Archive for the ‘taxes’ Category

The BVI, China’s new tax haven

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

The Caymans are so 1990s:
China’s princelings storing riches in Caribbean offshore haven
Relatives of political leaders including China’s current president and former premier named in trove of leaked documents from the British Virgin Islands

The disclosure of China’s use of secretive financial structures is the latest revelation from “Offshore Secrets”, a two-year reporting effort led by theInternational Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which obtained more than 200 gigabytes of leaked financial data from two companies in the British Virgin Islands, and shared the information with the Guardian and other international news outlets.

In all, the ICIJ data reveals more than 21,000 clients from mainland China and Hong Kong have made use of offshore havens in the Caribbean, adding to mounting scrutiny of the wealth and power amassed by family members of the country’s inner circle.

Inner circle indeed. Go to link above to read the names of the people involved.

Of course, there’s no disclosure required from party leaders, so, who knows?

Mexico: “Shame and Name”, Blacklisting for taxes

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Coming soon to the USA?

Mexico’s Tax Black Lists Prove Controversial
Mexico’s new practice of publishing lists of people and firms that it says have ongoing tax problems is being called faulty and unfair by some

The first black list, posted in early January on the website of the Tax Administration Service, or SAT, named about 89,000 people and firms for a variety of alleged violations or debts, and included TV stars, a major soccer team, and the Roman Catholic diocese in Acapulco.

On Friday, the SAT published another list of 163 companies or people who allegedly issued false invoices for tax purposes, or who weren’t found at their tax addresses.

You can get blacklisted if the tax collector says you’re “unlocatable.”

The article does not state whether there’s an appeal process.

Here in the USA, The IRS Scandal, Day 248. If you don’t think the IRS scandal matters, you may have already bought a bridge.

And, an appeal: Dear Uncle Sam: Don’t Accept the World’s Bad Ideas
The pet food tax? The meat-pasty levy? The gigantic tax on big earners? Beware dumb concepts from abroad, says Joe Queenan.

Mexico: Taxing the fat out of you

Friday, October 18th, 2013

As if inherently inflationary measures made people healthier, Mexico Tries Taxes to Combat Obesity
Congress’s lower house of Congress passed late Thursday a special tax on junk food that is seen as potentially the broadest of its kind, part of an ambitious Mexican government effort to contain runaway rates of obesity and diabetes
. It may come with unintended consequences,

Mexican industrial chamber Concamin estimates that processed food companies targeted by the new tax employ thousands of Mexicans and account for 4.1% of GDP. “We can’t allow last-minute taxes,” said Concamin president Francisco Funtanet, suggesting that companies might cut back on personnel and investment to absorb the tax hit.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Mexico contracted 0.74 percent in the second quarter of 2013 over the previous quarter.

What about improving the water supply so people can actually drink tap water and not get sick, and not have to rely on soft drinks or beer?

Taxing tango in Seattle

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

New Tax Rule Threatens Seattle Ballroom

Hallie Kuperman loves to dance. But what she loves even more is sharing this passion with visitors to her social dancing club, the Century Ballroom.

Hallie purchased the vintage dancing space 16 years ago, turning it into a Seattle institution. The Century Ballroom not only teaches swing, tango and the foxtrot, it also hosts cabarets and other live performances for an eclectic crowd of all ages. The club’s trendsetting owner has become a prominent and beloved figure in the community.

Business was swinging until a surprise bill arrived from Washington’s Department of Revenue. The state agency decided to reinterpret an obscure old tax, audited the Century Ballroom, and demanded a check for $92,000.

Here’s a tango show at the Century Ballroom:
Marcelo Molina Performing in “TANGO CABARET” Show at Century Ballroom, Seattle 2011 with Mirabai Deranja, dancing to Reliquias Porteñas.

h/t Gay Patriot, who says, New Tax Threatens Dancing In Seattle, Gays To Riot?

No budget? No problem!

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

If you listen to the POTUS, you’d be thinking that because he’ll just keep raising taxes.

However, if you look at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the situation’s different:
CBO: Tax Increase Fails to Solve Spending and Debt Crisis

  • With economic growth and President Obama’s two tax increases, the $1 trillion tax hike in Obamacare, and the $618 billion fiscal cliff increase, revenues will surge to 19.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2015, and will remain well above the historical average of 18.5 percent for the rest of the decade. These figures offer conclusive proof that—notwithstanding the assertions of the President and Senate Democrats—there is plenty of revenue flowing into Washington.
  • Yet even all this new revenue fails to solve the government’s fiscal problems. Starting at $845 billion this year, deficits shrink somewhat through 2016, but then start rising again, returning to near the trillion-dollar range by 2023. The pattern proves that higher taxes cannot solve the deficit problem—only spending restraint can.

Read the whole thing.

