I’m not sure how you can come to the conclusion that tax compliance has got 23 percent easier from one year to the next. But apparently it has in New Zealand. Still, this isn’t a criticism. If the pain of interacting with the tax man has abated by almost a quarter, this is no bad thing. In fact, it might surprise some to learn that New Zealand is a pretty welcoming place for investors altogether, according to the various barometers measuring the tax and business climate in countries around the world. The World Bank says that New Zealand is the easiest place in the world to start a business, with company founders encountering just one procedure and the process taking just half a day on average. This compares with an OECD average of five procedures and a completion time … Read More »
Ireland likes to be different. Just look at how it has kept faith with its 12.5 percent corporate tax rate when it could have easily caved in to international (but mainly Franco-German) pressure to hike it – effectively keeping its head when all about were losing theirs. This low-corporate tax policy was one of the catalysts for the pre-crash Celtic Tiger economy, and now it is partly responsible for Ireland standing out from other euro area economies, with its remarkable economic recovery. Even Ireland’s crash was different to a certain extent, having been precipitated largely by the over-exposure of its banks to a property bubble that the Government largely ignored, rather than dodgy derivatives that few understood. I just hope that lessons have been learned, and that in future, investors will be encouraged to diversify their egg placement, rather than … Read More »
It is claimed that the BEPS project is a global initiative, built on a worldwide consensus of OECD and G20 members, and other key economies. That’s true to the extent that these countries are regularly heard to pay lip service to the work of the OECD in all its anti-tax avoidance endeavors. But when you look a little closer, there are stark similarities between the OECD’s work and Europe’s vision of what worldwide corporate taxation should look like. Perhaps this is not surprising, as, after all, the OECD and its 2,500-strong team of technocrats, administrators, and academics are based in Paris. Indeed, Pascal Saint-Amans, one of the main supervisors of the BEPS project, is a former French civil servant. And the fact that 25 of the 34 OECD member countries are in Europe will naturally give much of the OECD’s … Read More »
Apparently, the numerous consultations that the OECD undertook with businesses and other stakeholders as part of the BEPS project generated some 12,000 pages of comment. I do wonder, however, how much of this verbiage the OECD actually took on board when formulating the final BEPS reports, which were announced, in that most modern of ways, via a webcast from OECD HQ in Paris, on October 5.
In reality, the content of the 15 reports, filled as they are with jargon, official-speak and complex tax concepts, is what most of us were expecting. What’s really quite worrying me is that the OECD seems to be utterly in denial that the BEPS recommendations, when (and if) implemented, could do any harm to businesses, investment, and economies. Indeed, I was astonished to hear Saint-Amans admit in his presentation that more double taxation is … Read More »