Walgreen Co's Chief Executive Greg Wasson said on Tuesday that the company is exploring the idea of moving outside the U.S. as it considers buying the remaining shares it doesn't already own in European pharmacy Alliance Boots GmbH.
Liechtensteinische Landesbank AG, located in Vaduz, will pay $23.8 million to settle a probe into its use of undeclared accounts to help U.S. taxpayers dodge taxes over a 10-year period. U.S. Attorney Preet Bhara announced the agreement, saying the bank will forfeit $16.3 million, representing revenue it earned for maintaining the undeclared accounts, and will pay $7.5 million in restitution to the IRS.
One small step for a few island territories could mark a giant leap forward in corporate tax accountability. For years, certain islands represented more than fun in the sun for vacationers: for companies in the know, they were synonymous with tax shelters.
Back on June 5th, we posted an article discussing how many of the largest companies in the world were coming under scrutiny in Europe for allegedly not paying their fair share of taxes. One of those companies, Starbucks, began making payments today. The interesting thing is that it does not owe any of the taxes it is paying. In effect, Starbucks is paying more than it legally and fairly needs to.
In a meeting of the eight wealthiest countries in the world, the Group Eight (G8) discussions on how to deal with international tax evasion was so successful that the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury (highly historical and fancy terms for treasurer) George Osborne stated that "more was accomplished in the last 24 hours than in the past 24 years."
World famous designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana fame have been convicted of evading taxes on over 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in royalties. The criminal act involved selling off some of their main brands to a Luxembourg holding company allegedly to evade paying taxes.
Let's be honest, no one likes to pay taxes. But this aversion to giving up some of our hard earned money is usually offset by our desire to maintain a well-ordered society and infrastructure. Nevertheless, the "bad guy," so to speak, in each country is usually the tax collector. In the United States both Uncle Sam and the IRS often get the bad rap. In Europe, it is a rather similar affair. While naming each European country's "bad guy" would take more time than it's worth, talking about the growing "shadow economy" is worthy of the time.