“This result puts the Irish role as a blueprint for other countries into question.
Ireland’s strategy of attracting foreign owned companies by low corporate taxation rates can be seen as a beggar-they neighbour strategy, increasing downward competition for taxation in the EU.
The strategy is not even clearly positive for Irish citizens, at least not for those relying on wage income.
Therefore, it is surprising that the government seems to be willing to continue to compete for foreign owned companies by low corporate taxation rates, as a series of publications of the Department of Finance (2014) seems to indicate as well as the discussion of having to accept tax payments of Apple (CNBC Sep. 7, 2016)”
The full paper can be read here.
It is basically governments – taking away each other’s last powers over the financial system to privately owned corporations.
It is just another example that shows – how divided and fucked up the European Union really is – and that it was about rule-by-money right from the start – thank’s a lot Oil Company Elf and Chancellor Kohl – we hope you die earlier than expected – nobody will mourn you.
After having given away money-production to private banks – they now give away the right to tax to private corporations.
The result – will be dysfunctional states – that need to be “rescued” by a world currency and an almighty surveillance state – probably a world government like Orwell’s 1984.
So do private companies to avoid too much competition – like with the light-bulb cartel of 1942?
It is just too stupid to believe they do not know what they are doing. Same goes for Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands… the list is endless.
A recent paper from the German University of Applied Sciences provides further evidence as to the futility of countries adopting a tax haven approach (see below – “Is tax avoidance at the heart of Ireland’s economic miracle“). The paper details how Ireland’s pursuit of becoming a tax haven has led to an increase in headline economic growth, but that growth is artificially inflated by companies shifting foreign profits to Ireland. These profits do not filter down to the Irish economy and the Irish worker is left little better off from Ireland’s economic strategy. Other countries however, see their tax revenues drop as companies shift profits to Ireland.
For small countries like Ireland, there can be a sense that freeloading off the profits of other larger economies provides some benefit. Yes, they might take a smaller share of the pie, but that pie is larger from foreign companies pouring profits into the jurisdiction as they seek a tax benefit.
For larger countries that kind freeloading is much more difficult and attempts to steal other countries profits will be seen as much more aggressive and threatening.
For that reason it was of particular concern that the UK government seems to have embraced the policy of the tax war. As part of the UK bargaining over Brexit, the UK has openly threatened to turn itself into a tax haven if they do not get a good deal from the negotiations over leaving the European Union. What is remarkable about the UK position, is that the policy of slashing taxes on business is not being justified as being beneficial to the UK economy, but instead, its attractiveness is in the harm it does to others!
Non Dom Italy
It is not just the UK which has started to adopt aggressive tax policies as a result of Brexit. It seems that the Italians are getting in on the game as well. The country is seeking to adopt a non domiciled tax rule similar to the UK, which allows people to live in the country but claim their tax residency is somewhere else. The non-dom rule has done a lot to make London the world capital of oligarchs, who can live in London and enjoy all the benefits of England whilst keeping their wealth offshore.
The Italian government sees Brexit as an opportunity to poach some of the world’s wealthy elite away from London and bring them to Italy, where they can continue to contribute little to society in mildly better climate.
Taxing times for Trump
In the US, the new administration continues to spray out random ideas about taxation, mostly aimed at finding new ways of paying for a giant border wall with Mexico, which is estimated to cost an eye watering $20bn.
Controversy was sparked when the White House Press Secretary suggested that Mr Trump might endorse a proposal to put a 20% tax on all profits derived from imported goods. Within hours, Mr Spicer had rolled back saying it was just an option, and the President’s Chief of Staff said the President was looking at a “buffet of options”. We all wait in anticipation as to who or what the President might eat next.
The good news from America is that the public are not taking the refusal of President to be clear with his own tax returns without a fight. A petition to ask the US President to disclose his tax returns is currently the biggest petition in the history of the White House petitions system. Will Mr Trump finally tell us whether he is contributing to the state like the rest of working America? We wait in anticipation of the response.
Canada is the world’s newest tax haven
This week saw the publication of a major investigation by the Toronto Star and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
“Canada is a good place to create tax planning structures to minimize taxes like interest, dividends, capital gains, retirement income and rental income,” reads a 2010 internal memo from Mossack Fonseca, the law firm behind the massive Panama Papers leak of 11.5 million documents detailing global tax avoidance and evasion.”
The focus of the investigation was the use of Canadian anonymous corporations to hide money laundering and evade taxes.
The findings will surprise many, who thought that Canada was just like America, except better regulated, nicer and with more social justice. However, that seems to have been used to the advantage of some nefarious actors, who used use Canada’s reputation as a clean jurisdiction to ‘snow wash’ money. All of this is made possible because certain provinces of Canada enable people to hide the ownership of companies.
Automatic information exchange and tax
The Tax Justice Network’s latest report looks at how governments might improve on proposals to implement automatic exchange of information for tax purposes.
The report is based on a survey which was sent to more than 100 tax authorities. One of the most conclusive responses came in how authorities could use the information received from abroad. Read our blog and access the full report here.
My Advise to the Irish people and everyone else
Do it like Iceland:
- Randomly select 1000 people to write a new constitution – that also includes a new financial system with new rules.
- if the government refuses to accept the new constitution – force it out of the door – down a cliff.
- create new parties – do elections.
it is your right – because it is your country – and not Apple’s.