September2014


Japan On The Edge

Posted on September 28th, by Global Tax Weekly in Trade. No Comments

Maybe it’s time for negotiating teams attempting to expand the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement to say “sayonara” to the Japanese delegation, with Tokyo seemingly refusing to budge from its entrenched position on protections for its agricultural and automotive sectors. Of all the world’s major economies, Japan remains something of an enigma. It achieved phenomenal growth in the decades succeeding World War Two, but it remains distrustful of foreign participation in its economy, and barriers to entry to Japan’s market for foreign investors are still high, despite free trade being the global norm rather than the exception these days. Indeed, foreign direct investment inflows as a percentage of the Japanese economy stand at a meager 4 percent, while the percentages for other advanced economies are in double-digits. Even North Korea manages an FDI-to-GDP ratio of 12.5 percent. As we know … Read More »


Not Saving Italy

Posted on September 14th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Individual Taxation. No Comments

One leader who claims to have an eye on the long-term is Italy’s (unelected) Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Italy’s Tony Blair (who was elected, the British one that is) came to the leadership offering an Italian version of New Labour’s “third way.” Put simply, this means that you can cosy up to the business sector while still maintaining a social conscience. You can be pro-enterprise without having to be a rabid Thatcherite. History tells us that the New Labour experiment got off to a bright start, but crashed and burned amid the wreckage of the credit crunch. Indeed, Gordon “Prudence” Brown’s famous (or should that be infamous) “Golden Rule” went out of the window even before the financial whirlwind was unleashed, leaving the UK with a budget deficit bigger than Greece’s. Anyway, moving on from the UK of the past … Read More »


The Wild East

Posted on September 7th, by Global Tax Weekly in Corporation Tax, Individual Taxation, Mining, Oil and Gas. No Comments

Recent tax developments in Azerbaijan are suggestive of a country with a modern outlook, keen to encourage local entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and welcome foreign investors with open arms. Taxes are low – corporate tax stands at 20 percent and the top individual tax rate has fallen to 25 percent – and lately tax reforms have focused on making life easier for companies with the introduction of more electronic services, the creation of a tax ombudsman and other measures designed to streamline tax administration. Tax holidays have also been granted to companies engaged in various non-oil related activities like information technology. According to a senior tax official, Azerbaijan is now working to harmonize its VAT regime with that of the EU. Some might see this is a retrograde step given the complexities of EU VAT law. But it is … Read More »





RELATED ARTICLES AND INFORMATION

EU Changes Excise Duty Rules On Alcohol

EU member states have reached a provisional agreement on modernized taxation rules for alcohol products, following a meeting held on June 24, at which...

Germany And Bulgaria Announce VAT Reductions

In Germany, the much discussed fiscal stimulus package has been approved by the Federal Cabinet, paving the way for a reduction in the standard...

US Overseas Taxpayers Receive Deadline Extension

The US Internal Revenue Service has reminded overseas taxpayers living and working abroad that they have an extra month to file their 2019 federal...