On beneficial ownership registers

Ed Miliband has declared he will not “back down” in the row between the Labour Party and businesses, as he announced plans to step up his assault on tax avoidance.

The Labour leader said he would set a six month deadline for Bermuda, Jersey and other British “tax havens” to open their books or face being put on an international blacklist, if Labour wins the general election in May.

Hmm. I wonder if Murphy has told him this:

In contrast to the UK, companies incorporated in Bermuda must be processed through a service provider, such as a law firm or corporate service provider. Unlike the UK and many other jurisdictions the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) receives information on direct and indirect beneficial owners, including any change in beneficial ownership in respect of exempted companies.

Such information is available to the relevant tax authorities in other jurisdictions (including the UK) via the various international exchange of information policies, laws and treaties Bermuda has in place. Law enforcement also has relatively quick and easy access to beneficial ownership information in Bermuda. Bermuda is therefore already ahead of the UK and many other jurisdictions on the issue of beneficial ownership transparency.

11 thoughts on “On beneficial ownership registers”

  1. Bermuda has said it is “surprised and disappointed” to be included a list of places Ed Miliband says Labour would target in a tax avoidance clampdown.

    Al Beeb

  2. So Much for Subtlety

    Bermuda is therefore already ahead of the UK and many other jurisdictions on the issue of beneficial ownership transparency.

    Well there is a simple solution to this. We need a group of retired South African Special Forces personnel, some Namibian mercenaries and a couple of old Etonians with lots of Wonga.

    The goal will be to over-throw the British Parliament and make me Grand Pooh Bah (no, really, that will be my new title) and Lord High Executioner. I will make the British follow the Bermudan system.

    Needless to say, Ritchie will support me and the coup. As tax fairness is more important than local democracy or the rule of law or anything like that. To be consistent, he has to, right?

  3. Miliband would place British dependencies on an international blacklist?

    That’s a bit like suing your feet for not cutting your toenails, isn’t it?

  4. Will it change anything though? It’s a matter of public record that Apple has billions of dollars stashed in a Caribbean island: and it’s perfectly legal.

  5. @Andrew M, changing anything is not the point. Anyone genuinely interested in change would do their homework.

    The point is to campaign for superficially plausible change, and get paid for doing so.

  6. Ah, but the UK will be complying “soon”, as legislation is due to next month. I have this from the Holy Mighty Holy One himself.

    Well done the UK Government. (He knows this is Cameron’s lot correct?)

  7. I expect all these tax havens look the same to the Milliweird.

    Well, as many of these places are a little bit duskier than the average (mean, median or modal) British hue, and certainly than Milliband, Toynbee or the LHTD, then, by the rules of leftist discourse, they’re all a bunch of racists. Aren’t they?

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