October2014


Germany’s Got The Money

Posted on October 26th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Individual Taxation. No Comments

Isn’t it about time that Germany’s long suffering taxpayers got a bit of relief? As with much of Northern Europe, there is a consensus in Germany that if you want some of the best and most efficient public services in the world, then you have to pay for them through taxation. Even so, it is no secret that Germany is one of the world’s most-taxed nations, and yet the Government has steadfastly refused to offer even the most modest relief despite state coffers seemingly filled to the point of bursting by successive increases in tax revenues, including, as official figures show, an almost 5 percent year-on-year rise in September 2014. The Government’s stance on tax cuts was reaffirmed by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble back in May this year when he said that, apparently, the Government doesn’t have enough fiscal room … Read More »


Irish Eyes Are Blinking

Posted on October 19th, by Global Tax Weekly in Banking, Corporation Tax, Individual Taxation, OECD, Offshore, Tax Avoidance. No Comments

So, in the great stand-off between Ireland and the OECD, Dublin has been the one to blink first, with the Irish Government having announced in the 2015 Budget new corporate residency rules that will put paid to the infamous “Double Irish” international tax planning technique so beloved of American technology and pharmaceutical firms. This is not really surprising, given the amount of pressure Ireland has been under from the international community with regard to its corporate tax regime. What was more unexpected was the speed with which Ireland has acted, especially since it has fought tooth and nail against the likes of the EU and the OECD for years to ensure that Irish tax laws are decided in Ireland. But ultimately, perhaps the Double Irish just wasn’t worth the hassle anymore. Physical investment on the other hand, is. Ireland is … 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 »


Costly Commission

Posted on October 5th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets. No Comments

Lately, the European Union has been execrated on a regular basis by this column. Some may think this a little unfair, betraying a natural bias against a continent-sized super-state that has done more to stifle innovation and growth in Europe than to promote it, as it was supposed to do. But it’s hard not to dislike this institution when you see just how much European taxpayers’ money is spent on maintaining a vast army of bureaucrats in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. The Commission claims that the EUR8.6bn budgeted for administration in 2015 represents good value for money, because it is only about 6 percent of the EU’s overall budget of almost EUR146bn, which itself is only about 1 percent of the GDP of the EU. This may be true, but perhaps this figure could be even lower if Commission officials … Read More »





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