Members Highlights

Here is where members update one another with their latest news and campaigns.

UPDATED – 16th Biennial WTA Conference – Berlin – 17th-19th March 2016

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
4 January 2016

WTA Conference

16th Biennial World Conference in Berlin, 17th-19th March 2016

Conference theme:
Good Governance and Low Taxes – Necessities in an Uncertain World?!

The World Taxpayers Associations cordially invites its members to its biennial worldwide conference in 2016, from the 17th – 19th March at the Mercure Hotel in Berlin.

Key stakeholders and globally acclaimed experts will discuss a wide range of important aspects of economic growth and growth of freedom and democracy. You will have a unique chance to meet with like-minded persons from all parts of the world (200-250), to learn and be inspired and build relations of future importance for your organization!

We hope you can attend!

Location:
Mercure Hotel Berlin Tempelhof
Hermannstrasse 214-216, D-12049 Berlin, Germany

Keynote Speakers
http://www.taxpayers.events/keynote-speakers/

Conference Agenda
http://www.taxpayers.events/program/

Hotel
Book your Hotel at a Discount – Extended deadline to 15th January 2016!
Use code WoConf  for your discount

E-mail: h1894-re@accor.com

Registration
Until the 15th January 2016 we are offering an Early Bird Special!

After 15th January 2016 the regular price will apply. REGISTER TODAY!
€395 – Early Bird, €495 – Regular, €250 – Partner ticket (social events only)

Visa Information
http://www.taxpayers.events/visa/

If You Need Visa Support from Conference Organizers – please email Daniel Junker, d.junker@steuerzahler.de and cc Michael Jaeger, michael.jaeger@steuerzahler-bayern.de, and Sarah Elliott at sarah.elliott@worldtaxpayers.org.

WTA Conference Scholarships

Please contact Sarah Elliott, sarah.elliott@worldtaxpayers.org, with “WTA Scholarship Application” in the subject line, answering these questions in the email: 1. Why are you interested in attending the WTA Conference? 2. What are your biggest goals for your organization in the upcoming year? 3. How much would you be able to contribute to your attendance?

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16th World Taxpayers Conference in Berlin, March 17-19th, 2016

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
29 December 2015

World Taxpayers Associations’

16th World Conference in Berlin, March 17-19th, 2016

Conference theme:
Good Governance and Low Taxes – Necessities in an Uncertain World?!

The World Taxpayers Association cordially invites its members to its biennial worldwide conference in 2016, from the 17th to the 19th March in the Mercure Hotel in Berlin.

Key stakeholders and globally acclaimed experts will discuss a wide range of important aspects of economic growth and growth of freedom and democracy. You will have a unique chance to meet with like-minded persons from all parts of the world, to learn and be inspired and build relations of future importance for your organization.

Location:
Mercure Hotel Berlin Tempelhof
Hermannstrasse 214-216, D-12049 Berlin, Germany

Program

Wednesday, March 16th

From 1 pm until morning of March 17th

TaxPayers Leaders Forum and Coalition Leaders Forum

Hosted by Americans for Tax Reform

Invitation only – please contact Lorenzo Montanari for more information – lmontanari@atr.org

Thursday, March 17th
From 9 am until 1 pm

Free Market Road Show – one of more than 30 presentations and discussions around Europe by economic experts, commenting on current issues and economic prospects.

From 1 pm –general meetings of WTA and Taxpayer’s Association of Europe and the Asia Pacific Taxpayers Association.
Members’ up-date and presentation of new members.

Thursday, 7 pm
Welcome reception in a special location in Berlin.

Friday, March 18th

Main themes – morning

  • International stability – low taxes for economic growth. Future alternatives.
  • Public-private partnerships. Alternatives to financing infrastructure and welfare.

Lunch presentation about currency changes and how the economies were stabilized in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Main themes afternoon

  • The need for good governance and good governance in practice.
  • Interest policy, currency issues, cross boarder taxation and creating
    a growth climate.

Evening – Dinner with a typical Berlin variety show

Saturday, March 19th

  • Six workshops on themes like: Campaigning and fund raising, media coaching, alternative marketing and PR – trends and resources, styling and appearance, facts on the climate issue, up date on social media usage.
  • From 3 pm Tour of Berlin and visits to point of specific interest.

Gala dinner with special speaker, award-winning journalist and controversial climate-change critic, James Delingpole.

