September2015


A Hotchpotch Of National Energy Policies

Posted on September 30th, by Global Tax Weekly in Carbon Taxes, OECD. No Comments

If the Volkswagen emissions scandal tells us anything, it’s that meeting ambitious emissions reductions targets is proving to be very testing (if you’ll pardon the pun). But governments are not helping themselves by continuing to subsidize fossil fuel usage to the tune of USD200bn annually in the form of tax breaks and spending programs, according to a recent report by the OECD. And this is just the combined total for the 34 OECD members and six key emerging economies. If we are to wean ourselves off our addiction to hydrocarbons, then clearly something very dramatic has to happen, and it has to happen soon, because the current hotchpotch of national energy policies clearly isn’t doing the trick. Something much more joined-up is required, but I don’t envisage that happening any time soon, Kyoto Protocol or no Kyoto Protocol. I don’t … Read More »


The Tax Commissioner Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

Posted on September 22nd, by Global Tax Weekly in Corporation Tax, Tax Harmonization. No Comments

To paraphrase Queen Gertrude in Hamlet, the longer and more vehemently a person denies something, the more the listener is inclined to disbelieve them, and methinks that the Tax Commissioner doth protest too much in his insistence that Brussels is not out to harmonize EU corporate tax. Of course, I don’t just mean current incumbent Pierre Moscovici – he’s only been in the job five minutes. A succession of Tax Commissioners, stretching back through the terms of Algirdas Semeta and Laszlo Kovacs, were frequently heard denying that tax harmonization was the Commission’s goal. However, the denials are beginning to look more and more disingenuous in the wake of the revamped CCCTB proposal, which will be mandatory if the Commission gets its way, and the recent agreement by six key EU institutions for greater harmony of fiscal policy and more EU … Read More »


Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Turn

Posted on September 16th, by Global Tax Weekly in Elections. No Comments

Another day, another tax cut pledge from one of Canada’s major political parties. There must be a general election round the corner! And indeed there is, on October 19, when voters go to the polls to elect members to the House of Commons. This time it was Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s turn, with the Conservative Government promising a substantial cut in Canada’s payroll tax if re-elected. This followed hot on the heels of Harper’s proposal to extend and expand the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit which is designed to encourage investment in Canada’s vital natural resources industry. In fact, the Prime Minister has been quite busy thinking up ways to tempt the electorate to voting for him again. In the past month or so, he has promised to: increase the scope of a tax break helping first-time buyers onto the property … Read More »


Retrospection

Posted on September 7th, by Global Tax Weekly in Investment. No Comments

A couple of weeks ago, India was execrated by me after Cairn Energy announced it had resorted to some serious measures in order to settle a tax dispute, which, according to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley himself, is just one of almost 40,000 cases that were pending before the various income tax tribunals and courts. But, this week, the Government deserves praise for its sensible decision to follow the recommendations of the Shah Committee and not impose the minimum alternate tax on foreign investors retrospectively. Retrospection in the context of taxation is, unfortunately, something that is now associated with India, thanks to the previous Government’s tendency to resort to this unwise policy. It is a reputation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government is trying hard to shake-off, and it is making slow but sure progress towards this goal, in no small … Read More »


The Views Of Farmers And “Officials”

Posted on September 1st, by Global Tax Weekly in Anti-Dumping, Duties, Trade. No Comments

In the parlance of global trade, “dumping” occurs when products are exported to one or more countries at below the price they are sold in their home market, or at below cost price. It is generally perceived that such pricing practices are deliberate and predatory: producers of widgets in country A slash prices to the point where producers of widgets in country B simply can’t compete, enabling the former to grab a larger share of country B’s market for widgets. To protect domestic industry, the remedy that country B’s government will most likely use, after much lobbying from said injured industry, is anti-dumping duties. These force up the price of widgets imported from country A, thereby leveling the competitive playing field. Simple but ingenious, no? Well, no. Where do we consumers of widgets stand in all this? Nowhere, is the … Read More »





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