Parliament


Seismic Changes In Turkey

Posted on July 27th, by Global Tax Weekly in Government, Parliament. No Comments

Reforming a country’s tax code can often be an agonizing process. Often, it starts with the formation of a panel of experts or parliamentarians, charged with studying various options for reform. Then, the panel will publish a report detailing where the tax system is failing, and proposing ways in which it can be fixed. The report will then be submitted to parliament or the government, upon which the finance minister will laud the great work and dedication of the panel and its chairman. Within a week of this, it’ll probably be forgotten about. Or, if a tax reform bill is eventually drawn up, it will be so divisive as to be virtually impossible to approve, with the result that it gets batted back and forth between lower and upper chambers, finance committees, and constitutional courts. Some members of the legislature … Read More »


Frenzied Renzi

Posted on December 7th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Corporation Tax, Individual Taxation, Parliament. No Comments

There are some bad habits that Italy has to banish to give itself a fighting chance of avoiding a potentially cataclysmic economic crisis. For a start, a substantial swathe of the Italian population has gotten into the habit of thinking that taxation is a voluntary exercise. And the Government continues to spend money it doesn’t have. The result is a sticky budget deficit which the Government is struggling to contain, and sovereign debt worth 130 percent of GDP and rising. The economy also has a nasty habit of stalling and then failing to re-start. And it is difficult to see how the Government will break the cycle. Although cultural attitudes are largely responsible for rates of tax evasion in any given country, Italy’s tax system seems to provide ample scope for it to take place because a) it is so … Read More »


Land Of The Rising Debt

Posted on November 23rd, by Global Tax Weekly in Individual Taxation, Parliament, Sales Tax. No Comments

India’s economy has yet to peak, but most observers would agree that in the main, the country will be looking up at the summit, rather than down at the base, in the coming decades. One really does wonder whether the opposite is true of Japan, which perhaps reached its economic peak over 20 years ago and is now staring up at a debt mountain, wondering when the summit will appear. After some pretty disastrous economic data this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, perhaps the most dynamic Japanese leader in recent history for his economic polices at least, got the frights and decided to cancel a consumption tax rise from five percent to eight percent, not due to take effect until next October; the first stage of the phased increase, from three percent to five percent, which took place last April, … Read More »


Disunited Kingdom

Posted on October 12th, by Global Tax Weekly in Citizenship, Individual Taxation, Parliament. No Comments

Given the sorry state of the eurozone’s economy at the moment, the turn-around in fortunes for the United Kingdom’s economy looks remarkable, especially as the former is one of the latter’s main export markets. Prime Minister David Cameron also made the right noises on tax at the recent Conservative Party conference, calling for a substantial and long overdue increase in the threshold at which the 40 percent rate of income tax kicks in. It used to be that you had to be earning significant amounts of money before the Government took almost half of your pay. Now somebody earning not much more than 40,000 pounds is considered rich, and the UK isn’t the only offender in having intermediate and top rates of income tax applying at criminally low levels of pay. Anyway, this is something of a digression, because it’s … Read More »


Upside-Down Hill

Posted on August 17th, by Global Tax Weekly in Corporation Tax, Parliament. No Comments

It’s something of an exaggeration to say that the United States Congress is totally paralyzed. Yes, the ideological chasm between a left-wing Government and a right-wing Republican Party holding sway in the House of Representatives is wide. Yet since the commencement of the 113th Congress on January 5, 2013 – perhaps the most divided Congress in modern history – 146 laws have been enacted and the current session isn’t due to end until January 3, 2015. Yes, this figure is substantially lower than the 283 laws enacted in the 112th Congress and the 383 enacted in the 111th. But it shows that Congress isn’t completely gridlocked. The difference between the current session and the previous two is that the amount of tax legislation passed over the last 18 months has been virtually nil, (scouring the list of statutes, I found … Read More »


Oz Carbonized

Posted on July 2nd, by Global Tax Weekly in Carbon Taxes, Mining, Parliament. No Comments

By the time you read this, the farcical saga of Australia’s carbon legislation may have reached the end of its beginning, to use Winston Churchill’s words, but it probably won’t have reached the beginning of its end. The new Senate will have been installed on July 1st, and after no doubt a considerable amount of ritual grandstanding (all legislatures do it) may have gotten to vote on the repeal of the carbon tax installed by the outgoing Labour government. But if it does so, the minority parties will have extracted a high price by forcing the Government to retain its Renewable Energy Target, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation which has supported renewable energy projects. They are also going to try to compel the Government to enshrine a carbon pricing scheme in law, although the price would be set at … Read More »


Constitutional Capers

Posted on May 18th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Carbon Taxes, Mining, Parliament. No Comments

There is a tale of two countries Down Under this week, with both New Zealand and Australia launching their annual budgets. Both have right-wing governments, but whereas New Zealand is reaping the harvest of four years of sensible, low-key, pro-business taxation policies, turning in annual surpluses as far as the eye can see, Australia’s equally pro-business government is left with the bitter stubble of seven years of left-wing Labor rule, and is forced into a tax-raising budget to try to repair some of the damage done to the economy by Labor’s spendthrift policies. The Australian Labor Party did occasionally make gestures in the direction of business, but that’s all they were – virtually every substantive measure taken by the last government was either populist or overtly negative for the economy.

One other important difference between the twin countries, one much bigger … Read More »


Learning To Love Tax Collectors

Posted on May 1st, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Parliament. No Comments

The IRS, which like most tax authorities is subject to a regime of democratic accountability only indirectly, has not had a good week, after it was accused by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration of paying bonuses to tax-deliquent employees, and told by the United States Government Accountability Office that it needs to sharpen up still further even after having had to deal with a series of past budget cuts. The GAO also criticized the IRS for failing to audit a sufficient number of large partnerships, a relatively new phenomenon in the investment sphere. Nobody much loves tax collectors, but you have to have a degree of sympathy with the IRS, which has become a victim of internecine political rivalry on the Hill, as sequestration and a series of unimplemented budgets have left it with yesterday’s level of resources … Read More »


“In The Name Of God, Go!”

Posted on March 20th, by Global Tax Weekly in Parliament. No Comments

The outgoing European Parliament is remaining true to its warped principles, and is going out on a high, waving through a suicidal prescription for enhancement of the AMLD. Ah, you didn’t know? That stands for the Anti-Money Laundering Directive, and to give you an idea of how it works, last week a friend of mine in Italy received a letter from a local bank (mischievously backdated by two months) demanding immediate compliance with the Directive, on pain of account closure. Passport, utility bill, the usual stuff. He wasn’t going to be in Italy for a month, but they wouldn’t accept this. So the account will be closed, but by him, not by them! Instead, he will use another, non-EU bank account where they still have human beings rather than bureaucratic automatons in the pay of Strasbourg. How many money-launderers do … Read More »





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