EU Considers Digital Taxation Proposals

Posted on November 28th, by Global Tax Weekly in Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). No Comments

Are we in danger of seeing the wheels fall off the BEPS vehicle? If multilateralism is supposed to the be lynchpin holding the whole thing together then some members of the international community, intentionally or not, seem to be doing their best to pull it out. And the danger is that the wheels could go careering off in different directions, which surely helps nobody.

The European Union is one party in an awful hurry to find solutions to the riddle of the digital economy. Indeed, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager more or less threatened to wrest the digital taxation project from the OECD last week, when she said that the Commission would publish its own proposals for more effective taxation of the digital economy early next year if the OECD hadn’t got its act together by then.

Some would applaud the European Commission for … Read More »

Ireland Awaits Results Of US Tax Reform

Posted on November 21st, by Global Tax Weekly in Investment. No Comments

Tax reform is expected to not only have a transformative effect on the US itself, but also internationally, as US and foreign investors shift more investment to America. And Ireland is one country worried about the impact of the proposed corporate tax cuts and foreign dividend exemption in the US.

Brexit is often identified as the greatest danger to the Irish economy, given its strong commercial links to the United Kingdom. But, with Ireland’s trade and investment links to the United States arguably even more significant, the economic fall-out could be more serious than a hard Brexit.

Statistics attest to how Ireland’s economic fortunes are intertwined with those of US investors. US investment in Ireland totals USD343bn, and while Ireland represents just 1 percent of the European economy, it attracted 20 percent of all US FDI investment to Europe in 2015. Some … Read More »

UK Courts Rule Against HMRC

Posted on November 13th, by Global Tax Weekly in Expatriates. No Comments

HM Revenue and Customs is a revenue authority I don’t feel at all sorry for, after it lost a case recently regarding its powers to tax those who have long since left British shores to pursue a life in greener pastures.

The somewhat unique and often vague concept in British law of tax domicile, which exists alongside tax residence, has probably muddied the waters sufficiently to embolden HMRC to go after those living abroad even when they have only tenuous links with the UK. But it has possibly made the tax authority a little over confident in its claims to tax both British expats and foreign-born individuals who have spent time living, working, and investing in the UK but no longer have ties there. So, in an age when some officials don’t seem to think twice about exercising their powers extra-territorially, the High … Read More »

US Tax Reform Bill Unveiled

Posted on November 7th, by Global Tax Weekly in Government. No Comments

The odds against an historic overhaul to the US tax code appear to have shortened considerably recently. But let’s be clear, this is likely to be a marathon, not a sprint. And an obstacle-strewn one at that – a kind of 26-mile steeplechase. In which case, there’s plenty of opportunities for the tax reform bill to trip, stumble, bog down, and ultimately run out of legs.

Not that I’m trying to deliberately talk down the GOP’s tax reform efforts. If we ignore the politics of the proposals for now – as difficult as that may be – it is clear that the kinds of changes that tax reform will bring are long overdue: tax code simplification; lower rates, especially on corporate income; and a wider tax base.

There’s no escaping the fact that there are some politically contentious provisions in the bill … Read More »

Japan Contemplates Consumption Tax Increase

Posted on November 3rd, by Global Tax Weekly in Sales Tax. No Comments

You know the world’s gone a bit topsy-turvy when the Japanese Government is determined to go ahead with a consumption tax increase and the International Monetary Fund is urging it not to be so gung-ho.

Normally it’s the other way around; it’s the IMF, along with other rich nation quangos like the OECD, telling Japan, the world’s most-indebted country, to hike consumption tax or face fiscal and economic crisis, while Japan itself demurs, petrified at the thought of another recession. But following the recent snap election in Japan, which gave Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a fresh mandate, it is Japan itself that seems prepared to bite the bullet and hike consumption tax in two years’ time, with the IMF worrying about the consequences of such a move on the economy, according to its most recent country report for Japan.

In a sense, the … Read More »


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