European Resource Bank will also be held in parallel sessions at the same location with the WTA Conference. You must register for that separately  – click here.

Practical Information and Application

To facilitate our planning, could you already now indicate your interest – this is without final commitment. We will then also send you more detailed information on speakers and seminars.

If you need help with visa applications, let us know immediately.

Name

E-mail

Organization

Send to sarah.elliott@worldtaxpayers.org

Costs and Booking Information

Booking information: Conference fee €495, and get a €100 discount for a net fee of €395 for early bird registration (to be announced very soon!). There will be a reduced fee for accompanying persons of €200 to include all social events and dinners. The Conference fee includes all lectures and programs, lunches and transport to events, the welcome reception, the dinner Friday with a variety show, and the last night gala dinner. Registration site will be up and running very soon! Stay Tuned Here for Details!

Hotel

Book for 100 discount by December 31st 2015!

We are getting close to the end of the year, and we urgently want an indication of your interest and the dates you want to participate. The hotel rates definitely go up January 1st, so we are trying to at least make preliminary books for all who are interested. This will save you money and make the planning easier.

Book your hotel room with a discount before December 31st!

MERCURE HOTEL BERLIN TEMPELHOF AIRPORT

Hermannstraße 214-216

D-12049 Berlin

Phone: +49 30 627 80 130

E-mail: h1894-re@accor.com   Use code WoConf  for your discount.

We advise you to arrive latest Thursday, March 17th mid-day. Arrive Wednesday if you want to participate in extra events Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning which include the Free Market Road Show and a special meeting with TaxPayers Leaders Forum, arranged by Americans for Tax Reform (invite only).

Do write to Sarah Elliott at sarah.elliott@worldtaxpayers.org with “Interest in WTA Conference” in the subject line.  Then we can catch your interest and can plan. Write as well if you have specific needs, are in need of some financial support to attend the conference etc. We have a few scholarship openings.

WTA Conference Scholarships

Please contact Sarah Elliott, sarah.elliott@worldtaxpayer.org, with “WTA Scholarship Application” in the subject line, answering these questions in the email: 1. Why are you interested in attending the WTA Conference? 2. What are your biggest goals for your organization in the upcoming year? 3. How much would you be able to contribute to your attendance?

VISA Assistance for the WTA Conference

Don’t wait until the last minute!

Do a need a Visa?

Please visit the following link for a list of countries whose citizens need a visa to enter Germany.

How do I apply for a visa?

Please visit the German Immigration Service website for general information about the requirements for applying for a visa and the application process.

Important note: A registration confirmation letter from Taxpayers Association of Europe be required when applying for a visa. Please see who to contact below.

When and where do I apply for a visa?

Please be aware that the visa application process can take a considerable amount of time. You may submit your visa application 3 months before your departure date to Germany; however, all necessary application paperwork must be obtained and completed in advance to ensure that you are prepared to submit your application exactly 3 months prior to departure.

Please consult the website of the relevant German Embassy for information about how and where to apply for visa. A list of all German Embassies can be found here

If you need Visa assistance from the conference organizers – please email Daniel Junker – d.junker@steuerzahler.de, and cc Michael.Jaeger@taxpayers-europe.org and sarah.elliott@worldtaxpayers.org with “VISA Assistance – WTA Conference” in the subject line, and what you need from the organizers in the body of the email. Be as specific as possible. Thank you.

 

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International Taxpayer Leaders Forum Newsletter, N.39

Section: Members Highlights / Taxpayer Leaders Forum / WTA Blog
11 December 2015 | Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) / United States

United States

International Taxpayer Leaders Forum Newsletter, N.39 – Dec 7, 2015

Follow us on Twitter

@taxpayerforum

North America

Online Shopping Tops Stores on Black Friday Weekend

Holiday shopping isn’t what it used to be. A National Retail Federation survey on Sunday found that more people shopped online than in stores during the Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend, a sign of how quickly and deeply American shopping habits have changed. Continue Reading

 

Pentagon Crew Lived Large in $150 Million Afghan Villas

A Pentagon task force established in 2006 to help lure private businesses first to Iraq and then Afghanistan allegedly blew as much as $150 million on lavish villas in Afghanistan for a few lucky members of its staff—instead of lodging them cheaply, or for free, at the U.S. embassy or any one of numerous large American military bases in the war-torn country. Continue Reading

 