Sarko leaving? For the UK?

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Taxes must really be awful in France that the UK’s looking good by comparison,
Sarkozy’s plans ‘to dodge new 75% French tax rate by moving to London with wife Carla and setting up £1bn private equity fund’
Fraud police found details of move and business plan in raid on home
Sarkozy is under investigation for corruption in France
He will be latest Frenchman to escape potential top French tax rate of 75%
Couple would become London’s most high profile Gallic celebrities
Sarkozy would hope for fund support from French entrepreneur Alain Minc

I thought a ‘£1bn private equity fund’ would be more of a Villepin thing, but, hey, we’re living in hard times.

No word if the perineum is getting a workout.

Our taxes just went up; O heads to Hawaii

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Feel the squeeze,

According to the bill, Americans at all income levels would see a two-percentage-point jump in the employee portion of the Social Security tax. It will return to 6.2% in 2013 after a stimulus rate of 4.2% expires.

And then there are the Obamacare tax increases,

As for small business, the overall tax increase this year is substantial. The new listed top rate of 39.6% doesn’t include the phaseout of deductions that will take the actual rate to 41% or so for many taxpayers. Add the ObamaCare surtaxes on investment income (3.8%) and Medicare (0.9%), as well as the current Medicare tax of 1.45% (employee share), and the real top marginal tax rate on a dollar of investment income from a bank savings or money-market account will be about 46%. Throw in state taxes, and the marginal rates in many places will be in the mid-50%-or-higher-range.

Meanwhile, even as Democrats claim these tax rates won’t matter to investment, Senators stuffed their bill full of tax subsidies for special business interests. The wind tax credit survived (cost: $12.1 billion), and so did the tax breaks for cellulosic ethanol ($59 million) and the impoverished producers of Hollywood ($248 million).

But I digress. The fiscal cliff carries $4 trillion price tag over next decade. Here are 6 Things You Won’t Believe That Are In The Fiscal Cliff Bill That The Senate Passed At 2 AM While Most Americans Were Drunk. So you’re OK if you’re in the Puerto Rican rum, asparagus, or biodiesel businesses.

The rest of us can rejoice in the fact that we’re paying for Obama’s $7million Hawaiian vacation, to which he returned less than an hour after Congress and the White House resolved the fiscal cliff.

Budgets are for little people.

Related:
HERE IT IS: Full Text Of The 157 Page Bill To Avert The Fiscal Cliff

UPDATE,
FISCAL CLIFF DEAL: $1 IN SPENDING CUTS FOR EVERY $41 IN TAX INCREASES


Cuba: Citizens with no property rights to pay 35% tax rate

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Thanks to fifty years of Communist rule, Cuba’s broke, and will continue to be broke. And now, Cubans will be taxed on what they don’t own.

Adding to the preposterousness of the situation, Reuters reporter Marc Frank, formerly of Communist Daily, comes out with an article where he posits that Most Cubans have not paid taxes for half a century, but that will change under a new code starting January 1,

The new code covers 19 taxes, including such things as inheritance, environment, sales, transportation and farm land, various license fees and three contributions, including social security.

Inheritance of what?? The regime abolished private property from the get-go, and it has not restored it,

It’s a perversely absurd view of the issue. The truth is that the castro regime, like all other totalitarian ones, is concerned with complete control of the citizenry. Political control, economic control, it’s all the same and necessary for the retention of power which is the sole aim of despots. castro, inc. is interested in generating revenue wherever it can while maintaining as much control as possible. I’ve stated many times that if raul castro truly wanted to implement the “Chinese Model” economy into Cuba he could have done so by now. He doesn’t do it because he knows Cuba is not China and the Cuban people will not be so easy to control once they have more economic self-determination. The regime wouldn’t last six months under a Chinese type of economic system.

Frank’s assuming that “businesses will become cooperatives or be privately leased” and will be able to survive enough to pay taxes.

Yeah, right.

What happened to the small businesses that were mowed down in the 1990s? What about this year’s new import fees?

Kevin McCullough:

So when the state controlled industry, businesses endured a 100% tax rate, and the nation never rose to prosperity, never saw an increase in take home pay, never really ever saw a modern way of life take hold.

Memo to Kevin: The state still controls everything in Cuba,
New Cuban Tax Just Same Old Communist Expropriation

the money workers could earn if free to choose their employers at wages that reflect their worth now all goes to the state and its “free” programs. Officially or not, it’s a tax well beyond 99%.

And what a surprise, the Castro brothers just happen to have personal fortunes in the billions of dollars, according to the last Forbes estimate. That’s a lot of taxes.

The Castro dictatorship is looking to take cash from the supposedly independent new businesses it’s permitted to set up shop, originally as a way of cutting the bloated state employment rolls.

