Australia Needs to Drop Inefficient Tax Breaks

January 30, 2015 Taxation in Australia

CANBERRA – The Australian government could reach a budget surplus without cutting spending, if it begins to remove inefficient and poorly targeted tax breaks, concessions, and allowances.

On January 29th the non-government organization Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) issued a new statement urging the national government to concentrate on closing unnecessary tax loopholes and concessions in order to reach a budget surplus, instead of focusing on cutting spending.

According to the experts of the ACOSS, in 2015 the government could improve the budget by as much as AUD 13 billion, and by as much as AUD 18 billion in 2016 by removing tax benefits aimed primarily at middle- and high-income earners.

In its statement the ACOSS indicated that in 2015, AUD 6...

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New Environmental Tax in China

January 29, 2015 Taxation in China

batteries in ChinaBEIJING – Pollutant-heavy batteries and paints in China are set to become more expensive with the imposition of a new tax on such products.

In a recent statement the Ministry of Finance of China announced that from February 1st a new tax will be enacted on the production and import of environmentally-unfriendly batteries and paints.

The tax will be levied at a rate on 10 percent on all batteries, except for environmentally-friendly variants, such as lithium, nickel-hydrogen, mercury-free, and batteries intended for use solely with solar panels and other renewable energy generators.

The tax will also be levied on the production and import of lead storage batteries, however, the measure will not come into effect until January 1st 2016.

Paints and coatings will also fall under the 10 percen...

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EU Transaction Tax Coming Closer to Reality

January 28, 2015 Taxation in EU

BRUSSELS – The proposed tax on financial transactions executed in Europe has taken one more step towards becoming reality, as the participating announce their commitment to enact a wide-base, low-rate tax by the end of 2017.

In a joint statement issued on January 27th the ministers of finance of Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain confirmed their renewed commitment to implementing a multinational financial transaction tax.

The financial transaction tax was proposed by France and Germany in 2012, but its implementation has suffered from setbacks, as participating countries have continually failed to agree on how the measure is to be implemented, and what types of transactions should be exempt from the measure.

However, in the joint stat...

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HMRC Clamping Down on Tax Affairs of Wealthy

January 27, 2015 Taxation in UK

LONDON – Rich taxpayers in the UK have been forced to cough up an extra GBP 137.2 million in taxes as the HMRC broadens its investigations into tax affairs of the country’s wealthiest citizens.

On January 26th the UK-based law firm Pinsent Masons issued a statement detailing the level of tax revenues collected in the UK as a result of investigations conducted by the HM Revenue and Custom’s Affluent Unit, showing that tax collections from wealthy taxpayers in the country over the course of 2014 have risen by 60 percent compared to the previous year.

According to experts at Pinsent Masons, the investigations conducted by the Affluent Unit resulted in the collection of an extra GBP 137.2 million, while in the previous year the investigations resulted in the collection of an extra GBP 85...

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New Zealand Budget Deficit Better Than Forecast

January 23, 2015 Taxation in New Zealand

WELLINGTON – The New Zealand government may see a budget surplus sooner than expected, as the revenues fare better than expected over the course of last year.

On January 23rd the Treasury of New Zealand issued a new statement detailing the tax revenues collected over the five months ended November 30th 2014, showing that while revenues are lower than expected, the national deficit was still below forecast.

The core crown tax revenue for the five months reached NZD 1.6 billion, a level which is 6.7 percent higher than during the same period in the previous year, and approximately NZD 94 million below the government forecast issued on December 16th 2014.

The below-forecast level of tax revenues was partially offset by a decrease in government spending, which reached a level of NZD 39...

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