Tax activist says trust expert proved TIEAs are futile

| 20/10/2011

(CNS): A tax campaigner and member of the Tax Justice Network has said comments made at a recent conference in the Cayman Islands illustrate that Tax Information Exchange Agreements are futile. Robert Shepherd from MourantOzannes Guernsey office said that TIEAs were created by onshore governments to try and force offshore institutions to provide more information to bring in more revenue but there were still ways that trust professionals could protect beneficiaries and confidentiality because of the hoops tax authorities needed to go through. Speaking to the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Richard Murphy said this proved  that TIEAs don’t work because of this very reason.

He argued that this was why the TIEA should be replaced in favour of an automatic exchange of information on demand.  "TIEAs don't work. Everyone knows it. As things stand, client funds can be moved out of a jurisdiction before an enquiry can develop, thwarting it before it really gets underway," Murphy told the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday.

"In order to make a successful TIEA request you need to correctly identify the individual, which is made virtually impossible by a combination of legal entities and professional services designed to ensure he or she remains anonymous. There is, for example, no public documentation relating to trusts", he added.

"It is exceptionally difficult to link bank accounts operated by a company in turn controlled by a trust with a particular taxpayer in another jurisdiction who may or may not be settler and or beneficiary of that arrangement."

Shepherd told an audience at Mourant Ozannes first trust conference to be held in Cayman last week that despite the TIEA there were still ways that trust professionals could protect beneficiaries and confidentiality. On the face of them TIEAs appeared “fearsome”, with one tax authority forcing another to disclose information on foreign nationals, but actually Shepherd said there was a good deal that trust professionals could do to honour obligations of confidentiality.

Go to Telegraph article

Category: Finance

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    There is no direct tax in the Cayman Islands. Why on earth should we want to aid other countries in enforcing THEIR tax laws?

    I have no problem with rooting out drug dealers and terrorists.

    But if a doctor or dentist etc. wants to put a few bucks away out of the clutches of the ever greedy tax man. Good luck to him.

    Give the money to the government and they are sure to waste it. Happens here too ;-(

  2. AnonymousSick and Tired of the B...S... says:

    So why has Bush been rushing around the World at considerable expense to sign TIEAs with all and sundry, when they have little practical value – surely one of his “Legal Eagles” – aka McField could have sussed this out?

  3. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    This further confirms Mckeeva globe trotting experiences served no purpose, but further  contributing to our national debt.

  4. Anonymous says:

    smoke and mirrors…….