International Taxpayer Leaders Forum Newsletter, N.24

Section: Taxpayer Leaders Forum
13 February 2015

International Taxpayer Leaders Forum Newsletter, N.24 – February 13, 2015


Americans for Tax Reform’s CPAC International Welcoming Reception
An event gathering the next generation of international conservative and free-market leaders.
Feburary 26, 4:00PM – 6:30PM
Location: Public House – 199 Fleet Street, National Harbor, MD 20745
To register email:

World Conference on Market Liberalization in Bali – International Society for Individual Liberty
Date: June 29-July 3 2015
The liberty movement has been growing rapidly in Asia in just the last few years.  You can meet many outstanding, young leaders of the new groups and think tanks.  This conference is being organized in cooperation with the Freedom Institute in Jakarta. See more here.

New Video Initiative by IES Europe
IES Europe has just launched an interesting video project (in French) in cooperation with Topics include the cost of government, tax hikes and federal deficits.


North America
Is There a New Consensus On International Tax Reform?

These days, Washington is more or less a town that runs on Kabuki, and one of the biggest dances of all is the president’s annual budget request to Congress. With the formal appropriations all but derailed, it serves as little beyond a political document. But it offers insight into White House priorities, and often plays an important role in setting the terms of the debate. Continue Reading

The Obama Budget’s Double Taxation of U.S. Employers
President Obama released his FY 2016 budget yesterday. It contains dozens of tax increases that go on for page after page. Buried in there is a series of tax increases on U.S. employers who also do business abroad. Because the U.S. has a “worldwide” tax regime, any further U.S. taxation of overseas income represents a double tax on that income. Continue Reading

Canada looking at LNG tax breaks in federal budget: document
The Canadian government is studying the idea of providing new tax breaks in the upcoming federal budget for companies that build liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, according to internal records obtained by Reuters. Continue Reading

The Moral Case for Tax Havens
Tax havens have a valuable role in the global economy. They facilitate the efficient allocation of capital; they encourage saving and investment; and because of tax competition, they encourage better policy in the rest of the world. As noted in the New England Journal of International and Comparative Law, tax competition serves a beneficial role. Continue Reading

Cigarette Taxes and Cigarette Smuggling by State, 2013
Public policies often have unintended consequences that outweigh their benefits. One consequence of high state cigarette tax rates has been increased smuggling as criminals procure discounted packs from low-tax states to sell in high-tax states. Growing cigarette tax differentials have made cigarette smuggling both a national problem and a lucrative criminal enterprise. Continue Reading

IRS Chief: “We Still Have Applications That Were Running When JFK Was President”

At a Senate Finance Committee Hearing today, IRS commissioner John Koskinen testified on IRS funding requests for the upcoming fiscal year. Koskinen admitted that the IRS is stuck in the past when it comes to technology. Continue Reading
Regulation is Strangling America: It’s Time for Congress to Act
Anyone listening to this administration and its regulators would think we’re just a few more regulations away from prosperity. In fact, as TheBlaze readers well know, this has been the slowest recovery on record since the Great Depression, and we’re still over 5 million jobs short of what the average recovery since 1960 would have given us. Continue Reading

Regulations and Taxes: Democrats Then and Now
In recent decades, the Democratic Party has moved far to the left on economic policy. I have discussed the leftward shift on tax policy, which was illustrated once again by President Obama’s generally awful proposals in his new budget (see here, here, and here). What about regulations? Consider the following statement by President Jimmy Carter on his signing a landmark railroad deregulation bill in 1980. Continue Reading


Europe/ Eastern Europe
Austerity in 2009–2013
The deficit reduction policies followed by several Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in 2009–13, often referred to as fiscal austerity, were motivated by the bond market’s reaction to the large debts and deficits that followed the Greek crisis. Continue Reading

EU Tax Law Could Make Bitcoin Transactions Invalid
A recent amendment to EU tax law could mean trouble for bitcoin, as many believe it will make transactions using the cryptocurrency more difficult. In an effort to ensure that Value Added Tax (VAT) is paid on electronic transactions, the new law mandates that companies record the country of residence for each customer. Continue Reading

