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Wed Oct 14, 2015, 07:48 PM

Revealed: the 10 countries toughest on tax evaders.

It is becoming harder than ever for expats to avoid paying the tax they owe thanks to international efforts to stop tax evasion. A year ago the OECD coordinated an agreement to automatically swap tax information, with finance ministers from 51 countries signing up to the deal.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said at the time that tax evasion was “not just illegal, it is immoral” and that because a tax evader was robbing their fellow citizens, they should be treated like “a common thief.”

A recent survey by CXC Global, the contractor management specialist, identified the 10 most aggressive countries of the 51 signed up to the OECD agreement in terms of their pursuit of avoiders. The survey, based on information from offices across the CXC network, found that five countries in particular have ramped up their efforts in an attempt to reclaim the billions of pounds lost in revenue every year. The UK did not make the top five list:

1) Spain is taking the lead with investigations into the tax affairs of footballers Lionel Messi, Xabi Alonso, and Javier Mascherano. Even the monarchy is not escaping the gaze of the taxman. Princess Cristina has been stripped of her title as Duchess of Palma de Mallorca as a result of tax-related allegations that have embarrassed the monarchy.

2) Argentina is taking a different tack, and targeting the banks that it believes are not playing fair. For example, HSBC has been charged in Argentina with helping more than 4,000 Argentines to evade around $3 billion in taxes, including via accounts in Switzerland. Despite having been confirmed by recent SwissLeaks reports, HSBC denies any wrongdoing.

3) Germany is taking high-profile action too. Last year the World Cup-winning footballer Uli Hoeness was jailed for three and a half years for tax fraud, and failing to disclose his accounts within the rules of Germany’s voluntary disclosure system. The fraud cost the state more than €27 million. Germany has also taken the lead in the investigation of the Swiss Coutts scandal, as it is under investigation for allegedly helping wealthy clients evade tax, and is also taking a hard line on domestic tax evasion.

4) Brazil – hosting the Olympics next year – has suffered considerably at the hands of tax evaders in the past, said CXC Global, and is now tackling high-profile cases in a bid to show it is toughening its stance. Footballer Neymar has been accused of evading around $16m in taxes between 2011 and 2013, although his parents have denied that he has done anything wrong.

5) Russia – which is suffering from the falling oil price – has also brought in a new "de-offshorisation" disclosure policy. This aims to prevent those with foreign assets, or assets in offshore shelters, from avoiding tax.

At: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/expat-money/11927295/Revealed-the-10-countries-toughest-on-tax-evaders.html

Meanwhile, the neo-fascist party currently controlling our Congress is doing everything it can to make sure the U.S. becomes the tax evasion capital of the world - if you're among the elite, that is.


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