Taxpayer Leaders Forum

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

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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



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



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



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



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



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

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International Property Rights Newsletter – December 4 2015, N. 39

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

International Property Rights Newsletter – December 4 2015, N. 39

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Please check the International Guidelines on Intellectual Property Rights supported by 85 Think Tanks


2015 International Property Rights Index officially launched

The Property Rights Alliance has officially launched the 2015 International Property Rights Index in Malaysia on November 16th.  Click here for the executive summary or visit the website here:

9th Annual IP Attaché Roundtable on December 15th, 2015

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) will host the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) IP Attachés from around the world to discuss the protection and enforcement of IP rights outside of the United States. For more information & RSVP please click here

North America

President Obama Signs Bill Recognizing Asteroid Resource Property Rights into Law

On Thursday, President Obama signed the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act into law, which grants companies the rights to whatever they manage to pluck out of these extraterrestrial bodies. The new Space Act of 2015 requires approval from the House of Representatives before moving on to President Obama. Meteorites – chunks that survive and fall to earth after asteroids disintegrate in the atmosphere – yield significant amounts of precious metals like platinum, rhodium, iridium, rhenium, osmium, ruthenium, palladium, germanium and gold. Continue Reading

Copyright Principles and Priorities to Foster a Creative Digital Marketplace

Over the course of the last two years, Congress has engaged in a comprehensive review of the Copyright Act. This is the first such review in nearly two generations, and it lays the groundwork for further inquiries and proposals regarding how the law might be amended and how the institution responsible for its administration—the U.S. Copyright Office— might be modernized and restructured to better support a thriving digital marketplace of unprecedented creativity and innovation. Continue Reading

Digital Ad Industry Will Gain $8.2 Billion By Eliminating Fraud And Flaws In Internet Supply Chain, IAB & EY Study Shows

Fraudulent impressions, infringed content, and malvertising cost the U.S. digital marketing, advertising, and media industry $8.2 billion annually. That money can be recouped if companies fix badly designed business processes and repair obvious flaws in the digital advertising supply chain, a new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and EY shows. Continue Reading


YouTube Seeks Streaming Rights to TV Shows, Movies

YouTube is seeking streaming rights to TV series and movies to bolster its new subscription service, intensifying its rivalry with Netflix Inc., Inc. and Hulu in the competitive market for online video. Continue Reading


NSA bulk phone surveillance program shutting down Sunday

The National Security Agency will no longer be allowed to collect phone metadata in bulk beginning Sunday, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The controversial surveillance program was shut down under the USA Freedom Act, signed by President Obama in early June, and has been in a six-month transition period that ends Nov. 29. Continue Reading


Kobe Bryant’s company files for trademarks linked to his final season

Kobe Bryant has taken an even bigger step into the business world on the heels of his officially announced retirement. Bryant’s company, Kobe Inc., which was incorporated in California in 2013, has filed for various trademarks that are linked to his own marketing campaign for his final season. Continue Reading


Game Companies and Intellectual Property Rights

We have been asked many times what game companies can do to protect their games, assets and IP. This is the first of a series of blog posts aiming to answer that question. We will start from the most fundamental matters. Legal affairs are often seen as complicated and time consuming. This conception is understandable, and even relatively correct in some cases, but for game companies the most essential issues are actually quite straight forward. The most important legal matter is the management of intellectual property rights (IPR). Continue Reading


Why Silicon Valley is heading right

A couple of years ago New York Magazine did some work on the political orientation of Silicon Valley in which they reported the big news that some of the giants of the tech world were – shock! horror! – moving to the right, albeit very tentatively. The irony is that this should be newsworthy since the evidence of a rightward trend was so very paltry. Continue Reading


Library of Congress, Copyright Office butt heads over IT vision

The Library of Congress took a critical step in hiring a chief information officer in September, a senior Government Accountability Office official told lawmakers. But, he said, it’s still unclear whether Library of Congress’ newly minted tech exec has the power to sort out the digital woes plaguing the agency. “It remains to be seen whether this position will have clear responsibility and adequate authority to drive needed improvements,” said Joel Willemssen, GAO’s managing director for information technology. Continue Reading



To keep pace with the demands of the digital age, the U.S. Copyright Office needs fewer file clerks and more techies, Maria Pallante, the office’s director, told lawmakers on Wednesday. “It used to be catalogers, now it needs to be technology and data [experts],” Pallante described the agency’s hiring needs. “I don’t know how we can administer the law without it.” Continue Reading



Trademark reform in Italy: a shift in focus

In what is a significant shift, impending EU trademark reforms in Italy will allow parties to challenge granted trademarks on both relative and absolute grounds. Luigi Manna of Martini Manna Avvocati reports. Continue Reading


Building Value: The Role of Trademarks for Economic Development

Investment in brands drives the allocation of resources in our economy. It increases competition, pushes firms to innovate, and decreases asymmetries in the market leading to a higher level of economic development Investment in brands and intangibles has seen an increase in the last fifteen years, especially in advanced economies such as the EU and the US. The US is a pioneer when we talk about investment in brands, whereas the EU is still investing a higher share of GDP in tangible assets. Continue Reading


Copyright reform in Europe: getting EU copyright fit for the digital age

In May 2015, the European Commission put copyright reform as key part of the Digital Single Market strategy. techUK’s Laura Weidinger argues why it is essential that the forthcoming reforms, the first major update since 2001, gets the detail right to create a functioning copyright framework fit for the digital age. Continue Reading