‘Nobody believes Ireland is not a tax haven’ – UN official

A UNITED Nations official has launched a scathing attack on Ireland over its corporation tax regime. Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, accused the country of supplementing the 12.5pc rate with a raft of schemes that appear designed to allow tax avoidance by big companies in return for a “pittance in reward”. Continue Reading

European committee may question Noonan on corporate tax avoidance
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan may be summoned to appear before a special European Parliament committee on corporate tax avoidance, after MEPs yesterday agreed to set up a parliamentary committee to examine tax rulings in the wake of the “Lux Leaks” scandal. Continue Reading

Obama planning to tax US firms’ foreign profits in blow to Ireland
US President Barack Obama has proposed a tax on profits earned by American companies overseas, a move which could have big ramifications for firms based in Ireland. Continue Reading

Why Businesses Migrate from Greece to Bulgaria: Smaller Government Is Cheaper
What “prompted many Greek manufacturers to relocate to neighboring Bulgaria” is not just less-capricious regulation, as The Wall Street Journal suggests, but also the much lower cost of government. Bulgaria has a 10% flat tax on corporate and personal income and a 20% VAT. Greece has a 49% personal income tax, 26% corporate tax, 45% payroll tax and 23% VAT. Continue Reading

Belgium on EU radar over corporate tax scheme
Belgium has slipped on to the European Commission’s anti-trust radar for a scheme allowing multinationals to escape paying due tax on as much as 90 percent of their profits.

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager Tuesday (3 February) noted that the scheme only benefits multinationals and not “stand alone” companies or Belgian-only companies. Continue Reading
EU Plan to Install a Tracking Computer in Every Car to Tax Miles

A Senior European politician has caused outrage by calling for computers to be fitted in all European cars as part of an EU wide road pricing system. Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said the current system which is decided by national parliaments was “a burden on car drivers and an obstacle to their mobility” she told German newspaper ‘World on Sunday’. Continue Reading


Another fat tax fail
Mexico is trying to do the impossible. It’s attempting to reduce its enormous obesity problem with a modest 10% flavoured drink tax it imposed on January 1, 2014.  Mexico is arguably the world’s fattest country, with obesity and diabetes levels having gone through the roof. Mexicans also consume lots of soft drinks: 163 liters per capita each year compared to 70 liters per capita in Canada. Continue Reading

Measuring Misery in Latin America 2014: More Dollarization, Please
In my misery index, I calculate a ranking for all countries where suitable data exist. My misery index — a simple sum of inflation, lending rates, and unemployment rates, minus year-on-year per capita GDP growth — is used to construct a ranking for 108 countries. The table below is a sub-index of all Latin American countries presented in the world misery index. Continue Reading

Chile’s Economy Rebounds and Wages Soar as Gloom Eases
Chile’s economy rebounded in December and wages soared, surprising analysts who had forecast growth would remain sluggish well into 2015 and damping speculation of further interest rate cuts. Continue Reading

Brazil tax collection fall 1.79% as $460 billion, lowest since 2009
Tax revenue gained by government through taxation fell to 1.79% last year and totals US$460 billion according to Brazil’s Secretariat of the Federal Revenue. With inflation correction, this figure was of US$472 billion. Continue Reading


Russia’s oil and gas tax policies increasingly looking eastward
The recent changes in the taxation of Russia’s oil and gas sector reflect both the country’s pivot eastward and the special treatment afforded to its state controlled energy companies, according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData. Continue Reading
Uzbekistan’s Bubbling Pot of Destabilization
Something’s cooking in Uzbekistan, and it’s not just plov. The country’s political stability is on the line as a power struggle is underway for control in a post-Karimov reality that is soon approaching. President Islam Karimov himself has been increasingly sidelined as of late, even being pressured to place his own daughter, once thought to be his handpicked successor, under house arrest. Continue Reading

Russia can not exempt wheat exports to Egypt from tax: Russian ministry
Russia will not be able to exempt wheat exports to Egypt from export taxes, the Russian agriculture ministry was quoted by Reuters as saying on Thursday. Egypt’s government announced a day earlier it was negotiating an exemption during Vladimir Putin’s visit to the country. Continue Reading


