What’s this? A political party called Five Star? Founded by who? A comedian? What? In Power?! With who? You mean Silvio’s back? And a flat tax? On corporate income too? In Italy?!
Yes, it can only be the latest edition of “voters do the funniest things.”
We’ve seen some unusual coalitions formed and attempted recently, unholy alliances between populist anti-establishment and mainstream parties. But Italy must top the lot. It’s difficult to pin down exactly where the Five Star Movement stands on the political spectrum, but it’s safe to assume, I think, that they are a long way from the nationalist overtones of the Lega Nord.
So what does all this mean for taxpayers? It’s difficult to say. One thing that the parties do have in common is their euroskepticism. But, given Lega Nord’s previous calls for a referendum on Italy’s membership of … Read More »
Isn’t it strange how governments seek to cut tax just before elections? It’s not by happenstance, and something that has happened for eons.
However, it used to be rare that anyone under the age of 40 would be considered for the highest national office. Now, millennials are winning elections left, right, and center, politically as well as figuratively.
Earlier this month the International Monetary Fund warned the Israeli Government to maintain fiscal discipline as elections approach, with cuts to individual and corporate income tax being considered.
And last week the Australian Government showered personal income taxpayers with tax gifts in what could be the last federal Budget before elections to the House of Representatives, where the Government is formed. Personal and corporate income taxpayers have been promised fairly significant tax cuts. But, with an election looming large, the risk is that the current … Read More »
According to the conclusions of a public consultation by New Zealand’s Tax Working Group, the majority of New Zealanders want major changes to the tax system. Who doesn’t! Will they get them? Probably not – but why so sure? Recent history of tax developments, say over the last 20 years or so, is littered with discarded “root and branch” tax reviews, undertaken by panels of independent experts and other worthies, whose conclusions ultimately get shelved, kicked down the road, or punted into the long grass.
Furthermore, recent experience has taught us that the simplification of tax regimes isn’t as simple as it first sounds. Few would argue convincingly that the US tax code is much simpler because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, especially for individual taxpayers with their own business, which, apart from multinational businesses, tend to have the most complicated … Read More »
If you’re worried what the future holds as we draw nearer to an era of artificial intelligence – more automation, and fewer humans running the show – then you’d better worry about it a bit more. The robots are already here, and they might be processing your tax return right now.
At least, that could be the case if you live in the United Kingdom, where HM Revenue and Customs made the rather startling revelation earlier this month that it has been using artificial intelligence since 2015, and it has processed 10 million transactions already. Creepier still if this is the sort of stuff gives you the willies, HMRC’s Chief Digital & Information Officer said that the tax office uses “robots” to undertake a multitude of albeit mundane administrative tasks! Robots!
Now, I don’t think we’re talking your classic “Metal Mickey”-type automaton here, … Read More »