New Administrative Rules for Well-Known Trademarks in Russia

On October 13, 2015, new administrative rules on declaring trademarks well known entered into force in Russia. The main change concerns the prescribed time limit for the Rospatent to determine whether a trademark is well known. Continue Reading


How does the opening of the ASEAN community relate to Bangkokians? : Suggestions for adaptation (3)

Considering the effects and opportunities that will be occurring as the country enters into the ASEAN Community in the year 2015 that I have explained in the previous article, Bangkokians need to prepare and accept the change. Important areas where Bangkokians need to be prepared for are as follows: Continue Reading


Mickey Mouse operations: China fines five fake ‘Disney hotels’ in Shanghai ahead of giant theme park opening

Shanghai has fined a hotel chain for infringing on Disney’s trademarks at five of its branches as part of an effort to protect the US entertainment giant’s brand in the run-up to the opening of its theme park next year. The five hotels owned by the Shenzhen Vienna Hotels Group in Pudong district, where the theme park is due to open in the first half of next year, were found to have used the Chinese characters for Disney on their signboards, websites and electronic displays in their lobbies without authorisation, the Shanghai regulators said. Continue Reading


China Vows To Protect US Firms

US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) conference concluded with the commitment from both countries to protect the companies’ intellectual property (IP), minimize the trade theft, and provide them better legal protection. US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker called the US-China JCCT “Meaningful”. Breakthroughs were expected at the meeting held in in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. The three-day conference also addressed the issues like standards, IP, and geographical indications to prevent unauthorized content, sports broadcasting, and many more. Continue Reading


India names new head of IP office

Sh O P Gupta has taken over as controller general of patents, designs and trademarks in India. The former chairman and managing director of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co was installed as the head of the Indian Intellectual Property Office on 16 November. Continue Reading


Qualcomm Inks License Deal With China’s Xiaomi

Qualcomm Inc. said it reached a patent-licensing deal with Xiaomi Corp., one of China’s largest smartphone makers, a sign of progress in easing the chip maker’s struggles in the country. The San Diego-based company’s stock jumped 5.6% to $52.03 in afternoon trading on Wednesday in response to the announcement. Continue Reading


New national Intellectual Property Rights policy likely by December end: Amitabh Kant

The government is likely to come out with a new national Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy by the month-end, DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said on Thursday. The task force appointed by the government on the matter has already submitted its report, Kant said while speaking at a conference organised by Observer Research Foundation here. Continue Reading


Middle East

Israel freezes the EU out of peace talks with the Palestinians

Israel has frozen the EU out of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in retaliation for Europe’s decision to label products made in West Bank settlements.Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, reacted furiously when the labelling decision was announced two weeks ago and on Sunday said he was suspending diplomatic contact with the EU on peace issues. Continue Reading



At WIPO, Former South Africa Judge Calls For Balance In IP Rights Enforcement

Alongside this week’s meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization committee on enforcement, an event featured a former South African Supreme Court judge presenting his views on IP enforcement. There is a need to go for the “big fish,” he said, and to bring balance in sanctions and enforcement procedures. He also described courts as finding that exceptions to copyright are a public right. Continue Reading


Nigerian Journalists Dig Deep Into Land and Property Rights

Reporters from Nigeria’s leading media outlets were among the 55 professional journalists and 48 students who attended a unique journalism workshop on “Covering Land and Property Rights” held in Lagos on November 24 and 25. Continue Reading



US and Brazil ink PPH to solve patent delay

The US and Brazil have agreed to form a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) aimed at speeding up patent applications in both jurisdictions. Continue Reading


Proposed law may remove indigenous land rights in Brazil

Maria Valdenice Nukini believes it’s her duty to protect her ancestral territory in northern Brazil and raise awareness of the role indigenous communities play in protecting nature. That’s why she recently traveled 4,700 kilometers from her isolated reserve in the northern state of Acre to Rio de Janeiro to protest oil and gas exploration that may take place near her community, located on the border with Peru. Continue Reading



Gearing and Protecting Intellectual Property for the World Market

Trade has been a big focus for the Australian Government in recent months. Newly minted bi-lateral and multi-lateral international trade agreements are in place, which are sure to open up greater export and investment opportunities for Australian companies. However, if you want to participate, can you be sure your intellectual property is protected? It is important that Australian suppliers fully protect their IP rights in those overseas markets – in relation to trademarks, patents and designs, and copyright. Continue Reading


Free Trade and Property Rights

USTR review notes gains in PHL compliance with international labor rights

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has noted gains on the Philippines’s adherence to international labor standards, paving the way for the country to fully enjoy the benefits under the preferential trade scheme. A USTR news statement release on Friday said that the conclusion of its review is “…based on progress by the Philippine government in addressing worker rights issues in that country, including through reforms of labor laws and regulations.” Continue Reading


THE PHILIPPINES and the European Free Trade Association (Efta) have substantially moved forward negotiations on a free trade agreement following the fourth round of talks last week. “The meetings were held in a positive and efficient atmosphere and substantial progress was achieved in all areas,” the Efta said. According to Efta, the working groups convened on November 24-27 in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss all areas under negotiation, including trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights Continue Reading


Plain Packaging

Plain packaging celebrates its third birthday as France green-lights brand-free tobacco packs

Plain packaging is officially three years old today, and last week France took a significant step towards becoming the latest country to introduce legislation for the presentation of tobacco products. However, as the spread of plain packaging continues, pro-IP voices are getting lost in the mix, with the narrative framed as boiling down to ‘pro-health interests v big tobacco’. Continue Reading


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