Leaked HSBC Files from Swiss Bank lead to Tax Evasion and Money Laundering charges

Data in massive cache of leaked secret bank account files lift lid on questionable practices at subsidiary of one of world’s biggest financial institutions

Source: www.theguardian.com

Video:  Guardian explains case against HSBC

>”[…]  The Guardian’s evidence of a pattern of misconduct at HSBC in Switzerland is supported by the outcome of recent court cases in the US and Europe. The bank was named in the US as a co-conspirator for handing over “bricks” of $100,000 a time to American surgeon Andrew Silva in Geneva, so that he could illegally post cash back to the US.

Another US client, Sanjay Sethi, pleaded guilty in 2013 to cheating the US tax authorities. He was one of a group of convicted HSBC clients. The prosecution said an HSBC banker promised “the undeclared account would allow [his] assets to grow tax-free, and bank secrecy laws in Switzerland would allow Sethi to conceal the existence of the account”.

In France, an HSBC manager, Nessim el-Maleh, was able to run a cash pipeline in which plastic bags full of currency from the sale of marijuana to immigrants in the Paris suburbs were collected. The cash was then taken round to HSBC’s respectable clients in the French capital. Bank accounts back in Switzerland were manipulated to reimburse the drug dealers.

HSBC is already facing criminal investigations and charges in France, Belgium, the US and Argentina as a result of the leak of the files, but no legal action has been taken against it in Britain.

Former tax inspector Richard Brooks tells BBC Panorama in a programme to be aired on Monday night: “I think they were a tax avoidance and tax evasion service. I think that’s what they were offering.

“There are very few reasons to have an offshore bank account, apart from just saving tax. There are some people who can use an … account to avoid tax legally. For others it’s just a way to keep money secret.”

The Labour party said: “Tax avoidance and evasion harms every taxpayer in Britain, and undermines public services like the NHS. What is truly shocking is that HMRC were made fully aware of these practices back in 2010 but since then very little has been done.””<

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Utilizing Renewable Energy Tax Incentives to Finance First Nations Energy Projects

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Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>We recommend that a tribe use a request for proposal (RFP) or other competitive process to identify an appropriate taxable development partner, so that they can obtain the best available proposal for the renewable energy project and the best value for the 30% investment tax credit and potentially depreciation. Under the RFP strategy, the tribe would make taxable developers aware of its renewable energy development plans, as well as potentially its willingness to pay for a portion of the renewable energy project.

The RFP would request the taxable developers to provide their best proposals regarding the development and financing of the renewable energy facilities, including proposals regarding:

The overall cost of the renewable energy facilities.The particular equipment to be installed and the warranties on that equipment.The developer’s willingness to limit the amount of the financial contribution by the tribe.The developer’s willingness to limit, in time and amount, any payments by the tribe for energy from or for leasing the renewable energy facilities.

The tribe could then select the taxable development partner that provides the best financial and other terms. A potential result of the RFP process could likely be that if the tribe is willing and able to pay for one half of the renewable energy facilities, a taxable developer might be willing to finance the rest of the facilities. Even if the developer does not share any of the value of the depreciation, it may be willing to at least provide the tribe full value for the investment tax credit. This would mean that there would be only 20% of the project cost to be paid over time. This could be accomplished by having the tribe pay a reduced rate for electricity for a period of at least five years (to avoid any recapture of the tax credits under IRS rules), and then for the developer, once it is made whole on its investment, to turn the facilities over to the tribe, potentially free of charge.

This transfer could be accomplished by allowing the tribe to use its 50% contribution to the LLC to purchase the taxable developer’s interest in the LLC, and for the tribe to have the right to purchase this interest based upon the renewable energy facilities’ value under a theoretical removal and sale of the facilities. Thus, under this scenario, the tribe’s initial capital outlay for the renewable energy facilities would be reduced by half, and the tribe would be able to receive reduced-priced energy for an interim period of time and then obtain full ownership of the renewable energy facilities.<

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