• The Tobin tax would work if everyone participated.

    The Tobin Tax would Work, in Theory

    Tax the rich and give money to the poor – that is the basis of fiscal policy put forward by the UK Labour Party’s new shadow chancellor, John McDonnell. As well as forcing large corporations to pay their “fair share,” they resurrected the idea of the Robin Hood – or Tobin – tax. However, what actually is it and how would it work?

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  • Discretionary trust tax treatment differs from all other similar situations.

    Discretionary Trusts and the Smell Test

    The public knows something is “not right” with the tax treatment of family trusts (discretionary trusts). Accountants and tax lawyers working with discretionary trusts know firsthand that the income tax treatment has trouble passing the “smell test”. That is something even the most aggressive tax minimisers would concede.

    Yet, the tax treatment of discretionary trusts has had little attention in government tax reviews. The 2010 Henry Review did not consider the appropriateness of the tax treatment of discretionary trusts - this was a shortcoming.

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  • Who will pay for Hockey's tax cut proposal?

    Can Australia Grow Their Economy via Tax Cuts?

    In his recent speech on personal income tax cuts, Treasurer Joe Hockey made clear that the “common cause of reform [of the tax system is] to improve the growth trajectory of the Australian economy”. The key to this for Hockey is to ensure the income tax system is not constraining workforce participation and effort, through things such as bracket creep.

    Hence the need for a downward revision of personal income tax rates.

    It sounds quite straightforward and reasonable, not the least because it addresses the average income earner.

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  • Rich countries balk at tax structure benefiting developing nations.

    Hope for a New Tax Structure to Help Developing Countries Receives a Blow

    When an international development conference in Addis Ababa almost collapsed last week, the confrontation emerged from an obscure and unlikely source. Who knew that the status of the UN Tax Committee could so stir the emotions?

    After taking negotiations to the brink, the G77 group of developing countries climbed down on demands for a global tax body and the rich countries got their way. Campaigners called it a tragic day for developing countries.

    If you thought that, you would have needed a very optimistic view of the UN’s abilities in this area.

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  • The rich, are in fact, paying more tax than at the start of the last parliament.

    The U.K. Budget: Challenging Osborne's Claims about Taxes

    Those with the broadest shoulders are bearing the greatest burden.

    George Osborne, chancellor of the exchequer, in his budget speech on July 8.

    The chancellor’s claim is a difficult one to test. First, we might argue over what he means “burden” and how we should measure it. Second, the budget included a huge number of measures, some of them shifting the burden one-way; others shifting it back (such as changes to working tax credits). This makes it difficult to come up with an overall assessment.

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  • Due process in taxation imposition is found in the Magna Carta.

    Due Process in Imposing Taxation, Important Today, Began 800 Years Ago

    If you ask anyone what the Magna Carta is all about, you might be told that it is some sort of proto-human rights or constitutional document. This largely results from the fame and after-life of two particular clauses (39 and 40) – and the way the document has been interpreted and used over time. Such principles, though, played no part in its creation in 1215. Then, it was a kind of peace treaty between King John and the barons, and in many ways a financial peace treaty at that.

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  • New rules would help limit tax evasion, but is it realistic?

    Tax Evasion Exposes a Broken System

    There has been an international outcry over the leaked HSBC files, which provide evidence that the bank’s Swiss arm helped wealthy clients put millions of dollars’ worth of assets out of the reach of the tax authorities. Naturally, politicians from all parties have responded by committing to holding anyone found guilty of tax evasion accountable for their actions.

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  • Luxembourg tax laws at the center of latest report

    LuxLeaks Scandal Reveals International “Race to the Bottom”

    Countries are competing to lower their tax rates to please the corporate giants, but the result is a massive collective loss of revenue. Only international coordination can wipe out the practice and defeat the negative influence of the Big Four accounting firms.

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  • A global financial transaction tax - dead or alive?

    Is a Global Financial Transaction Tax a Sound Solution?

    The Brisbane G20 Summit offered civil society groups an opportunity to renew demands for a financial transaction tax (FTT). But in the end it proved a missed opportunity to build international cooperation on financial reform.

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