GM / Chrysler Bailout Cost Canadian Taxpayers $3.7 Billion

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released an analysis of the 2009 government bailouts of GM and Chrysler, finding that once the sale of stock and repayments are accounted for, the final cost to Ontario and federal taxpayers was approximately $3.7 billion. Continue Reading

 

War over soda taxes coming to a polling place near you

Government do-gooders and conservatives worried that America is becoming a nanny state have one more thing to fight about in 2016: Soda taxes. Public health advocates, flush from victories in Mexico and Berkeley, Calif., are plotting to bring voter referendums and legislation to tax soda in as many as a dozen U.S. cities in 2016. It’s all part of an international strategy backed by billionaires in New York and Texas, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to reduce consumption of sodas, juices and other sugary drinks in the fight against spiraling rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases. Continue Reading

 

Four Principles to Boost America’s Economic Ladder of Opportunity

In conversations with statists, I’ve learned that many of them actually believe the economy is a fixed pie. This misconception leads them to think that rich people get rich only by somehow making others poor.In this simplistic worldview, a bigger slice for one person means less for everyone else. In reality, though, their fixation on the distribution of income leads them to support policies that hinder growth. Continue Reading

 

Everything You Need to Know about Deductions, Loopholes, and Special-Interest Tax Provisions

Why does the tax code require more than 10,000,000 words and more than 75,000 pages?There are several reasons and none of them are good. But if you had to pick one cause for all the mess, it would be the fact that politicians have worked with interest groups and lobbyists to create myriad deductions, credits, exclusions, preferences, exemptions, and other loopholes. Continue Reading

 

Millennials Pay Very Little in Income Taxes

Almost every day, I see another article about millennials – the cohort of Americans born between 1980 and 2000 that are “forging a distinct path into adulthood” and “reshaping America.” But surprisingly, not much has been written about millennials and U.S. tax policy. Continue Reading

 

CANADIAN TAXPAYERS FEDERATION CALLS ON ONTARIO GOVERNMENT TO SCRAP GREEN ENERGY ACT AND END CORPORATE WELFARE IN WAKE OF AG REPORT

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the Wynne government to scrap the Green Energy Act and end all corporate welfare payments in light of today’s Auditor General report. Among other findings, the Auditor General found that Ontario electricity consumers will pay a total of $9.2 billion more for solar and wind projects as a result of the Ontario government’s Green Energy Act, which provides 20-year guaranteed prices for wind and solar. Continue Reading

 

ATR Urges Lawmakers to Oppose the Solar ITC and Wind PTC

As lawmakers meet this week during negotiations over the tax extenders deal, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) encourages them to oppose any efforts to extend the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar past 2016 and also urges opposition to reviving the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind. American taxpayers have already been forced to pay billions in handouts to the wind and solar industries and the time has come to end such anti-free market practices. Continue Reading

 

Europe

EU to Announce Probe Into McDonald’s Tax Affairs

McDonald’s Corp. will become the fourth U.S. multinational to be targeted by European Union regulators as part of a widening investigation into alleged illegal tax deals, two people familiar with the matter said Wednesday. Continue Reading

 

Dixon: EU-Turkey deal is historic, if it sticks

The deal agreed between the European Union and Turkey on Nov. 29 is historic – provided it sticks. The EU has dangled the prospect that Turkey can join the Union, offered its citizens visa-free travel throughout most of the bloc and promised the government a chunk of cash in return for Ankara agreeing to stem the flow of migrants to Europe. Not all of the pact looks deliverable – but some big issues look closer to being addressed. Continue Reading

 

Sweden to return 22,000 migrants

Swedish police faced by the end of October a task of deporting 21,748 people from the country, reports daily Aftonbladet. It is the largest number ever. As many as 14,140 of the people have disappeared and are registered by the police as being “wanted.” Continue Reading

 

Finding The Best Management Accountant In Rotterdam

If you own an organization or work in one, you understand the importance of finding a reliable management consultant. You need someone who will help you to monitor the flow of cash in your organization so that you can track your expenditures and income apart from planning for the future. The following tips should help you to find a reliable management accountant in Rotterdam. Continue Reading

 

Taxation trends in the European Union

This report contains a detailed statistical and economic analysis of the tax systems of the Member States of the European Union, plus Iceland and Norway, which are Members of the European Economic Area. The main body of the report is a set of ‘country chapters’ which give an overview of the main trends in taxation for each of the 30 countries covered by the report. The chapters have a standardized layout: the first page contains a summary table and graphs showing trends in the country’s tax revenues under the main tax headings for the period 2004 to 2013. Continue Reading

 

Sadly, The OECD Entirely Misunderstands Corporate Taxation

It’s OK, well it’s sorta OK, when politicians bloviating away shout that companies have to pay their fair share of taxes. It’s a great deal more worrying when an organisation supposedly there to give us all the accurate skinny on economics does the same thing. For it’s an absolutely standard part of the basic economics of taxation that corporations just do not pay taxes. Continue Reading

 

Asia

Start-up North Korea?

