US/UK Uncut: directly resisting tax dodging corporations

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milo204
US/UK Uncut: directly resisting tax dodging corporations

Is anyone here following this?  This is a great idea and i'm wondering if anyone in canada is planning similar things in our cities?

Protesting and raising awareness of the huge corporations that pay nothing in taxes, and sometimes claiming a tax return of billions from the government.  In other words, not only do they pay no taxes, get subsidized by us and harm us by pushing bad policies that hurt us we are also apparently PAYING THEM to do this!

surely this is something anyone of any political stripe can get behind, and it links to so many other issues it seems like a great starting point! 

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/28/this_is_economic_treason_500_000

 

http://www.alternet.org/economy/150387/2_3rds_of_us_corporations_pay_zer...

 

http://www.thenation.com/blog/159515/us-uncut-fights-secure-americas-future

 

http://www.usuncut.org/

Doug

Don't forget Canada Uncut!

politicalnick

Milo - Look up canadauncut.net . I am involved with this group and a lot of our research will shock you when you realize the CCRA could collect almost $95 billion a year extra in taxes if we just closed a few loopholes aimed at corporations and wealthy individuals.

We are on facebook and twitter amd have local chapters forming daily across the country.

milo204

nice, i'm glad there is a canadian version of this!  checking it out right now!!

i think this is such a great idea, one that could resonate with people who haven't looked much into politics or spent any serious time criticizing our system!

ygtbk

politicalnick wrote:

Milo - Look up canadauncut.net . I am involved with this group and a lot of our research will shock you when you realize the CCRA could collect almost $95 billion a year extra in taxes if we just closed a few loopholes aimed at corporations and wealthy individuals.

We are on facebook and twitter amd have local chapters forming daily across the country.

Politicalnick, given that total federal revenue in 2010 was $230 billion, $95 billion a year from closing a few loopholes seems kind of high at first glance. Could you point me at a list of the loopholes?

politicalnick

ygtbk wrote:

politicalnick wrote:

Milo - Look up canadauncut.net . I am involved with this group and a lot of our research will shock you when you realize the CCRA could collect almost $95 billion a year extra in taxes if we just closed a few loopholes aimed at corporations and wealthy individuals.

We are on facebook and twitter amd have local chapters forming daily across the country.

Politicalnick, given that total federal revenue in 2010 was $230 billion, $95 billion a year from closing a few loopholes seems kind of high at first glance. Could you point me at a list of the loopholes?

I actually misspoke, after rechecking my facts the amout is $95 billion since 2005 which is about $19 billion/yr.

The most common abuse right now is investment of money in shell corporations in tax havens like Barbados and the Cayman Island. All profits from these investments fall under the tax laws of the country in which they take place not the country of origin therfore are exempt from our tax laws. If the money is ever repatriated to Canada it falls under capital gains which is taxed at 50% of the value.

To give you an idea of how rampant this is there is 1 small building in the Caymans that is aparently the main office of about 75,000 corporations from around the world including 1700 from Canada.

HSBC has one subsidiary in Barbados that had a net income last year of $1.015 billion while the net income of the whole HSBC group in Canada was $1.06 billion

A quote from the RBC 2010 annual report - Taxes that would be payable if all foreign subsidiaries' accumulated unremitted earnings were repatriated are estimated at $763 million as at October 31, 2010 (2009 - $821 million; 2008 - $920 million).' RBC 2010 Annual Report

This report and many others are available at sedar.com which is free to use.

Doug

It's hard to close that hole - at least without international cooperation - because there are a lot of ways large corporations can move profits to a low-tax jurisdiction. For example, a corporation could determine that its intellectual property - copyrights, patents and trademarks - will be owned by its Irish division and that the parts of the company located elsewhere must pay licensing fees for the use of that property. That reduces profits in the other divisions where corporate taxes are likely higher and greatly increases them in Ireland where the tax is 12.5%.

Fidel

It's a lot harder to catch corporate tax evaders when the feds just don't bother hiring at Rev Canada.  I and 49 other people jumped through all their hoops for 50 apprenticeships at Rev Canada in the 1990s. This was after hundreds had applied and passed aptitude tests and several rounds of interviews. They hired no one. Hiring freeze, they said. They were supposed to move a bunch of senior people up to investigating offshore tax havens and the like. The feds just aren't interested in doing their jobs under what has been a parade of stoogeaucratic neoliberal regimes in Ottawa.

