Why Taxation Must Go Global … but in practice !

 

Wolfgang SchäubleWolfgang Schäuble has been Germany’s Federal Minister of Finance since 2009, helping to engineer the country’s remarkable post-crisis growth. He previously served as Minister of the Interior during the governments of Angela Merkel (2005-09) and Helmut Kohl (1989-91), and has been Chairman of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union.


Extrait de: Why Taxation Must Go Global, Wolfgang Schäuble, Project Syndicate, OCT 30, 2014

BERLIN – We are witnessing profound changes in the way that the world economy works. As a result of the growing pace and intensity of globalization and digitization, more and more economic processes have an international dimension. As a consequence, an increasing number of businesses are adapting their structures to domestic and foreign legal systems and taxation laws.

Thanks to technical advances in the digital economy, companies can serve markets without having to be physically present in them. At the same time, sources of income have become more mobile: There is an increasing focus on intangible assets and mobile investment income that can easily be “optimized” from a tax point of view and transferred abroad.

En plus clair, faire de l’évasion fiscale à tour de bras.

Tax legislation has not kept pace with these developments. Most of the tax-allocation principles that apply today date back to a time when doing business internationally primarily meant transporting goods across a border to a neighboring country. But rules that were devised for this in the 1920s and 1930s are no longer suitable for today’s international integration of economic processes and corporate structures. They need to be adapted to the economic reality of digital services.

In the absence of workable rules, states are losing revenue that they urgently need in order to fulfill their responsibilities. At the same time, the issue of fair taxation is becoming more and more pressing, because the number of taxpayers who make an adequate contribution to financing public goods and services is decreasing.

Évidemment, la démographie touche tous les pays occidentaux, moins de travailleurs pour payer des impôts substantiels.

The resulting tensions between national fiscal sovereignty and the borderless scope of today’s business activities can be resolved only through international dialogue and uniform global standards. Within the European Union, permitting groups of states to forge ahead with joint solutions to issues that can be addressed only multilaterally has worked well in the past. If such measures prove successful, other states follow.

This approach can also serve as a global governance model for resolving international problems. In today’s world, even large states cannot establish and enforce international frameworks on their own. Groups of countries still can. This has been demonstrated in the context of financial-market regulation; it is starting to become clear with regard to the regulatory framework for the digital economy; and it is now being confirmed in the area of taxation.

The Seventh Meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes took place in Berlin this week, bringing together representatives from 122 countries and jurisdictions, as well as the EU.

A joint agreement on the automatic exchange of information on financial accounts was signed on Wednesday.

The joint agreement was originally an initiative by Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Roughly 50 early-adopter countries and territories decided to take part, while other countries have indicated their willingness to join.

The agreement is based on the Common Reporting Standard, which was developed by the OECD. Under the CRS, tax authorities receive information from banks and other financial service providers and automatically share it with tax authorities in other countries. In the future, virtually all of the information connected to a bank account will be reported to the tax authorities of the account holder’s country, including the account holder’s name, balance, interest and dividend income, and capital gains.

Various measures are in place to ensure that banks can identify the beneficial owner and notify the relevant tax authorities accordingly. The CRS thus expands the scope of global, cross-border cooperation among national tax authorities. In this way, we can establish a regulatory framework for the age of globalization.

The automatic exchange of information is a pragmatic and effective response to the perceived lack of global governance regarding international tax issues. By making taxation fairer, governments will have a positive impact on people’s acceptance of their tax regimes.

This great success in the fight against international tax evasion would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. Now it is important to continue the efforts of the OECD and the G-20 in the area of corporate taxation. We need to make sure that creative tax planning in the form of profit-shifting and artificial profit reduction is no longer a lucrative business model.

A “beggar-thy-neighbor” taxation policy, by which one country pursues tax policies at the expense of others, is just as dangerous as beggar-thy-neighbor monetary policies based on competitive currency devaluation. It leads to misallocations – and will ultimately reduce prosperity around the world.

That is why we need to agree on uniform international standards in order to achieve fair international tax competition. The progress achieved in Berlin on the automatic exchange of tax information shows that, by working together, we can realize this goal.


Belle pensée, mais Oups, il y a anguille sous la roche dans son raisonnement.

Évidemment, il faudrait contrôler les ‘shadows banking’, les gens très riches ou les multinationales transferts leurs fonds ou leurs opérations vers des banques non régulés et le tour est jouer.


Extrait de :  Le «shadow banking» menace la stabilité financière, selon le FMI, La Presse, 01 octobre 2014

Le FMI a mis en garde mercredi contre la «croissance excessive» du système bancaire parallèle, ou «shadow banking», qui voit transiter des milliers de milliards de dollars et pourrait menacer la stabilité financière, notamment aux États-Unis.

Les acteurs de ce marché en pleine expansion (fonds d'investissements, fonds monétaires, sociétés de financement, assureurs...) agissent «comme les banques» en prêtant de l'argent collecté auprès d'investisseurs, mais ne sont soumis à aucune régulation, indique le Fonds monétaire international dans un rapport.

