Another Australian tax development caught my eye recently. This was the announcement of tax cuts for craft brewers – the third time in less than a year that the Australian Government has announced tax concessions for the brewing industry. Well, it has been a tough few years for governments of both political stripes in Oz, I suppose.
There’s also an election to be fought soon. And what better way is there to ingratiate yourself with the electorate than to help cut the price of the nation’s favorite tipple? Yes, I know, cynical old me returns!
But there could also be another trend emerging here. It probably went largely unnoticed, but the TCJA included provisions to temporarily extended tax cuts for beverage makers, from brewers, to vintners and distillers. Then, in February 2019, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the Senate that would … Read More »
The United States is getting increasingly twitchy about European digital taxes, and especially the French measures. And retribution could be swift.
Members of the US Congress from both sides of the aisle have been queuing up to publicly condemn foreign digital taxes, which they say are a deliberate fiscal raid on a group of largely US-based companies. But their intervention on this subject is not altogether surprising, given that such statements are aimed in the direction of lawmakers’ constituents as much as the White House and foreign governments.
More worryingly for France and the EU though, is that the Administration itself is talking tough too. Recently, a senior Treasury official revealed to reporters that the department is actively exploring the deployment of countermeasures to the French and other digital measures under World Trade Organisation rules, and even the public face of the … Read More »
As I write, we’re still largely none the wiser about the UK’s future relationship with the EU. But if there’s one conclusion that can be drawn from all this, it’s that the Mother of Parliaments might be ready for a makeover. The British constitution, largely unwritten, and famous for its flexibility and adaptability, has coped with many past national emergencies. But it’s no exaggeration to say that the constitution’s elasticity is being stretched to breaking point by Brexit. What’s more, it’s difficult to know who’s in charge now – the Government? MPs? Speaker Bercow? The Downing Street cat? Anyone? No-one?
Understandably, now is not really the right time for Britain to have a debate on constitutional reform, given that the nation is already in the throes of a collective nervous breakdown. Such a thing would also be a turmoil too far … Read More »
Governments now compete fiercely for foreign investment, and the reforming of tax codes is arguably the most effective way to achieve results, at least in the short-term. Indeed, the general consensus is now that the TCJA, for all its flaws and quirks, has tilted the competitive landscape towards the US. And away from Canada? There is a large body of taxpayers, tax advisers, businesses, think tanks and other commentators there who seem to think so, given the increasing frequency of the warnings they are sounding about a growing competitiveness gap either side of the 49th parallel. They are unlikely, then, to have been very inspired by the Canadian Government’s 2019 Budget, announced on March 19, which, with anti-avoidance as its central theme, concentrated on tax claw-backs rather than tax giveaways.
Is the Canadian Government therefore unconcerned? Or merely just complacent? It … Read More »