Timmy elsewhere

The Panama Papers actually show how overblown the estimates of offshore tax loss are:

And all of this is quite the most interesting thing that the Panama Papers have revealed. Yep, there’s lots of money floating around offshore. However, very much more of it is paying tax where and when it should than the campaigners have been telling us. Far from the Mossack Fonseca revelations showing us what a problem offshore is they show us the opposite. They show us, contrary to those more hysterical claims, quite how much of that offshore money is paying all the tax due. It’s all thus a very much smaller problem than normally claimed.

As absolutely everyone now agrees neither Ian nor David Cameron dodged any tax at all. Thus we cannot go around assuming that all that offshore money is dodging tax, can we? And as far as we can see, both from the Swiss banks example and from these more recent revelations most offshore money is paying tax just as it ought to. Thus offshore tax dodging is a very much smaller problem than we have been led to believe. And isn’t that interesting?

17 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. Indeed, after the Putin and world leaders, Simon Cowell buying land through a local company was the next earth shattering expose. Shows they ran out of interesting stuff quickly.

    Interesting will be when the full 2.4TB is published. Let’s see who the media decided to filter out. Must be more yanks, more media barons and other interested parties in there. Particularly given who funds the ICIJ.

  2. I agree that the estimates of tax evaded or proceeds of crime are often vastly overstated by politicans, journalists and tax policy advocates. In fact, if you follow me on Twitter you will see me often citing Maya Forstater, a tax policy advocate who also is a stickler for numbers.

    While blatant amateurs like Mr. Murphy are irritating in their claims its when those with academic credentials (beyond .2 Professor M) make these claims but then go silent when challenged. In particular, I refer to LSE lecturer Gabriel Zucman. He never misses an opportunity to retweet a glowing (ie superficial fawning) review of his book, but when the basis for his estimates are challenged, he is as silent as a crypt.

    Although the estimates of tax evasion and hiding crime/corruption are overblown, it is still a problem. That is because this bogeyman is used as a reason for “banning tax havens”.

    Here is a column I wrote which attempts to deal with the illegal without hampering the essential.


  3. My understanding is they have had the files for a year. If they had anything solid they would have led with it.

  4. A genuine question – if the Cameron’s did not reduce their Tax bill from using BVI, then why do it?
    I do understand that in 3rd world countries there is a real benefit in simply hiding your wealth, but for the Camerons? Seems less likely.
    So what is the benefit if it isn’t to reduce/defer tax? Why bother?
    And remember the answer needs to more than cover the £100k+ required to start up and run the scheme…

  5. ‘And remember the answer needs to more than cover the £100k+ required to start up and run the scheme…’
    Citation needed, and to someone other than the 0.2 Professor.

  6. Still, let us at least praise Murph and his like for the huge fuss they’ve made about the “tax planning” of Tony Benn, the Miliband brothers, and The Hodge. And, come to think of it, of Murph himself.

    Deafening, wunnit?

  7. Gary,

    According to a tax chap that appeared on BBC Breakfast, the BVI also has a lot of people who are good at setting things up, and a lighter regulatory regime in terms of setting them up quickly.

  8. None of your objective explanation is about morals. Because we all know that morally these people are wrong. Because, reasons.

  9. The public perception is that every person with money over there is a tax dodging criminal.whatever the facts tell us, that is the reality.

  10. David S Lesperance,

    I was hoping that my library had a copy of your book but no luck. At $32 for the dead tree version for something that will have a low resale value it will have to wait until after other long term items on my reading list get purchased.

    Isn’t the real story here the fact that TPTB have set up a regulatory structure that makes Panama, or wherever is in the news tomorrow, more attractive than local options?

  11. dearieme

    If you go.onto Jolyon Maugham’s blog this morning you’ll see he is trying to claim the Camerons are terribly.much worse than the Milibands because they sorted their planning gout before the event rather than retrospectively looking for a way out of paying their tax bill.

    Decent Socialists just taking care with their finances -v- evil Tory bastards.

  12. Indeed, after the Putin and world leaders, Simon Cowell buying land through a local company was the next earth shattering expose.

    Was Cowell buying his land in a jurisdiction that makes it more difficult for non-citizens to acquire land? (That’s actually a serious question.)

  13. I wonder if soapy Jo has any sense of morality, because it seems to be very flexible and changes about twice a day.

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