Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Legitimate Immorality

The Panama papers reveal only one law firm involved in the ongoing unfair play for evading taxes, yet an unbiased reporting can highlight it all, certainly. In fact, there are several companies that provide such wealth-hiding services. That is how rich people and the multinationals are actively benefitting from the available offshore tax saving tips/schemes all across the Globe. Like all others, Americans and the Canadians are upset about the legal yet unethical practice of their multinationals’ addiction of investing offshore for evading taxes. Making fortunes in Canada, but taking them offshore to avoid paying taxes again is a popular thing, of course! Thus, immorality is a painful reality despite its legitimacy under the deficient law.
Consequently, the middle class suffers through paying more tax for compensating the loss due to the tax-stolen by the rich. Obviously, funds are needed for stable exchequer to provide for services and public education, indeed.
Fortunately, most of the wealthiest people in Canada and other countries tend to leave, as taxes increase due to tax avoidance schemes (loopholes).
Notice has to taken by the law-makers of massive money laundering through Canadian, Australian and American real estate. Foreigners use shell companies or proxies to acquire condos in Sydney, Vancouver and Toronto, with the help of local banks, developers and brokers. These players have made housing unaffordable in these cities in particular.
Real thugs: Believe or not, the most powerful lobby is the offshore lobby including banks, accountants, lawyers, money managers. It seems as if they are involved in rewarding the politicians for not bringing in reforms designed to save taxes at home.
Problem is, some offshore manoeuvres are legal if people have switched tax residency and paid a departure tax.
Media non-cooperation: The CBC has the information but refuses to hand it over to Canada Revenue Agency. Legally, The CBC is still answerable to the taxpayers of Canada. Other problem is democracy does not work without unbiased reporting. The ‘investigative team’s honesty and fairness in representing these data is of immense importance, because  the data provided to readers is helpful democratically.
The fact: “Panama leaks,” being a startling piece of investigative journalism confirm some of the rich people skilfully manage to avoid paying their taxes without breaking the law.
Finding out where they get their money from: This is what “investigative journalism” has come to, printing billionaires’ enemy lists under the guise of “leaks”. Every mainstream news outlet has credited the work of the ICI (The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) a “special project” (their website tells us) of the not-at-all-Orwellian-sounding “Center for Public Integrity)”. This shows ICIJ receives its funding from numerous suspect sources, smoke screen is erected only to divert attention.
Release of the Panama Papers, the result of the work of 400 journalists pouring over millions of confidential documents from a Panamanian law firm that sells anonymous offshore companies around the world, has prompted widespread analysis, outcry and, so far, the resignation of a least one global leader.(sources).
Wow! The Panamanian law firm tells their clients Canada is a good place to register a shell company because of lax provincial rules on ownership of companies.
'People are beginning to realize how extensive the offshore system is, and there is a rapidly rising public anger over that,' says Nicholas Shaxson. Protesters in Iceland called for the resignation of the country's prime minister after the Panama Papers revealed he had offshore accounts that he allegedly never disclosed. (Stigtryggur Johannsson/Reuters). Offshore lucrative industry is there to continue as long as the big fish is able to keep milking the public resources funded by the over-taxed middle class.
Caution: It’s up to the journalists to smell a real story in front of them rather than becoming a propaganda tool kit.
Regarding Pakistan, what The Panama Papers really depict is the corruption of its political system that allows the rich and powerful to gut away with plunder. There are more than 200 Pakistani names in the Panama Leaks, the primary focus is obviously on the one in power. Reportedly, by the end of the current week another 440 Pakistani names with offshore accounts will also be made public. Names of more retired and sitting judges and maybe some retired generals will make it to that list. Increased pressure on the chief justice of Pakistan to take suo motu action will follow this second revelation.
Also, names of more than 500 Indians are included in Fonseca’s list of off-shore companies around the world(nation.com.pk)
Interesting point regarding Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar: monarchs can’t be taxed, but they have secret off-shore accounts and fake corporations.  Financial security is desperately needed as insurance, in case they are dethroned.
In the Soviet Union, people did not trust the news  and wanted to find out what was really happening.
People are of the view that “Panama Papers” are of minor significance, in any case — other than their propaganda-significance, nevertheless, the ‘news’ media seem to be doing their best to magnify as much and as big as they can.
It is estimated that $32 trillion worth of untaxed offshore funds will double and redouble at the expense of nation-states and societies. The rich will get richer and the rest of the world will only end up in potholes; the deteriorating social unrest shall be devastating causing irreversible political instability.
It’s about time for all countries including Canada to legislate full transparency and public disclosure by both residents and foreigners who invest here, as the U.S. is proposing to do with real estate and shell companies.
Furthermore, laws should be made to require citizens to pay taxes on income and assets whether they leave or not. Canada together with other countries should go for a shut down of the tax avoidance industry forever.


Additional Sources:

CBC.com, dawn.com, thenews.com.pk

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