerland now.

posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 12:36 PM
Oh dear Mr Osborne doesn't look like he's enjoying himself does it? Most of the cabinet are hiding assets overseas, along with Tory party donors and they may have to start contributing a little more if what is being proposed comes to fruition?

posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 12:46 PM
a reply to: nukedog

Uh you mean bring it to Germany right? America loves and supports shady financial practice as a means of global control.

posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 12:56 PM
a reply to: tavi45

No the Swiss. It says they are cooperating. Our elite probably laugh off what the Germans are doing.

....Idk I was just being a jack wagon

posted on Nov, 1 2014 @ 02:50 PM
I've always liked the idea of Transparency. Not as practised today where we peons lives and riches are transparent to big business and government but universal transparency. I beleive it's in Finland where one's tax returns are public documents that anyone can access.

Secrets are what is the problem with HUMAN society.

I do understand the need for patents and copyrights - not as tools to keep needed technology and products off the market but as means to renumerate the developers for a specifc period of time.

Without secrets - there is no need for war.

I think of a society, such as that character from Star Trek TNG from a planet of telepaths. No secrets there. It would be refreshing - certainly embarassing at times but simple.

We couldn't 'pretend' to be something we are not.

I work in accounting and admin for small companies. Often new clients can't handle the fact that I know who they really are based on their finances - it can be either they want to appear richer or sometimes poorer, more or less competant in business or personal matter then they are. I know their addictions and obsessions. You'd be suprised at what clients try to hide or 'justify' from me.

I don't judge them (we all have our stuff) but knowing that I know is too much for some and I'm fired, then their are those who some to see me as some sort of confidant which I find a bit odd but does tend to make things run easier.

Unversal transparency.

But it would be a better world if everyone's cards were on the table - one would have to walk their talk.

posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 01:35 AM
That is insane. And the more money one accumulates, the more money they will make from investments and interest, which means they will have even more money being "earned," which is then sent offshore. Because things work this way the middle class is disappearing, and the gap between the rich and the middle class will soon turn into the gap between the super-wealthy and the poor. It has to work out that way when wealthy people can make millions from investments and interest alone.

posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 01:51 AM
It is not a comprehensive solution, but a step in the right direction. It is good to see the political will develop to implement such a policy as there has been some bad results from secrecy and greed. It does appear that the mega rich will still have loop holes to hide and shift money, but it does make things a little tougher.

posted on Nov, 2 2014 @ 01:17 PM
a reply to: AlaskanDad

First they created the anti-terrorism money laundering rules, which were frequently used against anything else but terrorism. This time, they just drop the label, and proudly spell it out in the open: we own your ass!

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