Turning the tide: The Fight Against Tax Crimes, Money Laundering and Corruption

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June 04, 2013, AK Bildungszentrum

Panel debate with
  • Brigitte Unger | Utrecht University School of Economics, WSI Wirtschafts-und Sozialwissenschaftliches Institut (Düsseldorf)
  • James Henry | International Tax Justice Network (New York)
  • Gubad Ibadoglu | Azerbaijan State Economic University, Economic Research Centre (Baku)
  • Martina Neuwirth | VIDC-Wiener Institut


Debt rises while wealth is hidden

Due to the global financial crisis, public households are stretched to the edge – also in Europe. Debt levels soar worldwide, the problem of over-indebtedness has reached the centers of the global financial system. At the same time, 21 to 32 trillion USD of private wealth is hidden in offshore accounts, 7 to 10 billion USD come from 139 developing countries. A lot of it goes untaxed. Tax crimes, money laundering and corruption are often intertwined. They deprive governments in developing and developed countries of urgently needed revenues. Tax evaders, kleptocrats and drug barons often use the same means and channels to hide money. They are helped by secrecy jurisdictions (amongst them Western countries) as well as a global web of “enablers” (accounting firms, lawyers, company service providers etc).

Authorities are clamping down on tax evasion and corruption

But times are changing. Tax and legal authorities begin to clamp down on tax evasion and corruption more thoroughly. The G-20 and the OECD support the automatic information exchange of tax data. The European Commission wants stronger measures against money laundering. And Austria might give up its banking secrecy (at least partially). Is all this lip service paid to worried taxpayers (and voters)? Or is the tide really turning?

Organisation: VIDC/Wiener Institut in cooperation with the Federal Chamber of Labour.



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