Foreign Trusts are legal. Let me repeat this: legal

Germany’s Deutsche Welle reports

Journalists will name names, goes the critique, but they don’t have evidence that the names behind the shell companies are guilty of having done anything illegal.

How can this even be a “thing”?  Everyone is acting within the law, yet somehow, this is the biggest world-wide scandal for some time.

The criticism has come up repeatedly, most often by lawyers, financial experts and even from media personalties themselves. The German magazine for journalists, Meedia, wrote the research was of “dubious quality.”

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, financial expert Dirk Müller said that “we’ve known for decades that shell companies have existed on a large scale; that Panama is a textbook example of a tax haven for such firms.

Where’s the surprise in that?”

“What’s more interesting than which names have appeared on the list are those which do not,” Müller said, after questioning the “great scandal.” It’s remarkable that the names tend to have come from those on the “other side” politically. People from China, Russia, the Arab world. “Where are the big names from America?” Where the documents optimized before publication, taking away the names that one doesn’t want to see on them?”

And why is New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key the only international statesman singled out by the Manifesto, supposedly written by someone overseas with no specific links or motivations to point the finger at New Zealand, unless there is a fantastically clear reason to do so?  

And more specifically, why was John Key not mentioned when the complete and definitive list of high profile people involved with the Panama Papers was released earlier?

And let me repeat:  none of it is illegal.   International trusts are possible through legislation introduced by the Labour Party.  Never a problem until… now.

As of now, the “Panama Papers” scandal seems to center on the alleged criminal activities being hidden by the shell companies. There isn’t any evidence yet. Which begs the question asked by critics of the leak: just what do the journalists plan to do?

The trusts are legal, their use is by and large genuine, and some dodgy people use them to stash funds that are yet to be proven to have been obtained illegally.

So where’s the problem?  And why is John Key at all responsible in any way for an Italian politician arranging tax matters in another country.  Legally?

“Mossack Fonseca,” the firm at the heart of the scandal for its ties to shell companies, has said that it can provide proof that the companies it founded were not created or used to evade taxes, launder money or for other criminal purposes.

If the bank actually can provide evidence that they were thorough in the accounting and the majority of the owners of these companies can prove that they run no illegal businesses – only take part in a tax avoidance scheme – then the publication of the “Panama Papers” will have had no long-term impact, according to financial experts from leading tax consultancies. Perhaps the real scandal lies, then, in the double standards of a not-very-forceful international policy against tax havens.

A debate over the desirability to have such tax devices, and if New Zealand should participate in it, is a valid debate to have.  But as per usual, the media, left and Hager’s mob are totally over egging the pudding.

 

– Wolfgang Dick, Deutsche Welle

 


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  • Left Right Out

    And the Angry one has now come out saying he would ban them all

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/79744775/labour-party-would-ban-foreign-trusts

  • XCIA

    This is the picture that the Snowden mongrel’s Wikileaks was promulgating as the short list of political offenders involved in dodgy trusts as a result of the latest hack. I can’t see the PM there, can you?

    • Sagacious Blonde

      Several sets of identical quadruplets and triplets?
      Is there anything that is not manipulated to suit their own ends.

    • kayaker

      I can see a few people in there more than once. How credible is this? Not one jot.

    • Sticktotheknitting

      Row 1 is repeated as is row 2. Liars. Just another hit by the have nots on the people who work damn hard.

    • Rebecca

      I can see Rowan Atkinson three times dressed in a white arab head dress. What can it all mean?!

  • Rick H

    From what I have seen, these “Panama Papers” involve “Trusts” set up in at least 199 countries other than NZ.
    Less than 5% of these trusts are said to have been set up in, well, Is it the Cook Islands, or New Zealand? – -it seems very unclear about that.

    Is this “trust” system, the modern day equivalent of having a “Swiss Bank Account?

    One more point; this is all about “Tax Avoidance” – NOT “Tax Evasion”.

    Avoidance – is the legitimate act of ensuring you pay no more tax than you are obliged to under the law. (This is why people use accountants.)

    Any person not already doing this, is a fool. Every salary/wage/dividend earner has the opportunity to do an annual “tax return” to avoid paying too much tax.

    Evasion – is the Illegal act of “unpaid taxes” that you legally are bound to pay.
    That is a crime.
    You will go to Jail for that; or at least be faced with a heavy fine, or home detention.

    Unless you are Matt McCarten or the NZHerald.

    • Bruno 32

      How McCarten manages to fly under the media radar is a complete mystery to me.

      • MarcWills

        Reprompt: It’s different when the left do it.

  • cows4me

    The left are so full of themselves, so the drongos wish to outlaw foreign trusts, so while they are at it why not outlaw secret campaign trusts . I seem to remember old Cunny was fond of these. I guess it’s not an issue for the socialists anymore, who in their right minds would donate to them enough money to warrant a trust?

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