November2014


Blighted Blighty

Posted on November 30th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Corporation Tax, Tax Avoidance. No Comments

If you own or run a business, the United Kingdom Government claims to be your friend. And by and large it is. By April 2015, the Conservative-led coalition administration will have cut corporate tax by a not insubstantial eight percent since it came to power in 2010. This, in combination with other pro-business tax reforms, including to the foreign profits regime, has turned heads in various parts of the world, most notably in the United States, from where companies have been attempting to make a beeline for the UK, much to the chagrin of President Obama and Congress. And these are policies that appear to have succeeded: economic growth of three percent is predicted this year, which, to the euro-skeptics’ delight, must be rubbing salt into the wounds of the eurozone, showing it up as the failure it was always … 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 »


Stuttering SAR

Posted on November 16th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Citizenship, Currency, Offshore. No Comments

Although Hong Kong’s liberal economic system is regularly praised here, this Special Administrative Region of China, as it is officially known, has not been shown in the best of lights on the world’s television screens over recent weeks as the authorities, both in the SAR and in Beijing, struggle to square China’s One Party mode of government with the democratic demands of Hong Kong’s citizens. Another worrying, but little-reported development came in the form of figures from the Inland Revenue Department last week, which showed tax revenue growth slowing to a virtual standstill thanks to lacklustre economic growth in 2013/14. So, Hong Kong could do with a timely boost, and perhaps it has just got two: the launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme, which will allow eligible Mainland investors to trade stocks listed on the Stock Exchange of … Read More »


Legal Lunacy

Posted on November 9th, by Global Tax Weekly in Carbon Taxes. No Comments

“The law is an ass” we say in English when the strictly correct application of legal principles by a court leads to a result that any normal right-thinking person would think is absurd; and the German Constitutional Court has just brayed very loudly in saying that the country’s air travel ticket tax does not offend against the constitutional rights of citizens or the airlines. Maybe so, but it and the Court offend against common sense. All taxes are an offence against citizens’ rights when the government that levies them spends the money it collects in a wasteful and unprincipled fashion by providing bread and circuses to voters in order to stay in power, and by that definition most of the money Germany collects is unconstitutional, as is the case in virtually all “advanced” democracies. Well, I won’t mount that particular … Read More »


The Greek Tragedy Act III

Posted on November 2nd, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Currency, IMF, Individual Taxation, Trade. No Comments

It’s not easy to find positives where Greece is concerned, but this benighted country, which could be teetering on the brink of economic oblivion once again, came out surprisingly well in a recent report on the taxation of ICT goods and services – computers, cell phones, tablets, internet access and an array of other digitally-delivered services – around the world. While other industries continue to contribute more taxes to help pull Greece out of its fiscal Slough of Despond, the ICT sector is getting away rather lightly according to the report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, which found that Greece is the only OECD country to feature in the top-20 of its league table, with an overall tax and tariff burden of less than 10 percent. Tragically, but at the same time unsurprisingly, the countries with the highest … Read More »





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