The Netherlands has unveiled proposals for wide-ranging reforms to the country’s tax system. Presenting ‘Building Blocks for a Better Tax System’ in a Parliamentary letter submitted to the House of Representatives on May 18, State Secretary for Finance Hans Vijlbrief unveiled plans to improve and “future-proof” the country’s tax system.
The report is based on the results of 11 investigations into seven “bottlenecks” in the tax regime which lead to unfavorable outcomes. It suggests 169 “building blocks” that political parties could use in future to rebuild the tax system.
According to the Government, the seven bottlenecks include:
A rising tax burden on labor;
Ineffective taxation of the platform and gig economy;
Inconsistent taxation of capital, with some forms of capital income taxed more lightly than others;
Inadequate taxation of profits;
Insufficent “pricing” of pollution through taxation; and
The declining effectiveness of national taxation.
Policy options detailed in the … Read More »
The Estonian Government have proposed income tax exemptions for donations made to hospitals and other such bodies.
According to the Government, the exemption will apply to donations and gifts to support efforts at corporate hospitals, welfare institutions and state and local government agencies. Normally, donations can only be made tax-free to non-profit associations and foundations that operate in the public interest and which are charitable.
In Latvia, meanwhile, the Government this week approved a Ministry of Finance proposal to exempt donations intended to help prevent the spread of the virus from corporate tax.
Under the plans, the corporate tax exemption will apply to donations of goods and services to entities directly affected by the virus, including companies, associations and foundations. The exemption would apply from the start of the state of emergency until the end of 2020.
Both sets of measures need to be … Read More »
Norway has unveiling a package of measures which includes a value-added tax cut for certain industries, and the postponement of advance tax deadlines.
These new measures are as follows:
A further reduction in VAT for certain industry sectors, including passenger transport, accommodation and parts of the cultural sector, whose supplies are typically subject to a 12 percent VAT rate. The rate was previously lowered to eight percent but the Government has decided to lower this rate still, to seven percent, for transactions during the period April 1, 2020, to October 31, 2020.
For personal taxpayers, the first instalment of advance tax is postponed from March 15 to May 1, 2020, with the second instalment postponed from May 15 to July 15, 2020.
For corporate taxpayers, the second instalment of advance tax is postponed from April 15 to September 1, 2020, although electric power enterprises … Read More »
Faced with an unprecedented situation, and with economic and social conundrums the like of which haven’t been seen since World War II (if then), governments internationally have been obliged to fight on several fronts at once, attempting to ensure support and resources for their health systems, whilst seeking to bolster stuttering economies and suddenly impoverished populations, in the hopes of preventing short-term destitution and long-term hardship.
Moves in this area over the past week have included in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 ordered the country’s population of 1.3 billion into lockdown for three weeks. However, in addition, the Indian authorities announced various tax measures to support businesses and individuals. These included that:
The deadline for FY18-19 income tax returns has been extended from March 31, 2020, to June 30, 2020.
The Aadhaar-PAN linking date is to be extended from … Read More »
According to European Council President Donald Tusk, a special place has been reserved in the afterlife for those seeking to bring about a hard Brexit without a plan. By “special,” Mr Tusk didn’t mean “nice.” What he meant was that Boris and Nigel won’t be needing to pack their winter clothes for life in the forever after.
Unsurprisingly, such comments have merely served to fan the flames of the already white-hot Brexit debate. But, away from the fiery rhetoric, member states are at least beginning to make preparations for a no-deal Brexit in an attempt to cushion the blow for taxpayers and businesses. How effective they will be is another matter.
In the Netherlands, State Secretary of Finance Menno Snel informed parliament late last month that the Tax and Customs Administration is preparing for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union without … Read More »
It’s the start of a new working year, and in the field of taxation it’s very much business as usual. In the United States, taxpayers and their advisers are no doubt still busy poring over the details of reams of proposed new tax regulations which have been issued in recent weeks. And looking ahead, they will also need to get to grips with a new package of technical corrections to the TJCA, as well as to existing tax law.
As has become almost customary, the political climate in Washington is unlikely to help matters, though. We now have a split Congress and a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives that is likely to oppose President Donald Trump at every turn, just as the Republican Congress did in the final years of President Obama’s premiership. A hint of the bipartisan politics to come was … Read More »
On November 26, a legal challenge brought by 13 UK expats against the decision of the EU Council to endorse the start of negotiations with the UK on exiting the European Union was rejected by the General Court of the EU. So is Brexit now an unstoppable force? Perhaps the only question left is what sort of Brexit will it be? Prime Minister May’s EU-lite? Canada +++? The Norway option? WTO rules?
The possibility of another referendum on the matter remains, although the chances are slim. What is crystal clear however, is that the waters are now as muddy as ever. So much so that businesses have largely given up attempting to plan for Brexit. At least, that is the conclusion drawn from a survey by accountants Moore Stephens of Brexit preparedness within the business community.
According to the firm, since last … Read More »
If I was to say “would those who actually think the EU’s digital taxation plans are a good idea, please stand up” I’d be willing to bet that most of you would be still sitting comfortably. At least those who have an understanding of these issues. Because, as the catalogue of criticism of the European Commission’s digital tax proposals mounts, so too does the list of business associations, economists, and EU member states expressing skepticism and concern about the idea. The way things are going, soon Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron will be only the ones left standing.
One wonders how long the EU will continue to push the digital tax, given that in April reports emerged following an informal meeting of EU finance ministers that France was in a minority of one in fully supporting the proposals. Does this mean even … Read More »
In the United States, tax reform continues to be as divisive politically after the fact as it was during the legislative progress. Indeed, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that those whose political sympathies lay closer to the Democrats than the Republicans still oppose the changes, even though a great many of them stand to benefit.
Complain as they might that the TCJA was skewed towards corporations and fiscally irresponsible, there’s very little that the Democrats can do at the moment to reverse things. Perhaps this year’s mid-term congressional elections may give them more influence over legislation and policy. But, would they really want to start picking off the bits of the TCJA they don’t like? Given that the tax cuts are encouraging some of America’s largest firms to relocate operations domestically, and that the IMF tacitly endorsed … Read More »
The odds against an historic overhaul to the US tax code appear to have shortened considerably recently. But let’s be clear, this is likely to be a marathon, not a sprint. And an obstacle-strewn one at that – a kind of 26-mile steeplechase. In which case, there’s plenty of opportunities for the tax reform bill to trip, stumble, bog down, and ultimately run out of legs.
Not that I’m trying to deliberately talk down the GOP’s tax reform efforts. If we ignore the politics of the proposals for now – as difficult as that may be – it is clear that the kinds of changes that tax reform will bring are long overdue: tax code simplification; lower rates, especially on corporate income; and a wider tax base.
There’s no escaping the fact that there are some politically contentious provisions in the bill … Read More »