February2015


The trouble is that…

Posted on February 23rd, by Global Tax Weekly in Carbon Taxes. No Comments

…despite their good intentions — governments tend to put their own self-interest first, and revenue production, rather than carbon reduction, is often the primary motive for “green” taxation. The United Kingdom’s air passenger duty (APD), hiked massively during the financial crisis, is probably the best example of a revenue-raiser masquerading as an environmental tax. The major flaw in the APD is that it is essentially a ticket tax, which is charged on a per-passenger basis, with the amount payable varying depending on distance and class of travel. This leads to some perverse results, the most obvious of which is that less tax may be paid by the passengers of a half-empty plane than a full one, despite the fact that the former may be emitting considerably more carbon per passenger than the latter. The banding system also seems to have … Read More »


The American Dream

Posted on February 16th, by Global Tax Weekly in Citizenship, Expatriates. No Comments

A record 3,415 people handed in their US passports last year. That’s an average of just fewer than 10 renunciations per day. Which, in a country with a population of almost 320m people, is a miniscule amount. I put the latest expatriation statistics into context like this because they tend get a lot of attention, and undeniably the numbers have been rising every year for the last few years. Some anti-government commentators are quick to seize on these figures as evidence of increasing dissatisfaction with the Obama Administration and its heavy-handed tax measures like FATCA. That may well be the case, and I’m certainly no fan of FATCA, nor of President Obama’s policies on tax in general. But it’s hard to say what the real reasons are for expatriation without asking the people who handed in their passports themselves. There … Read More »


Canada Seems To Have All The Answers

Posted on February 9th, by Global Tax Weekly in Oil and Gas, Recession. No Comments

It has been well documented how Canada was the only one of the major industrialized countries which didn’t suffer a banking crisis. In fact, the British were so impressed at the way things were run there that they head-hunted Canada’s top central banker, Mark Carney, and put him in charge of the Bank of England. While the recession which followed the financial crisis didn’t leave Canada unblemished, and much was spent in stimulating the economy, requiring the federal Government to run a deficit, Canada still managed to cut its corporate tax to the lowest level in the G8. Now it expects to achieve a balanced budget in 2015/16, having recorded a budget surplus in November 2014. There is one worry for the Government though: oil. Canada is a major producer of oil and natural gas, and like any other nation, … Read More »


Try Living In Costa Rica!

Posted on February 2nd, by Global Tax Weekly in Corporation Tax, Individual Taxation. No Comments

Apparently, taxpayer dissatisfaction with the United States tax code has reached a 12-year high (or should that be low?). But if you’re a frustrated US taxpayer growing increasingly impatient at congressional impotence on tax reform, then try living in Costa Rica! Ever noticed how, when a car alarm is blaring away in the street, instead of investigating or calling the police, people tend to ignore it? In fact, they might not even notice it, having mentally filtered out this particular noise-pest long ago. The same could be said of Costa Rican finance ministers when they issue their regular calls for the completion of long-awaited tax reform, which has been on the drawing board in one form or another for more than a decade now. Last week, incumbent finance minister Helio Fallas urged lawmakers to finally approve measures designed to shore … Read More »





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