It is frequently said that governments give with one hand and take back with the other with tax policy, particularly at budget time. And the greatest trick of the finance minister is to do this without anyone really noticing. They don’t always pull it off though, because some clever so-and-so in the media, or whose job it is to hold governments to account, usually notices such creative budgetary accounting and broadcasts it. But still they try.
Italian taxpayers must be getting used to this game of give and take. There, the Government is desperate to deliver meaningful tax cuts in line with its policy of reducing economy-strangling tax and regulation. But it’s struggling to deliver. Spending must be cut, not only for the health of the Italian economy, but also under EU fiscal rules designed to prevent runaway deficits. But spending cuts … Read More »
Should innovative new business models adapt to the tax system, or should governments and tax authorities adapt to innovative new business models? I rather think, for the sake of human progress, that, for the most part, the latter should apply. But perhaps we are at risk of allowing the former to happen more and more. This especially seems to be the case in the so-called “sharing economy.”
Take Airbnb for example. It recently announced that by the spring of 2017 it will have the systems in place to remit and collect France’s various local hotel and occupancy taxes in 50 cities. In other words, the company has spent considerable time and effort on a project that is nothing to do with its core business activities, and all to do the French tax authorities’ jobs for them. Of course, the traditional hotel and hospitality … Read More »
With a Republican Congress, and a Republican (of sorts) in the White house, opponents of FATCA have probably never had a better opportunity to have the controversial law repealed. Indeed, the anti-FATCA lobbying campaign is already beginning to shift up a gear in Washington DC.
For his part, President Trump has been silent on the matter. But observers suggest that his anti-big government, power-to-the-people, “America first” message places him firmly in the anti-FATCA camp. What’s more, we can hardly expect a savvy businessman like Trump to accept a law that has cost billions to implement but will yield relatively small returns.
We can only speculate about FATCA’s future. However, obligations on US citizens to report foreign financial interests do not begin and end with this controversial law; there’s also FBAR, and a multitude of other forms that must be submitted to the … Read More »
Just 20 years ago, had anyone suggested that China would become an economic powerhouse, people would likely have thought they’d lost the plot. A communist governed nation with a capitalist economy? Impossible!
Post-2008 financial crisis, when the developed West was contemplating how to pull back from the precipice not of recession, but depression, and one wonders quite how the world economy might have coped without China’s dragon-fired growth. This has created a strange dichotomy: China the superhero, helping to keep advanced economies from the jaws of dire austerity; and China the supervillain, accused of protectionism and worse.
Indeed, China looks to be increasingly comfortable grabbing some of the center-stage limelight, having delivered a confident speech at the annual Davos gabfest on how the country is looking outwards globally, as well as pushing ahead with leading negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Is China … Read More »