May2015


A Tax System For The Future

Posted on May 28th, by Global Tax Weekly in Corporation Tax. No Comments

Following the Conservative Party’s somewhat surprising victory in the UK general election, business groups, including the Federation of Small Businesses, have been quick to offer the new Government their vision of a tax system for the future. Now, they say, is the time for the Government to really take the bull by the horns, finish the job it started in 2010 and deliver comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform. Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath. The previous coalition government, within which the Tories had the largest say on policy, got off to a good start by establishing the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) five years ago. As its name suggests, this independent body was charged with recommending ways of simplifying the British tax system, which, just like many other country’s systems, has become a Byzantine maze that confounds most taxpayers, and … Read More »


Australia Chomping At The Bit

Posted on May 18th, by Global Tax Weekly in Budgets, Corporation Tax. No Comments

For a government so constrained by the fiscal straightjacket of a massive budget black hole inherited from the previous administration, the 2015/16 Australian Budget, announced by Treasurer Joe Hockey last week, was actually pretty generous, at least as far as small businesses are concerned. There was the promised tax cut for small companies, a so-called tax “discount” for unincorporated firms and a substantial increase in the tax deduction available to small businesses investing in new assets. All things you’d expect from a conservative Government. Ordinarily, this might be enough to earn Australia an encomium. But then Hockey goes and drops a bombshell. Anyone following international tax developments over the last few months may have noticed Australia chomping at the bit to unleash new tax weapons against BEPS. That horse has now well and truly left the stable with the unveiling … Read More »


The Scottish Bogeyman

Posted on May 11th, by Global Tax Weekly in Elections, Investment. No Comments

Well, I suppose it would be somewhat remiss not to mention the UK election, which was keenly watched by investors around the world. But really, what was all the fuss about? After all, the result was never in doubt! That is, if you ignored every single opinion poll produced during the election campaign (I wonder if any pollsters will be joining Miliband, Clegg, and Farage in the queue for a new job). Move along, nothing to see here. By the time this blog is published, David Cameron will be a few days into his second term as Prime Minster with a small but eminently workable majority, making all those predictions about unholy alliances and Faustian pacts between parties look like mere scaremongering. In the end though, the Conservatives used scaremongering very much to their advantage in something of a masterclass … Read More »


Well done, Singapore…

Posted on May 4th, by Global Tax Weekly in Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), OECD. No Comments

…for suggesting that the OECD’s focus with its BEPS project is almost entirely focused on “harmful” tax practices to the point where the beneficial ones have been forgotten about. It sounds – in the spirit of one of John Cleese’s characters again – like stating the bleedin’ obvious, but it’s about time somebody did. Of course, from the OECD’s point of view, I suppose that’s the whole ethos of The Project: the elimination of tax competition. Not that you’ll hear such an admission from the mouth of Angel Gurria or the finance ministers of the OECD governments who regularly praise the work of the OECD without ever seeming to question it. If they ever did stop to think what they are about to unleash on the world, perhaps they might begin to have second thoughts. Then again, politicians generally are … Read More »





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