Luxembourg,The Grand Duchy of.

This tiny country of just under 600,00 souls is bordered on North & West by Belgium, Germany on the East and France to the South. It was a founding member of the now EU and among OECD countries it has the highest GDP per capita $80,000, EU average about $50,000. In 1970 financial activities amounted to 2% of its GDP, 2015 its over 40% and rising. So much financial expertise developed in such a small space !

At a recent G20 gathering Tax Havens were listed on either a Black List or a Grey List; If Black you are “accepted”/acknowledged as a full blown Tax Haven, if Grey,,,, well, that’s different ! It’s like being “only a little bit pregnant”. Luxembourg is on the Grey List, but the Tax Justice Network in its Financial Secrecy Index put it just behind Cayman Islands, and other watchers of Tax Havens say its the safest Haven only beaten by Switzerland.

The trial of the 3 whistle-blowers going on this week has attracted much attention, much of it in support of the 3 on trial. EG. The French Finance Minster expressed his support in the French Parliament. Journalists without Borders & European Federation of Journalists also spoke out strongly.

Both 34 OECD countries and G20 are pushing (much too gently IMO) for laws/regulations to minimise the damage being done by aggressive tax avoidance schemes; over 340 Multinationals manipulate their business activities to push as much of their profits as possible into their Lux subsidiaries where careful planning can result in taxes of less that 1%. In an attempt to keep their clients shielded from any new “difficult” regulations, PwC  have published a “Global Regulatory Briefing”,(available on their website). Its a fairly verbose document but in summary its a “Checklist on How to Cover your Corporate Tax Ass”.

About tryingtobefair

More than a little interested in how we can all make the community we live in a better place. "The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed" Gandhi. Let's all learn what's enough.
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