Mel Hurtig's research in Ottawa revealed that they could collect approximately $35 billion more every year if they simply raised overall tax revenues to just the OECD average as a percentage of GDP. That's not the EU-15 average and never mind the Nordic country average. At those true G8 country levels, Hurtig says, another $75 billion or so in annual revenues for Ottawa to play with. They wouldn't know what to do with that kind of money. Our corrupt stooges have maintained a culture of impotence in Ottawa long time. 35 years or so. They need cleaning out of Ottawa.

politicalnick

Doug wrote:

It's hard to close that hole - at least without international cooperation - because there are a lot of ways large corporations can move profits to a low-tax jurisdiction. For example, a corporation could determine that its intellectual property - copyrights, patents and trademarks - will be owned by its Irish division and that the parts of the company located elsewhere must pay licensing fees for the use of that property. That reduces profits in the other divisions where corporate taxes are likely higher and greatly increases them in Ireland where the tax is 12.5%.

I think it's pretty simple, if you generate a dollar in revenue in Canda you pay tax on a dollar. Like I said, the biggest problems are a Canadian citizen walking into RBC in Toronto Making a million dollar stock trade that nets $100k profit and nothing is taxed because it is done through an electronic transfer between 2 accounts in the Caymans and RBC's fees for the trade also go into an account down there. It is obviously a Canadian transaction and should be taxed as such. If that same rich SOB pays on his HSBC credit card form his Cayman account to HSBC's Barbados account that is tax exempt too even though all the bill was run up in Canada and the card was issued here.

We just make tough laws regarding all this and if they don't like it they can take their business elsewhere, somebody will be waiting to step in because there is still money to be made. I mean really, You can't make $500 million/yr but you can make$100 million/yr or you can make nothing. If those are the options someone will take the $100 mil.

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

Thomas Mulcair, NDP MP: wrote:
Mr. Speaker, if the minister sincerely wants to curb tax evasion, why does he not adopt the U.S. IRS model, which was recently adopted by Quebec?

In the future, large corporations using the services of financial or tax planning experts will be required to proactively disclose all their tax tricks. That is a simple and practical solution that Quebec is applying to both corporations and individuals.

Why not implement it at the federal level? Is it because it would hurt their friends too much?

Thomas Mulcair questioning the cult of impotence.

 

Actually, the 2010 Budget did introduce the idea of federal reporting of aggressive tax planning. See page 2 of the following:

http://miningtaxcanada.com/bibliography/Canada's%202010%20Budget%20Heavy%20with%20Major%20Tax%20Initiatives.pdf

Quote:

Mirroring recent information reporting developments in the province of Quebec and in the United States, the government announced its intention to seek public consultation on a new antiavoidance regime that would require taxpayers who engage in certain perceived aggressive tax planning to either report the relevant transactions under this new regime or face denial of the related tax benefits.

It hasn't been implemented yet, at least partly because some lawyers and accountants are concerned that they might be forced into a conflict of interest with their clients, but I suspect it will be eventually.

Fidel

Thomas Mulcair, NDP MP: wrote:
Mr. Speaker, if the minister sincerely wants to curb tax evasion, why does he not adopt the U.S. IRS model, which was recently adopted by Quebec?

In the future, large corporations using the services of financial or tax planning experts will be required to proactively disclose all their tax tricks. That is a simple and practical solution that Quebec is applying to both corporations and individuals.

Why not implement it at the federal level? Is it because it would hurt their friends too much?

Thomas Mulcair questioning the cult of impotence.

NDP MP Carol Hughes wrote:
"You could call it the Mulroney Option, Mr. Speaker! We should all be so lucky!, said Hughes. "Will the Conservatives finally get serious about prosecuting tax evasion, or are they planning to agree with tax lawyers and let people get away with hiding millions under beach blankets in the Cayman Islands?"

