The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, caught many off guard by calling a snap general election last week. Added to the weight of uncertainty already bearing down on the UK as a result of Brexit, the timing of this election is hardly ideal, and the announcement demonstrated just how flexible politicians can be with their views, with May having repeatedly rejected the idea of calling an early election to consolidate her and the Conservative Party’s position in power on numerous occasions recently.
But while this development could strengthen May’s hand in the upcoming Brexit negotiations – provided, of course, she gets the comfortable victory pollsters are predicting – it is not, however, going to be very helpful for taxpayers. The 2017 Budget was announced only six weeks ago, and the Government has already performed a u-turn on the most significant proposal, the … Read More »
How exactly do you solve a problem like Greece? Well, all I can say is, I’m glad I’m not the one who has to try! It does seem fairly obvious though that part of the problem is that Greece doesn’t collect enough tax.
Now, I’m all for low taxation of course. And I think raising rates of tax in Greece will, for the most part, be counterproductive. Because not only will this endanger the nascent economic recovery, but probably encourage yet more tax avoidance and evasion in a country that seems to have transformed tax dodging into an art form – the amount of tax evaded each year in Greece can be as much as 14 percent of gross domestic product, according to EY.
What seems to be the root of the problem is a narrow tax base and relatively high tax rates. If … Read More »
Government “e-tax” initiatives aren’t always the panacea they are made out to be. They are fine of course when they actually lead to reductions in the time it takes to file forms and pay taxes, and result in fewer or shorter interactions between taxpayers and tax authorities – in other words, make life easier for everyone involved. Such schemes are not very useful if digitization of the taxation process has the opposite effect, though.
But surely a government wouldn’t be so silly as to use information technology to increase the workload on taxpayers? Given the litany of botched public sector IT projects across the world, it would be foolhardy to underestimate governments’ ability to get these things wrong! And the UK Government might be about to commit another botch job if it doesn’t heed the warnings of tax practitioners and members … Read More »
There is probably a perception outside of continental Europe that the vast majority of EU member states toe the line come what may, committing themselves blindly to the principle of “ever closer union” and doggedly standing by EU initiatives even when they are found to be quite bad ideas. It’s only the pesky, rebellious Brits that think they’re so special, isn’t it? It is perhaps an assertion that’s unfair.
Many member states have serious misgivings about such initiatives as the FTT and the proposed common corporate tax base. And even Luxembourg, which was ruled for many years by arch-Europhile Jean-Claude Juncker, the current President of the European Commission, is prepared to rebel occasionally.
Luxembourg has shown by its recent actions that it fundamentally opposes the European Commission’s assertions that certain tax rulings between its tax authority and multinational companies are a form … Read More »