North Korea usually only makes the news due to renewed military aggression, or when a defector publishes an account of their escape. Rarely is there any positive news coming out of the most isolated economy in the world. But today, the Washington Post reports on a hopeful new development in the Hermit Kingdom: the establishment of 20 “economic zones”, where residents will be allowed to experiment with capitalism. Continue Reading

 

ASEAN issues await the next Philippine president

The 2016 presidential election in the Philippines may yet to be the most challenging in the country’s electoral history. Apart from varied domestic concerns and problems, divisive regional issues await the next president of the Philippines. Continue Reading

 

Ibero America

The big picture of Argentina’s elections

The results of the second round of Argentina’s presidential elections will very likely provoke a major reconfiguration both in the country and in South America. On the one hand, the very structure of power of the Peronist party has been severely damaged. On the other, Argentina has provided a region victimized by populism with a success story on overcoming the tragedy. Continue Reading

 

Venezuelan Opposition Wins Congressional Midterm Elections

Venezuela’s opposition, riding a wave of voter anger amid a deep economic crisis, swept to a big victory in midterm elections on Sunday, delivering a major blow to the ruling Socialist party and President Nicolás Maduro. Continue Reading

 

Venezuela Votes “No” to Socialism

After 17 years of economic and societal deterioration under the rule of the socialist party, Venezuelan’s took action. In yesterday’s elections, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) won 99 seats in Parliament compared to only 46 for the established United Social Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Continue Reading

 

Africa

What does China’s role in Africa say about its growing global footprint?

China’s ties to Africa are likely to get stronger this year as the world’s biggest economy appears poised to once again double its investments across the fast-growing continent. The run-up to the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held early next month in South Africa is under way. The forum – in its 15th year and the first held under President Xi Jinping’s administration – has been the main venue for setting the investment, trade and integration agenda between China and countries in Africa. Continue Reading

 

Manufacturers say the innovation statement needs to include tax breaks for intellectual property

With the federal government about to unveil new policies in the innovation statement today, a new study suggests Australia needs more competitive taxation for intellectual property. The Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council (AAMC) report focuses on “knowledge-rich manufacturing”. Countries must compete with each other to attract investment, both by foreign and domestic companies, it says. Continue Reading

 

Australia

Manufacturers say the innovation statement needs to include tax breaks for intellectual property

With the federal government about to unveil new policies in the innovation statement today, a new study suggests Australia needs more competitive taxation for intellectual property. The Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council (AAMC) report focuses on “knowledge-rich manufacturing”. Countries must compete with each other to attract investment, both by foreign and domestic companies, it says. Continue Reading

 

Free Trade

Wilson Perspectives: The Trans-Pacific Partnership

By any measure, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the 21st century’s most significant trade agreement. In 30 chapters and more than 5,000 pages, it lays down new rules of the road for 12 countries, 40 percent of the world economy, and 26 percent of world trade. From Latin America to the Asia-Pacific, on issues from workers’ rights to digital commerce, this deal will have an impact. It takes a wide-angle, multidisciplinary lens to study all of its aspects. Continue Reading

 All recipients are free to copy and redistribute the newsletter in any medium or format with proper attribution to Taxpayer Leaders Forum/Americans for Tax Reform

 

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The Taxi Industry has Just What it Deserves

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
11 December 2015 | Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance / Australia

Australia

The Daily Telegraph, Australia

The Taxi Industry has Just What it Deserves

by Tim Andrews

WHEN the first automobile hit the streets of Sydney, investors in horse and carriage companies didn’t get a penny in compensation.

Australia embraced the car and has led the world in embracing all new technologies, whether they be digital cameras, smartphones, or digital downloads. Obsolete industries from camera-film sellers and typewriter salesmen to BetaMax video store owners were never bailed out by the NSW taxpayer.