The relaxing of standards comes after reports that the Conservatives will be cutting 200 positions at CRA that are directly responsible for hunting down tax-cheats. Wealthy Canadians and corporations have invested $80 billion in the Cayman Islands, Barbados and Bermuda beyond the scrutiny of CRA officials while those unable to afford the option are paying taxes on their investments.

It's difficult to collar wealthy tax cheats when Harper copycats George W. Bush with firing 200 tax feds.

Fidel

Did Harper also change his mind on firing 200 employees at Rev Canada investigating tax evasion? Or will all their rich friends be blowing the whistle on themselves by a Tory honour system for repeat tax cheats?

You do realize that infamous gangster Al Capone went to prison for tax evasion? Apparently it's good to have friends in the conservative government here in Canada.

I hate being the bearer of bad news, but our corrupt stooges in phony minority government are almost certainly on the take, like Mulroney era conservatives were.

ygtbk

Fidel wrote:

Did Harper also change his mind on firing 200 employees at Rev Canada investigating tax evasion? Or will all their rich friends be blowing the whistle on themselves by a Tory honour system for repeat tax cheats?

You do realize that infamous gangster Al Capone went to prison for tax evasion? Apparently it's good to have friends in the conservative government here in Canada.

I hate being the bearer of bad news, but our corrupt stooges in phony minority government are almost certainly on the take, like Mulroney era conservatives were.

You may be right about the current government. If anyone is guilty of tax evasion they should be punished according to the law. And Mulroney managed to make himself look greedy, stupid, AND corrupt by accepting cash from Karlheinz Schrieber and not reporting it.

I think the Liberals also have some skeletons in their closets. Paul Martin was Finance Minister (and therefore in charge of taxes and tax treaties) while he was running Canada Steamship Lines through Bermuda to avoid paying Canadian taxes. That sure looks like a conflict of interest to me.

Doug

Stop this race to the bottom on corporate tax

For too long, fiscal politics between the left and right has been debated on false premises. Left-of-centre politics has tended to play down the importance of closing the budget deficit, arguing against spending cuts on the basis that deficits do not matter. Right-of-centre politics has tended to play down the importance of taxing higher incomes, arguing that only spending cuts can reduce the budget deficit. A more responsible position takes a note from both sides. We surely need to reduce the deficits but in a fair, efficient, and sustainable manner, by levying higher taxation on the rich, who are enjoying a boom in living standards and a share of the national income unprecedented in modern history.

Yet to get to the right place, countries cannot act by themselves. Even the social democracies of northern Europe, with their balanced budgets and high tax rates, are increasingly being pulled into the vortex of tax cutting and the race to the bottom. The political defences in the US and the UK against the power of the rich are crumbling. Multinational companies and their disproportionately wealthy owners are successfully playing governments against each other. The game is clear, and it is working fiercely well.

2dawall

wow! I never knew there was a Canada Uncut until I saw it come up in a search for articles about USA Uncut. Unforuntately it does not seem to be making much waves yet - I really did not even notice this thread here. Alas, like the other Uncut groups they have events on a Saturday which can be the worst day to do such a thing unless it is at a shopping centre. Has anyone here had any experiences with any of  their local groups?

2dawall

One of the things that UK Uncut did was list those corporations who had not yet paid the taxes that were actually due. The Canada Uncut website does not really get to the point at all; their website is not designed to aggressively get to the point, present the facts as they are. ... Oh right  they are a Canadian activist group which means like all other Canadian groups it avoids the central purupse it purports to be about, meandering around this or that. I wonder if it is run by former CCPA interns or something.

2dawall

Has anyone else from here gone to their website? Their frontpage has a picture of people milling around with no discernible purpose or meaning; I attempted to find a list of Canada's top tax evaders but could not find that. Is it being just highly negative to ask that that concept, the list of top  tax evaders, be put front and centre? Can we not discuss the method of anything?

2dawall wrote:

One of the things that UK Uncut did was list those corporations who had not yet paid the taxes that were actually due. The Canada Uncut website does not really get to the point at all; their website is not designed to aggressively get to the point, present the facts as they are. ... Oh right  they are a Canadian activist group which means like all other Canadian groups it avoids the central purupse it purports to be about, meandering around this or that. I wonder if it is run by former CCPA interns or something.