Just look at what’s happening in the United States. A Republican president with a Keynesian New Deal? You bet! A USD4.4 trillion tax cut that stands a half-decent chance of passing? Bring it on! A postcard for a 1040? Somebody wake me!
The real significance here is not just that these things have been proposed – let’s face it, on tax, we’ve heard it all before at the hustings, endless times – but that they have passed from the realms of the impossible to the eminently possible in the space of an election.
Previously it was thought that some establishment Republicans would join hands with Democrats in Congress to block president-elect Donald Trump’s more controversial measures. This might still turn out to be the case on some issues. But tax reform doesn’t seem to be one of them. Indeed, for House Ways … Read More »
There seems to be no limit on the type of information that governments are now willing to exchange with each other. First it was details about people’s bank accounts, then it was company transfer pricing information, swiftly followed by tax authority rulings in the European Union and, now, the EU wants to share information on beneficial ownership.
For the time being, bulk information exchange mechanisms remain restricted to the area of taxation. But what next I wonder? Maybe governments could keep an eye on our eating and drinking habits in their fight against obesity and excess and their associated health problems. They could then tailor their “sin” taxes to the individual accordingly, leaving the more virtuous among us unpunished. Perhaps governments could exchange photographs of vacationers tucking into a hearty supper after lazing on the beach all day. Then again, they … Read More »
I’ve watched India’s GST debacle from the bitter beginning, and had formed the belief that, after year upon year of broken promises, the tax would never see the light of day. However, now, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the uncharacteristic speed with which some of the final, essential steps needed to implement this long-awaited tax reform have been taken.
The Rajya Sabha’s landmark vote in favor of the tax took place in August, and by early September more than half of India’s states had ratified the constitutional amendment bill, removing a major roadblock to the introduction of GST. By the end of the month, the GST Council had been formed and already resolved the tricky question of the GST registration threshold. The digital framework underpinning the new tax is already well advanced, and there is the very real prospect that GST … Read More »