Les sommes transitant par ce système parallèle totalisent aujourd'hui jusqu'à 60 000 milliards de dollars dans les principales économies du globe, pas si loin des 72 105 milliards du produit intérieur brut mondial en 2013, selon le FMI, qui évoque une «croissance excessive» de ce secteur.

Lors d'une conférence de presse, un des responsables du département stabilité financière au Fonds, Gaston Gelos, a précisé que le montant total sur le globe était estimé «à plus de 70 000 milliards de dollars». «C'est donc assez important», a-t-il indiqué.

Les États-Unis sont les plus exposés (entre 15 000 et 25 000 milliards de dollars), suivis par la zone euro (entre 13 500 et 22 500 milliards) et les pays émergents (7000 milliards), indique ce rapport sur la stabilité financière.

«Le 'shadow banking' a tendance à prospérer quand des régulations bancaires strictes sont mises en place, menant à un contournement des règles», estime M. Gelos, cité dans un communiqué, en référence au renforcement des normes bancaires sur le globe (Bâle III...)

Ce marché prospère également du fait des taux d'intérêt faibles dans les grands pays industrialisés qui poussent les investisseurs vers une course aux «rendements plus élevés».

Selon le FMI, le «shadow banking» peut certes être bénéfique pour stimuler l'activité dans les pays émergents où le secteur bancaire traditionnel est limité par ses «capacités» ou par des obstacles «réglementaires».

Mais il est également porteur de «risques»: si les investisseurs réclamaient leur dû simultanément, les acteurs de ce marché pourraient être incapables de les rembourser et de vendre rapidement leurs créances, note le Fonds.

«Cela pourrait conduire à des ventes et à des achats au rabais similaires à ceux qui ont eu lieu pendant la crise financière mondiale» de 2008, écrit le Fonds, appelant les pays à surveiller ce marché afin de garder le système financier «sûr».

Selon le FMI, une coopération internationale est nécessaire pour éviter qu'un renforcement des règles dans un État ne conduise à une «migration» de ce marché vers des pays plus cléments

Au théâtre d’ombres de la haute finance,
on mise et on risque chaque jour.

Sur les titres des dettes souveraines, l’or, les matières premières, des sociétés ou des indices. On y gagne des fortunes, on y perd aussi des sommes colossales.

Mais, et c’est plus grave, on y met parfois à risque l’ensemble de l’économie mondiale.

Au moment où les économies se débattent avec un nouvel avatar de la crise.

Malgré les réglementations créées depuis 2008, la sphère des activités financières hors la loi, non pas délictueuses mais situées dans une zone grise non régulée, dépasse désormais celle de la finance régulée.

Via une filiale installée dans un paradis fiscal, tout devient possible: spéculer sur ses fonds propres, prendre des positions contraires à celles de ses clients, posséder des hedge funds…

Et bien sûr à l’abri de payer des impôts

C’est qu’il est plus difficile, par définition, de réglementer les zones grises de la finance que la banque qui exerce en pleine lumière. Même (ou surtout) lorsqu’il s’agit des mêmes.

Ainsi, aux Iles Caïman, cinquième place financière mondiale grâce à une confondante absence de législation, les plus grandes banques internationales ont pignon sur rue.. (1)


Extrait de : Where the Next Financial Crisis Will Come From, Times, Rana Foroohar, Nov. 3, 2014

The next financial crisis won’t come from the banking sector. That’s the message implicit in the latest report on the global financial sector from the Financial Stability Board, the group that monitors what’s happening with the world’s money flow. Instead, it’s very likely to come from the massive and growing “shadow banking” sector—an area mostly untouched by our government regulators.

New numbers show that the shadow banking industry—which includes everything from money market funds to real-estate trusts to hedge funds—grew by a whopping $5 trillion in 2013 to $75 trillion. If you look at the sector as a percentage of the global economy, that’s nearly what is was pre-crisis, back in 2007.

That means many of the risks that used to be held on bank balance sheets have moved to the non-regulated areas of finance. This says a number of important things. First and perhaps most importantly, all the backslapping in Washington about how much “safer” our banking system is now than it was six years ago is meaningless. While banks are still plenty risky, increasingly, new financial risk isn’t being held in banks — it’s being held in places that regulators can’t see it. (see my debate with Treasury over that fact here.) That Dodd-Frank financial regulation wasn’t able to do more about this is a real pity.

One of the ways that you can already see how the shadow-banking sector is influencing the financial markets is in margin debt. That’s a measure of the amount of debt that investors are using to buy stocks – and right now, New York Stock Exchange margin debt is at record highs; some think that’s because hedge funds have become such huge market players, in some cases as large or larger than banks in terms of their influence. Margin debt at record highs is scary for many reasons, one of which is that when there’s a lot of margin debt and the market turns, it speeds up a fall, leading to the kind of snowball effect that can lead to a market crash.

While that won’t necessarily happen any time soon, it’s worth remembering that debt itself is always the best predictor of financial crisis. As plenty of research shows, over the last two hundred years or so, every single financial crisis has been preceded by a big increase in debt levels. The growth in the shadow banking sector means we now know less, not more, than we did about who’s holding debt than before the financial crisis of 2008. That’s something we should all be worried about.