So why is it that today, with the ­introduction of Uber, Airbnb, Freelancer, Airtasker, and other new technologies making our lives easier, politicians want to tax us to bail out obsolete technologies?

The taxi industry is no different to the hundreds of other businesses faced with the inevitable task of adapting or risking something new and better coming along.

This is an industry characterised by bad service, exorbitant prices, and a complete lack of care for consumers. We have all been in dirty cabs with rude drivers who insist on taking the “scenic” route, ripping us off — and then demanding an extra 10 per cent just to use a credit card.

Now that technology has given us an alternative, with safe, clean, reviewed, and GPS-tracked UBER, the rivers of gold that the cab monopoly has received from gouging NSW consumers is drying up. Have they tried to improve? Have they tried to provide better services? No, they have simply tried to get the government to ban their competition, and continue their closed shop monopoly.

It’s expected that within weeks the NSW government will finally give in to public pressure and announce it will legalise Uber. And about time. But they are also considering imposing a supertax on us, the consumer, just to pay off Cabcharge.

Up to 1000 taxi plates in NSW are controlled by Cabcharge, a multi-million dollar corporation that the Federal Court and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission found guilty of gouging consumers. They were fined $14 million just a few years ago for unethical practices.

Yet the NSW government is seriously considering a new supertax, paid for by us, to bail them out.

We are going to pay a new tax to give money to these people. It seems the only thing Cabcharge can do well is pay for great lobbyists.

If I made a huge loss on the stock market with a bad investment I wouldn’t go running to the government for a bailout. Why is the government even considering bailing out investors in the failing taxi industry? When Kodak went bust the shareholders didn’t get a handout from the taxpayer. Nobody compensated BetaMax shareholders for ­investing in a less popular product. Nobody gave Sony a taxpayer ­funded handout when Walkmans ­became a thing of the past.

The answer to the challenges of new disruptive technology should not be to ask taxpayers to fork out their hard-earned cash to compensate the industries that have failed to keep up. The answer is to let the market do what it does best.

Consumers have been penalised by the taxi industry for decades. The NSW public shouldn’t foot the bill for an industry’s failure to innovate. Any tax on either the consumer or a new market entrant like Uber, just to pay out corporations who have failed to provide a good service, is not just bad economics. It’s downright immoral.

Tim Andrews is executive director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.

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The OECD Threatens Ireland’s Low Corporate Tax Success

Section: Members Highlights / WTA Blog
4 December 2015 | Hibernian Forum / Ireland

Ireland

The OECD Threatens Ireland’s Low Corporate Tax Success

Eamon DelaneyCampaign, info, web

obama pint

By Cormac Lucey, in The Times, digital edition, 20 November 2015

Repeating this statement does nothing to dilute its impact or its importance: Ireland would be unrecognisable without foreign direct investment. Not only do we depend on mainly American-owned companies for a considerable portion of our jobs, incomes and tax revenues, but the modernising impact of those companies has transformed our society.

Remember when, back in the 1950s, Ireland was a sort of Catholic version of North Korea with open borders — up to a third of people born here used to flee the country. That changed towards the end of that decade, when the tax law was transformed to free export profits from corporation tax. Over the years that tax break has morphed into today’s 12.5 per cent corporation rate, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the big “welcome” mat that Ireland puts at the front door when foreign multinationals come knocking.

A recent report from the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland highlighted some of the key benefits that we derive from this strategy. American companies have invested $277 billion in Ireland since 1990; the comparable figure for Brazil is $92 billion; for Russia it’s $10 billion and in China it’s $51 billion.

American direct investment stock in Ireland totalled a record $240 billion in 2013, a greater investment stake than Germany and France combined ($196 billion). Total US investment in Europe in the first nine months of last year was $115 billion, 19 per cent lower than the same period in 2013, but American flows to Ireland surged nearly 42 per cent to $37 billion. Companies from the US spend €13 billion on pay, goods and services in Ireland. Last, but not least, they contribute €3 billion to the Irish Exchequer in taxes each year. And that figure looks like it’s rising fast.

Germany and France have long criticised our low corporation tax rate as representing unfair competition. And the most powerful man in the world is also on our case. President Obama has slammed American companies that “magically become Irish” to avoid paying taxes in the US and criticised the “inversion” system, in which a large US company may acquire a smaller company domiciled in Ireland and arrange for the larger, merged, entity to pay the lower tax rate.

