Monthly Archives February 2013

Hong Kong Spends Surplus on Social Boosts

February 28, 2013 Taxation in Hong Kong

Hong KongHONG KONG – Hong Kong has seen an unexpected budget surplus, and will now distribute the extra funds back to its citizens in the form of social assistance.

On February 27th the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong John Tsang unveiled the latest government budget for the territory, announcing nearly HKD 33 billion in once-off increases to social spending, welfare payouts and assistance programs for low income individuals.

John Tsang revealed that, while the government had anticipated a budget deficit of HKD 3.4 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31st, the better than forecast economic growth of Hong Kong and unexpectedly high tax collections have led to a surplus of HKD 64.9 billion for the year.

The advantageous financial position has allowed the government to expand its spending on soci...

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EU Backs Down on Airline Tax

February 27, 2013 International Tax CooperationTaxation in EU

Tax on international flightsBRUSSELS – International pressure has forced the EU to step back and temporarily drop the environmental taxes levied on intercontinental flights in order to continue negotiations with foreign governments.

In a working meeting held on February 26th, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament agreed to enact a one year suspension to a controversial tax on emissions and pollutants released by airplanes traveling between Europe and other destinations around the world.

Currently all airlines using an airport in the countries of the EU would fall under the scope of the European CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme, which required airlines to purchase credits for a portion of the greenhouse gases emitted during flights to and from Europe.

The suspension is ...

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Egypt Lowering Tax, Increasing Social Spending

February 26, 2013 Taxation in Egypt

EgyptCAIRO – Egypt plans to reduce its budgeary deficit, while still continuing to reduce tax burdens on the population and increasing social spending. 

In a television interview aired on February 24th the President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi announced several tax changes aimed at increasing the country’s economic growth, boosting the quality of life of the population, and increasing the likelihood that Egypt will be granted a new loan from the International Monetary Fund.

According to the president, the currently available exemption on income tax for individual taxpayers in Egypt will soon be raised from EGP 9 000 to EGP 12 000, and it is expected that the move will reduce the tax burdens felt by more than 2.5 million households in the country.

Mohamed Morsi also indicated that the social secur...

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Move Against Evaders Raises Ire in UK

February 25, 2013 Taxation in UK

HM Revenue and CustomsLONDON – UK tax authorities have taken a bold new step in the fight against tax evasion, choosing to “name and shame” individuals and businesses who willingly neglect to pay their taxes.

The HM Revenue and Customs are currently receiving significant criticism from the national media and members of the public over a controversial new step the tax authority took recently in its fight against the occurrence of tax evasion, as for the first time ever the HMRC has chosen to openly publish the names and details of businesses and individuals which have actively and deliberately evaded their tax obligations.

The first list released by the HMRC was made available late last week and contained the names and addresses of 4 businesses and 5 individuals, along with details on the amount of taxes whi...

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Tax Rise Slows Consumer Spending in the USA

February 22, 2013 Taxation in USA

reduced consumer spendingWASHINGTON D.C. – An increase in the rate of payroll tax in the US is having a detrimental effect on consumer spending.

According to the results of a survey released by the US National Retail Federation (NRF) on February 21st, US taxpayers are less likely to spend their money on luxuries or expensive items, following the expiration of several tax credits last month.

The NRF claims that the January 1st end of the temporary cuts to payroll taxes has had a negative effect on the majority of US taxpayers, with approximately 73.3 percent of respondents to the survey saying that their spending habits have been negatively impacted by the changes.

Over 58 percent of those taking the survey also said that the expiration has significantly impacted their household spending, with nearly half of these ...

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