As the UK gears up to begin the process of leaving the European Union at the end of the month (the implications of which are still, to be honest, as clear as mud in terms of trade and tax matters), near neighbor Ireland has been keeping busy with its own affairs ahead of the Republic’s planned election, to be held in February.
The election is set to take place on February 8, with Prime Minister Leo Varadkar explaining that this date provides a window to ensure a new government is in place ahead of the next European Council meeting in March.
In a recent speech, Varadkar revealed that the next step in the Brexit process, which is likely to especially impact the Republic due to its location and close relationship with the UK, will be to negotiate a free trade agreement between … Read More »
Following their election win, the UK’s Conservative Party has said it will use new “freedoms” from Brexit to set its own tax policies, including in the area of VAT.
In its pre-election manifesto, the Conservatives promised to not raise rates of income tax, VAT, or National Insurance. It also cancelled plans to lower the corporate tax rate from 19 percent to 17 percent from April 2020. The Government has however committed to lower the tax burden of business rates (the UK’s commercial property tax), and increase the employment allowance tax relief for small businesses. Further, the research and development tax credit rate will be raised to 13 percent, and the Government intends to review the activities in scope.
It also reportedly intends to also raise the National Insurance threshold to GBP9,500 next year.
On tax enforcement, the Conservative Party committed to:
Double the maximum … Read More »
What’s this? A political party called Five Star? Founded by who? A comedian? What? In Power?! With who? You mean Silvio’s back? And a flat tax? On corporate income too? In Italy?!
Yes, it can only be the latest edition of “voters do the funniest things.”
We’ve seen some unusual coalitions formed and attempted recently, unholy alliances between populist anti-establishment and mainstream parties. But Italy must top the lot. It’s difficult to pin down exactly where the Five Star Movement stands on the political spectrum, but it’s safe to assume, I think, that they are a long way from the nationalist overtones of the Lega Nord.
So what does all this mean for taxpayers? It’s difficult to say. One thing that the parties do have in common is their euroskepticism. But, given Lega Nord’s previous calls for a referendum on Italy’s membership of … Read More »
Isn’t it strange how governments seek to cut tax just before elections? It’s not by happenstance, and something that has happened for eons.
However, it used to be rare that anyone under the age of 40 would be considered for the highest national office. Now, millennials are winning elections left, right, and center, politically as well as figuratively.
Earlier this month the International Monetary Fund warned the Israeli Government to maintain fiscal discipline as elections approach, with cuts to individual and corporate income tax being considered.
And last week the Australian Government showered personal income taxpayers with tax gifts in what could be the last federal Budget before elections to the House of Representatives, where the Government is formed. Personal and corporate income taxpayers have been promised fairly significant tax cuts. But, with an election looming large, the risk is that the current … Read More »
Okay, imagine this scenario if you will: it’s November 2018, and finally you’ve got all your tax planning ducks in a row now that Congress has fixed the broken bits of the tax reform legislation, and the Internal Revenue Service has issued most of the necessary guidance to help taxpayers comprehend the more novel parts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. You’ve got your deductions lined up, your QBI sorted, you’ve avoided a BEAT, and you’re sure you’re not GILTI. Now you can breathe a sigh of relief.
But what’s this? You’ve been so engrossed in tax planning that you’ve forgotten about the elections. “Didn’t we just have one of those,” you think to yourself? Yes, but that was the Presidential election, and that was two years ago. This is the mid-terms, and the Democrats have won Congress back. And … Read More »
While these are exciting times for political commentators, they are something of a nightmare for taxpayers. Governments with clear majorities tend to have clear plans, even if most of the time the plans end up being executed only partially. But unholy alliances between parties of different stripes are often the source of policy paralysis, as the various participants seeks to reconcile what can sometimes be vastly differing positions on various issues, including taxation.
Germany is an interesting one in this respect. The CDU-led Government has stubbornly refused to loosen the fiscal reins in order to build up a budgetary buffer, in spite of successive pleas by economists to show a little mercy to long-suffering taxpayers. But the CDU is about to get into bed with a party calling for an aggressive tax-cutting policy in the form of the FDP. And joining … Read More »
I’m still not entirely sure whether last week’s general election in the United Kingdom was a democratic exercise, or a mass psychological experiment, so often did Prime minister Theresa May try and penetrate the electorate’s skulls with the mantra “strong and stable” in the hope they would vote Conservative. If it was, it failed. Weak and wobbly is what they voted for, if anything.
Almost needless to say, these are hardly ideal foundations on which to conduct the Brexit negotiations. Indeed, the whole idea behind the calling of the snap election was to strengthen the position of the Conservative Government, based on a healthy lead then in opinion polls, and by extension the UK’s hand at the Brexit negotiating table.
This episode heaps yet more doubt on the direction of UK tax policy. The 2017 Finance Bill has already become a casualty of the … Read More »
Things seem fairly predictable in France at the moment, and pollsters – a profession which has taken something of a reputational knock recently – must have breathed a sigh of relief when the first round of the French elections ended as predicted, with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen through to the upcoming run-off vote.
Yet, there’s an element of the unknown about both choices. For this isn’t the usual straight fight between mainstream left and right; it’s a contest between a relatively politically inexperienced unaffiliated centrist and a firebrand nationalist.
In an age when many politicians are accused of being cut from the same cloth and eternally vying for the middle ground, nobody can accuse Macron and Le Pen of being the same, including in the area of tax. Consequently, for business taxpayers, tax policy could go in two very different directions … Read More »
Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has been bedazzling world leaders recently with his good looks and youthful bonhomie. But will the Liberals work similar magic on the Canadian economy with their fiscal plans? I fear not. To its credit, the new Government is delivering on its central tax pledge, to cut income tax for those in the middle and hike tax for those at the top. But one recent study suggests that far from raising extra revenue — money intended to subsidize the middle class tax cut — the plan to shift the tax burden to top earners could actually cost federal and provincial governments. The C D Howe Institute’s Alexandre Laurin, the author of the report, said: “The Liberal election platform said that these changes would be more or less revenue neutral, however we estimate the federal … Read More »
Another day, another tax cut pledge from one of Canada’s major political parties. There must be a general election round the corner! And indeed there is, on October 19, when voters go to the polls to elect members to the House of Commons. This time it was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s turn, with the Conservative Government promising a substantial cut in Canada’s payroll tax if re-elected. This followed hot on the heels of Harper’s proposal to extend and expand the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit which is designed to encourage investment in Canada’s vital natural resources industry. In fact, the Prime Minister has been quite busy thinking up ways to tempt the electorate to voting for him again. In the past month or so, he has promised to: increase the scope of a tax break helping first-time buyers onto the property … Read More »