Mr Obama also called US multinationals who register in Ireland “corporate deserters” and said that because citizens don’t choose their tax rates, neither should companies. So the top item on the agenda of the G8 summit in Fermanagh in 2013 was a commitment “to fight the scourge of tax evasion”.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was asked to come up with proposals on base erosion and profit shifting, or BEPS. This refers to the effect of multinational companies shifting profits to low-tax states through the use of transfer pricing. Multinationals based in Ireland are frequently accused of practising this.

Now, the OECD is dutifully presenting the first results of its work. From an Irish perspective, the easiest way to judge its potential impact is by looking at the OECD’s three main headings: substance, coherence and transparency.

Under the substance heading, the OECD aims to align corporate taxes with real-value generating activity. Here the transfer prices that multinationals use to invoice sales from their Irish subsidiary to other subsidiaries are crucial. This could damage multinational units producing in Ireland if it can be established that they are using transfer prices to shift profits from high-tax jurisdictions to low-tax Ireland. Furthermore, the OECD plans to close down aggressive tax structures which use “Caribbean cash box” companies as holding locations for intellectual property.

The problem for the organisation is that multinationals located in Ireland generally have commercial substance. Peter Reilly, of the accountants PwC, even suggests that as sustaining very low corporate tax rates becomes increasingly difficult, Ireland’s 12.5 per cent rate may appear even more attractive.

The OECD’s examination of coherence looks at areas such as interest deductions, taxation of foreign subsidiaries and scenarios that lead to anomalous outcomes — a company that isn’t tax resident in any country. The main risk to Ireland is that other tax jurisdictions may change their domestic rules and thereby weaken the country’s appeal as an investment destination, but it remains to be seen what — if anything — happens under this heading.

Transparency is the main area in which the OECD can claim progress. There is to be an automatic exchange of tax rulings between member states that will hinder the scope for aggressive tax planning.

This will also involve the introduction of country-by-country reporting: all multinationals with revenues greater than €750 million will be required to disclose global revenue and expense data by country. This may expose how they use transfer pricing to shift profits from high-tax countries to good, old low-tax Ireland. It may not have any immediate impact, but could trigger adverse knock-on effects.

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On balance, however, BEPS doesn’t yet seem to be an existential challenge. This is why The Economist dubbed the BEPS project “an opportunity lost” and complained that “in some of the most important areas, such as grappling with how to tax cross-border online sales, cans have been kicked down the road”.

Britain has reduced its corporation tax rate to 20 per cent and said that this will fall to 19 per cent in 2017 and 18 per cent in 2020. This week it was announced that Northern Ireland will also adopt a 12.5 per cent rate. They appear to have passed their own judgment on the threat posed to Ireland by BEPS by concluding that “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”.

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WTA Letter from the Chairman – November 2015

Section: Members Highlights
20 November 2015 | Hibernian Forum / Ireland

Ireland

Letter from the Chairman, no 15
Stockholm November 20th, 2015

Dear members and friends of the World Taxpayers Associations!

Terror against freedom. The Islamic State (IS) has demonstrated that they have the will and resources to take their terror and aggression around the world. The confirmed blow up of the Russian plane with 244 tourists, the attack in Beirut which killed 34 and now the coordinated attacks in Paris which in the end may have killed more than 130 innocent people. In total, last year over 30,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks, most in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Police – and military – around Europe are given special resources and permissions to search and question suspects.

Politicians in Europe and President Obama do not understand the religiously based drive. What is the road ahead? Many want more control – will it threaten the freedom we cherish? Europe has been slow to react to the threats, but now borders are closing and the EU is threatening to again become more divided between states. The attitude towards the continuing stream of migrants is vastly differing. Sweden is still getting over 10,000 per week. Plus many just going underground without registering, though this flow has slowed with increased control. Other countries – including the US – are offering to take per year what Sweden is getting per week! Germany is looking at over 1 million new migrants this year alone.

The world is quickly changing. The UN is trying to create more of a worldwide regime with international taxation and amassing big funds for “climate investments” in the so called third world. The climate issue has been strongly and cleverly used for political and economic purposes. It is not so much about science – where experts differ – but about money and power.

