In the February 2018 Taxcast: we look at the United States, Trump’s tax reforms and the killing of the American Dream. Plus: as we see yet another school shooting, should the powerful National Rifle Association continue to be a tax-exempt, non-profit organisation? And we discuss ongoing state-capture in Malta as the European Banking Authority investigates Pilatus bank, the subject of murdered journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia’s investigations. Can the Malta Financial Services Authority possibly be ‘fully equipped and free from conflicts of interest to perform its supervisory duties’?
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A trust is an arrangement that separates out ownership of an asset. Under a standard trust a person gives up an asset for the beneﬁt of someone else (the beneﬁciary) under a set of rules (the trust deed.) These rules are enforced by a third person, the trustee. Trusts are used extensively in tax havens, whose laws provide secrecy which allows the original owner to pretend to have given away the asset while in reality still controlling it. This allows them to potentially escape the tax bill on its income, or hide links to money laundering or other criminal activity.