Monthly Archives May 2012

Spain Needs Tax Hikes

May 31, 2012 Taxation in Spain

Spain Needs Tax HikesMADRID – Raising VAT and the rate of the income tax in Spain could lead to improvements in the country’s ailing fiscal position.

At a a press conference held in Madrid on 30th of May, the governor of the Bank of Spain Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez said that Spain may not meet its own targets for tax collection for the current year, and is likely to see a rise in government spending in 2012 much higher than previously forecasted.

Spain is currently aiming to lower its budget deficit to 5.3 percent of the national GDP in 2012, and further decrease it to an even lower level of 3 percent in 2013. However, according to Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez, the task will be “tremendously arduous” due to the country’s ailing microeconomic situation and low levels of tax collections.

The govern...

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UK Tax Freedom Day,Today

May 30, 2012 Taxation in UK

Tax Freedom DayLONDON – Today is Tax Freedom Day in the UK, and taxpayers will now be working for themselves and not for the tax collector.

In 2012 the Tax Freedom Day in the UK falls on May 29th, two days later than last year, according to the independent UK think-tank the Adam Smith Institute. Calculations carried out by the Institute show that an average UK taxpayer needs to work 149 this year in order to raise the funds needed to pay his annual tax obligation, including all direct and indirect taxes.

Explaining why the Tax Freedom Day has come later this year, the Adam Smith Institute confirm that the UK economy has been slowing, and wage growth for the average taxpayer has being outstripped by tax increases, such as fuel duty and value added tax hikes, instated during the course of 2011 and 2012.

Th...

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Taiwan’s Luxury Tax Doesn’t Slow Property Sales

May 29, 2012 Taxation in Taiwan

P1130415-1TAIPEI – Taiwan’s attempt to subdue rising houses prices by implementing a luxury tax have not proven successful, with the newly instated levy failing to raise adequate revenues or control growing property values.

Over the weekend, Taiwan Realty released a report on the effectiveness of the luxury tax instated in the Taiwan on June 1st 2011, indicating that the system was not effective at controlling the rising house prices in Taiwan and only provides a minor disincentive to short terms trading of property.

The tax was aimed at curbing rising housing prices by taxing the sale of property which has been owned for less than two years, the tax was also applied to the sale of luxury items...

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Switzerland Collects 500 Million of Withholding Tax

May 28, 2012 Taxation in EUTaxation in Switzerland

Swiss BankBERN – Last year EU citizens with Swiss bank accounts paid more than half a billion franc in withholding taxes, and approximately CHF 379.5 billion of the collections were passed on to tax authorities in other EU countries.

On May 25th the Federal Tax Authority of Switzerland revealed that over the course of 2011 collections of withholding taxes on interest payments to Swiss bank accounts belonging to EU citizens rose by 17 percent compared to last the previous year, reaching approximately CHF 506 million.

The withholding tax is levied under the conditions of bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the EU, which allows bank account holders who receive interest payments to choose between paying a withholding tax in Switzerland or having details of their assets released to tax authoritie...

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South Africa Improves Tax Compliance

May 25, 2012 Taxation in South Africa

Spring = Tax HeadachePRETORIA – Over the last five years the South African Revenue Service has significantly improved tax compliance in the country, and the number of individuals registered to pay taxes has been nearly doubled.

On May 24th the commissioner of the South African Revenues Service (SARS) Oupa Magashula addressed a parliamentary standing committee on finance, detailing the progress that the Service has made in improving tax compliance in South Africa.

Oupa Magashula said that since the start of the 2007 fiscal year the number of taxpayers registered with the SARS has risen by 5.1 million to approximately 10.3 million, and the increase has been attributed to the Service’s ongoing projects to improve tax compliance in South Africa...

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