The road ahead must mean a defence of freedom – down to the school yard. A spirit of suspicion and fear should not prevail. A recent report in Britain says that over half of 11 year-olds have problems sleeping because of fear of climate change. They should be rejoicing in the fantastic possibilities they have ahead – and in how our world has been able to adapt with more freedom, greater wealth and resources, more food and higher possibilities for all. Each generation has to find and defend their own freedom, ask their own question about the future and set their own goals. There lies the road ahead. And doing it across any borders of race, religion, social class, wealth or politics. In the long run freedom will win. It always has. In the mean time our national resources must join in a fair and open way to work for peace and isolate those who think they have a right to destroy the lives of others.

World Taxpayers Conference 2016

Now is the time to plan and book your participation at the WTA Conference in Berlin March 17-20th next year!

Key stakeholders and globally acclaimed experts will discuss a wide range of important aspects of economic growth and growth of freedom and democracy. You will have a unique chance to meet with likeminded persons from all parts of the world, to learn and be inspired and build relations of future importance for your organization.

We promise you an exciting and very useful program. Our German hosts are doing their best to add also points of social and general interest. The welcome reception in a unique location a dinner combined with a Berlin-style variety show and a gala dinner with a special speaker.

The conference will combine with three other events on the 16th and 17th March 2016:

The Taxpayers Leaders Forum, initiated by Americans for Tax Reform, and it will be a chance to share and learn from others experiences. This will take place in the afternoon of Wednesday March 16th and in the morning of March 17th.

The Free Market Road Show – a high-level discussion of economic issues and how enterprises and economic growth can be stimulated. Time: The morning of March 17th.

The European Resource Bank meeting. This is a meeting of more business oriented think tanks across Europe and we will share the main meetings on Friday and they will add other seminars and workshops on Saturday.

These combinations means a large and varied conference with an expected 250 participants, so write us about your interest soon.

WTA and National Taxpayers Union in the US will be offering some scholarships for those with special needs, so write us of your interest even if you are uncertain about the expense. And if you need a visa to Germany, it is urgent that you contact us about that immediately, so it can be arranged. It may take some time considering the pressure on these authorities.

A special web page will be active soon also with payment routines for the conference fee. On the WTA website you will find information under http://worldtaxpayers.org/conferences-events/news-and-details-of-upcoming-events/.

Member activities
Our network keeps growing. We now have seven active organizations in Africa. Some of them are working under difficult circumstances. We also have new groups starting up in Asia and South America. We want to give them all the encouragement, advice and support we can.

We are very encouraged by the National Taxpayers Association (NTA) in Kenya. They are a well established group since ten years. Visit their web page describing their many activities under www.nta.or.ke It is in English.

Content marketing
Content marketing is a popular term these days. In its simplest sense it means that we have to know our stuff – to stand on our know-how of taxes, how they hit different groups, create difficulties for start up businesses or whatever the issue is. In Sweden the Taxpayers Organization has published a small pocketbook with Facts for Taxpayers for 49 years! In 36 overviews on 48 pages they give all the key facts about not only taxes, but other economic facts like international comparisons. You might find interesting ideas here – even if it is in Swedish! You can down load the report here: http://www.skattebetalarna.se/nyheter/fakta-skattebetalare-2015
We will be happy to translate details for you!

In Ghana the Taxpayers’ Alliance has made an extensive comment to the national budget for 2016. You find comments on the news page Modern Ghana here: https://www.modernghana.com/news/655609/1/tax-payers-alliance-on-2016-budget.html

In Britain, the TaxPayers’ Alliance made a “telephone catalogue” size report detailing what might be needed to balance the budget in connection with the latest election. Even the summary was book size!

They are currently getting great media coverage and political reaction based on their “Public Sector Rich List” listing public employees earning more than £100,000 per year. Many reactions on this. Here is an example from one newspaper: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/debate/columnists/jonathan-isaby-freedom-of-information-is-a-weapon-against-town-hall-waste-1-7568559

Suggested reading

In my readings, I often find interesting comments from John Mauldin. In his latest letter he adds a long analysis by George Friedman – of Europe, migration and the terrorist threat. I am adding it as a pdf at the end of the letter for those of you who want to get more in depth comments on the current situation and where we are heading. You can also find newsletter and previous ones directly on this link: http://www.mauldineconomics.com/outsidethebox/archive

Do write to me or Sarah with any questions on the conference or with questions how we might help you in your efforts. We want you to benefit from our exciting network and its wealth of experience and connections!

Best wishes,

Staffan

Staffan Wennberg

Chairman World Taxpayers Associations

staffan.wennberg@worldtaxpayers.org

Phone+ 46 708 15 04 95

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