Contact Information:

Center for
Freedom and Prosperity
 P.O. Box 10882
Alexandria, Virginia 22310-9998
Phone: 202-285-0244
Fax: 208-728-9639

CFP Update:  January 23, 2001

Top News: CFP to hold Briefings in London

1) CFP to hold briefings in London: Will support taxpayer interests and help defend low-tax nations during the OECD's task force meeting.

2) CFP in the Wall Street Journal:

3) BNA article on CFP's memorandum to low-tax countries and London trip

4) Two interesting developments

   a) European Commission to Sue Three Members Over Reduced Fuel Taxes for Truck Drivers

   b) IRS Proposed Rules on Reporting Of Deposit Interest Paid to Nonresident Aliens

5) Tax Notes International Article on Congressman Sam Johnson's letter to the OECD

6) Guest Paper: Mason Gaffney's, "Immobile Taxation in a World of Mobility"

** CFP will post to our web site the strategic memorandum to low-tax nations later today **


1) CFP will be bringing a delegation to London to help defend taxpayer rights and support low-tax nations. We are arriving Wednesday (24th). We are setting up events with some of our friends in the region. We have a public briefing scheduled for Friday, January 26, at 3:00 p.m. at the European Policy Forum -- 125 Pall Mall, London. PLEASE NOTE: Space is limited -- please e-mail us if you are interested (we may add a second event if necessary).

We also will have time for private briefings, particularly over the weekend. Please drop us an email as soon as you can if you would prefer this option.

We have planned a busy schedule with meetings with low-tax countries, policy makers from the United Kingdom, local business leaders, European business leaders, academia, and media. We will be staying at the Euston Plaza, 17/18 Upper Woburn Place, phone: 020 7383 4105 (Please note: Wednesday night [only] we will be at the Kensington Edwardian, 40-44 Harrington Gardens, phone: 020-737-0811).


2) Dan Mitchell's column in last Fridays Wall Street Journal:

"Two weeks ago the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development held a conference in Barbados hoping to convince "harmful tax regimes" from the Caribbean region to rewrite their tax and privacy laws according to OECD specifications. These countries have been branded "tax havens" because they offer both low taxes and financial privacy -- thus luring capital from higher tax jurisdictions and making life harder for the OECD's tax collectors.

"Representing the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a non-profit group founded to defend tax competition, financial privacy and fiscal sovereignty, CFP President Andrew Quinlan and I were invited to the Barbados meeting as private-sector advisers to the Antigua delegation..."



3) BNA article on CFP's memorandum to low-tax countries and London trip:

         Tax Haven Targets Offered Strategy For London OECD Task Force Meeting

     The Center for Freedom and Prosperity Jan. 22 said it is circulating a memorandum to low-tax countries offering strategic advice for addressing Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development accusations of harmful tax practices at a London task force meeting later in the week.

     "The memo is being sent today to the delegates from the low-tax countries," Dan Mitchell, chairman of CFP's board told BNA. "The main thrust of the memo, although we go through a lot of specific recommendations, is that the OECD is acting in bad faith," he said.

     Mitchell said OECD officials misrepresented the agreement, reached at a Jan. 8-9 meeting in Barbados with representatives of tax haven target countries, to hold the London task force meeting. Comments by OECD officials, he said, implied the low-tax countries had conceded to the organization's complaints.



4) Two interesting developments:

a) Our "friends" at the OECD are always saying that we misinterpret their agenda, that their initiative will not result in higher taxes or less sovereignty. Yet we only need to look at Europe to see the future. In Europe, countries must have minimum rates of tax in certain areas, but there are no maximums. Nations have lost sovereignty and taxpayers are at the bottom of the pecking order. Consider this recent story, showing that the European Commission plans to sue three members nations because their taxes on truck drivers are too low:

     "BRUSSELS--The European Commission said Jan. 19 it will initiate legal action against Italy, France, and the Netherlands after European Union finance ministers failed in their attempt to reach an agreement on phasing  out preferential excise taxes on fuel for truck drivers..."



b) The Clinton Administration had a busy final week. The IRS last week proposed new regulations that will force banks to inform foreign tax collectors about bank deposit earnings. This is a step not required by law. Indeed, it is at least somewhat at odds with legislative intent based on what happened the last time Congress addressed the issue. Fortunately, this is only a "proposed" regulation. The Center for Freedom and Prosperity already is working to derail this proposal that would cause capital to flee America. Here is a quote from a news story:

"...The proposed regulations extend the information reporting requirement for bank deposit interest paid to nonresident alien individuals who are residents of other foreign countries. This extension is appropriate for two reasons. First, requiring routine reporting to the IRS of all bank deposit interest paid within the United States will help to ensure voluntary compliance by U.S. taxpayers by minimizing the possibility of avoidance of the U.S. information reporting system (such as through false claims of foreign status). Second, several countries that have tax treaties or other agreements that provide for the exchange of tax information with the United States have requested information concerning bank deposits of individual residents of their countries..."



5) Tax Notes International Article on Congressman Sam Johnson's letter to the OECD

A senior member of the House tax-writing committee issued a strongly worded letter to OECD Secretary General Donald Johnston January 3, questioning the basis for the multinational body's stance against tax competition. This is further evidence that US lawmakers are opposing the OECD initiative.  The article reads, in part:

     "U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson, R-Texas, issued a strongly worded letter to OECD Secretary General Donald Johnston January 3, questioning the basis for the multinational body's stance against harmful tax cooperation.

     "I have been following the OECD's campaign against 'harmful tax competition,' and I believe the OECD is focusing on the wrong problem," Johnson wrote. "I am certain that many of my colleagues share my concerns about the OECD focusing on 'harmful tax competition' as opposed to 'harmfully high levels of tax burdens.'"


Johnson Letter: 


6) Article of the week: We have several papers from scholars from around the world on our web site. Each week we will feature one of these articles. Today's selection is Mason Gaffney's, "Immobile Taxation in a World of Mobility." Originally published May 4, 2000 in Racheter, Donald P., and Richard E. Wagner, (eds.), Federalist Government in Principle and Practice. Boston, Dordrecht, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000 (copyright 2001).

     Here is a brief tidibt: "Quite a few academics, like myself, do not agree that interjurisdictional competition is "harmful" to the world. We do not teach that small nations are sneaky free riders. We may not think they shelter only plaster saints, either, but those who pioneer ways around foolish or tyrannical tax laws, however selfishly, may be doing a favor to those who passively submit to overweening authorities and wish others would do the same. . . ."



Kind regards,


Andrew Quinlan

Center for Freedom and Prosperity



603-971-9137 (efax)




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