Middle East/Africa
Mining firms seek clarity on Zimbabwe platinum export tax
Miners Aquarius and Impala said on Friday they are seeking clarity from Zimbabwe’s government over a proposed 15 percent export tax on unrefined platinum which, if enforced, would slash their margins. Continue Reading

Attacking low-tax jurisdictions will not help Africa’s growth
The new millennium has brought unprecedented growth and prosperity to much of the developing world. It would be a pity if increased fiscal burdens – such as higher corporate tax rates – were to put sand in the gears of that growth and undermine this happy period of economic expansion. Unfortunately, a toxic combination of government overreach and advice by well-meaning but misguided NGOs might accomplish exactly that. Continue Reading

No fare, cry Uber taxi competitors
The rise of taxi service Uber in South Africa has its competitors crying foul and alleging a number of violations of the law. These include allegations that the company may be flouting foreign exchange controls, is not paying VAT and is bypassing the regulation of taxi services by saying it is not a transport company. Continue Reading

Zambia’s president re-appoints mines minister to end tax row
Zambia’s new president Edgar Lungu on Thursday re-appointed Christopher Yaluma as mines minister in Africa’s second-largest copper producer, to help end a row with mining companies over new royalties and tax refunds. Continue Reading

Asia/Southeast Asia
Foreign firms run to tax advisers on China’s new rules
The Chinese government’s vow to increase tax scrutiny on foreign companies sent firms rushing to tax advisers ahead of Sunday’s implementation of new rules designed to rein in cross-border tax avoidance. Continue Reading

To Spend in India, First Cut Taxes
Huge, probably unrealistic hopes are riding on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first full-year budget, expected on Feb. 28. Nine months after sweeping to office on a wave of hype and promises of bold economic reforms, Modi has yet to follow through with the kind of radical changes that many of his loudest cheerleaders believe are necessary to revitalize the economy. Doubts are setting in. The budget is Modi’s chance to reverse them. Continue Reading

Japanese investors in Vietnam call for simpler tax, customs rules
Vietnam’s tax and customs regulations are among the most complicated in Asia-Pacific while government support for investors is hard to access, a new survey of Japanese companies has found.Continue Reading

Tax relief for individuals and companies likely in 2015-16 Budget
The 2015-16 Budget is likely to include major tax relief for individuals to boost savings as well as for companies to encourage them to invest in the country. The contours of the package are still being worked out but it is likely that tax slabs or exemptions will be reworked for individuals and the corporation tax rate may be rejigged, officials said.Continue Reading

Korean households’ tax burden rises at faster pace than income
The tax burden for Korean households outpaced income gains by nearly double in the first three quarters last year. Data from Statistics Korea shows the average monthly income of a household with more than two members stood at around 4-thousand U.S. dollars, up more than 3-and-a-half percent from a year ago. Continue Reading


There was no government in waiting in broke Queensland
The real result from the Queensland election is that drovers’ dogs will occupy the Treasury benches for the foreseeable future. There was no government in waiting, just a bunch of kids waiting their turn. Continue Reading

Why Australia’s R&D tax break cap could drive innovation

Australia’s Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Industry Senator Kim Carr this week slammed the government’s move to put a cap on what companies can claim under the federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive. The R&D Tax Incentive allows companies to claim a tax break for the money they spend on internal R&D, but on February 10, parliament passed new legislation limiting the amount for which companies can claim R&D tax breaks to AU$100 million. Continue Reading

NZ economy set to grow
New Zealand is set for a year of overall economic growth but the latest ASB quarterly economic forecasts show global growth forecasts have been downgraded. ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said New Zealand’s economic growth would be about 3% for the calendar year and consumer spending would be an important driver of growth. Continue Reading

Companies facing two tax rates
THE Coalition is moving towards the introduction of a two-tiered corporate tax system for the first time in 40 years after Social Services Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the levy designed to fund the now-abandoned paid parental leave scheme would not be ­redirected to childcare. Continue Reading

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