Far from being a market liberalization or modernization, the Castroite tax hike is nothing but a shakedown of businesses that are struggling to grow, and an effort to reassert the power of the state over its citizens.

It’s the same-old, same-old, folks.


“SEVENTY-FIVE!? Yeah, that’s different”

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Today’s hit-by-reality moment is brought to you by Will Smith,

On France’s TF1 in early May, Smith explained why he supported the idea of paying higher taxes, saying, “I have no issue with paying taxes and whatever needs to be done for my country to grow. I believe very firmly that my ability to sit here — I’m a black man who didn’t go to college, yet I get to travel around the world and sell my movies, and I believe very firmly that America is the only place on Earth that I could exist. So I will pay anything that I need to pay to keep my country growing.”

The interviewer then said, “Do you know how much in France you would have to pay on earnings above 1 million euros [French President Francois Hollande's proposal]? Not 30 percent – 75 percent.”

At that point, Smith said, “75? Yeah, that’s different, that’s different. Yeah, 75. Well, you know, God bless America.”

Ooooh yeah.


The taxman commeth

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Sicking the taxman on your political opponents is becoming quite the vogue in our hemisphere:

The Taxman Cometh

If you want to publicly criticize Argentina’s government, make sure all your tax filings are in order.

That was the thinly veiled message President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner sent Wednesday near the end of a speech broadcast on all national television and radio stations. Reiterating her standard criticism that media “operations” are depressing Argentinians with gloom-and-doom stories, she derided an article published last Sunday. (She didn’t say this, but the paper that ran it was Clarín, the country’s largest-circulation daily.) In the story, the owner of a real-estate agency, one of its directors and an employee were quoted complaining that recent government measures essentially blocking the sale of foreign currency to citizens had paralyzed their business.

Kirchner then dropped this bit of information: the firm in question hasn’t filed taxes since 2007 and neither has the director quoted in the story, whom she named.

How did she know? She had called up the head of the tax agency to ask, and this, too, she openly revealed on Wednesday’s broadcast.

…Kirchner’s statement on Wednesday was different: by saying that she had called the taxman out of supposed concern for the real-estate agency, she unabashedly established cause and effect: you criticize me; I punish you. Was there a better way for her to flex muscle than signal that Argentina’s government agencies are at her beck and call and say so with no shame?

Not cause-and-effect, but coincidental,
Strassel: Obama’s Enemies List—Part II
First an Obama campaign website called out Romney donor Frank Vandersloot. Next the IRS moved to audit him—and so did the Labor Department.

Mr. VanderSloot has since been learning what it means to be on a presidential enemies list. Just 12 days after the attack, the Idahoan found an investigator digging to unearth his divorce records. This bloodhound—a recent employee of Senate Democrats—worked for a for-hire opposition research firm.

Now Mr. VanderSloot has been targeted by the federal government. In a letter dated June 21, he was informed that his tax records had been “selected for examination” by the Internal Revenue Service. The audit also encompasses Mr. VanderSloot’s wife, and not one, but two years of past filings (2008 and 2009).

Mr. VanderSloot, who is 63 and has been working since his teens, says neither he nor his accountants recall his being subject to a federal tax audit before. He was once required to send documents on a line item inquiry into his charitable donations, which resulted in no changes to his taxes. But nothing more—that is until now, shortly after he wrote a big check to a Romney-supporting Super PAC.

Two weeks after receiving the IRS letter, Mr. VanderSloot received another—this one from the Department of Labor. He was informed it would be doing an audit of workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch under the federal visa program for temporary agriculture workers.

Perhaps all this is coincidence. Perhaps something in Mr. VanderSloot’s finances or on his ranch raised a flag. Americans want to believe the federal government performs its duties without fear or favor.

Only in this case, Americans can have no such confidence. Did Mr. Obama pick up the phone and order the screws put to Mr. VanderSloot? Or—more likely—did a pro-Obama appointee or political hire or career staffer see that the boss had an issue with this donor, and decide to do the president an unasked-for election favor? Or did he or she simply think this was a duty, given that the president had declared Mr. VanderSloot and fellow donors “less than reputable”?

As a commenter in the latter article put it,

Here is the problem. Despite living an exemplary life and keeping all of your affairs in order and legal to the best of your abilities, because the laws are so outrageously complex and of such breadth and volume that it is impossible to know them and thus adhere to them, everyone who has any arrangement beyond the most simple can likely be found, upon thorough investigation, to be in violation of something. For this reason, getting audited can be problematic, despite honest attempts to stay compliant. Thus, people rightly fear being singled out and becoming an audit target.

Criticisms of “what have you to hide?” are a simpleton’s response to such fears. Nowadays, managing a business or any enterprise is fraught with big and little gotchas in every conceivable corner.

Not a good trend.

Not good at all.

Cross-posted in The Green Room.