Feb 18

- Israeli Banks Said to Be Implicated in U.S. Tax Evasion (Bloomberg, Feb 17, 2013):

A California man born in Israel agreed to plead guilty to conspiring with people at Bank Leumi Le-Israel Ltd. and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. to hide offshore accounts and income from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, according to court filings and people familiar with the matter.Zvi Sperling was accused Feb. 14 by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles of conspiring with people at two Tel Aviv-based banks, identified only as Bank A and Bank B. The charging document and plea agreement didn’t identify the banks. Bank A is Mizrahi, according to a person who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the case. Bank B is Leumi, according to a second person, who similarly asked not to be identified.

Since 2008, U.S. prosecutors have cracked down on offshore tax evasion, charging at least 83 U.S. taxpayers or foreign bankers, lawyers or advisers with tax crimes. UBS AG, the largest Swiss bank, avoided prosecution in 2009 by admitting it aided tax evasion, paying $780 million and handing over account data on 250 clients. It later disclosed information on about 4,450 more accounts. Wegelin & Co., a Swiss bank, pleaded guilty last month. No Israeli bank has been charged.

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Feb 17

- Facebook Gets a Multibillion-Dollar Tax Break (Bloomberg, Feb 15, 2013):

It hasn’t drawn much attention, but Facebook’s first annual earnings report contains an accounting gem: a multibillion-dollar tax deduction for the cost of executive stock options and share awards.

Even though Facebook (FB) reported $1.1 billion in pre-tax profits from U.S. operations in 2012, it will probably pay zero federal and state taxes—and even receive a federal tax refund of about $429 million—according to a Feb. 14 statement from Citizens for Tax Justice.

Continue reading »

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Feb 13

- Draconian Cash Controls Are Coming To France (Testosterone Pit, Feb 13, 2013):

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault himself presided over Monday’s meeting of the National Anti-Fraud Committee—“a first for a head of government,” he said at the press conference afterward, to hammer home just how important this was. But he wasn’t worried about run-of-the-mill fraud that might fleece some old lady of her life savings. He was worried about people not paying their taxes.

Continue reading »

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Jan 28

- $600 Billion In Trades In Four Years: How Apple Puts Even The Most Aggressive Hedge Funds To Shame (ZeroHedge, Jan 27, 2013):

Everyone knows that for the better part of the past year Apple, Inc. (“AAPL”, or “The Company”) was the world’s biggest company by market cap, with Exxon finally regaining that title on Friday, following AAPL’s latest price drop in the aftermath of its disappointing earnings. Most know that AAPL aggressively uses all legal tax loopholes to pay as little State and Federal tax as possible, despite being one of the world’s most profitable companies.Many also know, courtesy of our exclusive from September, that Apple also is the holding company for Braeburn Capital: a firm which with a few exceptions (Bridgewater; JPM’s CIO prop trading desk) also happens to be one of the world’s largest hedge funds, whose function is to manage Apple’s massive cash hoard, with virtually zero requirements, and whose obligation is to make sure that AAPL’s cash gets laundered legally and efficiently in a way that complies with prerogative #1: avoid paying taxes.

What few if any know, is that as part of its cash management obligations, Braeburn, and AAPL by extension, has conducted a mindboggling $600 billion worth of gross notional trades in just the past four years, consisting of buying and selling assorted unknown securities, or some $250 billion in 2012 alone: a grand total which represents some $1 billion per working day on average, and which puts the net turnover of some 99% of all hedge funds to shame!

Finally, what nobody knows, except for the recipients of course, is just how much in trade commissions AAPL has paid over the past four years on these hundreds of billions in trades to the brokering banks, many (or maybe all) of which may have found this commission revenue facilitating AAPL having a “Buy” recommendation: a rating shared by 52, or 83% of the raters, despite the company’s wiping out of one year in capital gains in a few short months.

The Perfectly Legal Tax Evasion Scheme

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Jan 27

- Daniel Hannan Destroys The 3 Unquestionable Myths Of Our Crisis (ZeroHedge, Jan 26, 2013):

The past and present bailouts of each and every bank (and ‘important’ industry) will, one day, be seen as a generational offense is how MEP Daniel Hannan begins this thoroughly British demolition of the three critical myths surrounding the crisis, that despite market optics, we are still living through. From the idea that capitalism has failed (it has not in his view, it has been ravaged by political pandering), to the crisis being caused by lack of regulation, and that greed is the single-driver of the mess that we remain in; Hannan suggests in a brief but extremely eloquent debate that there is a world of difference between being pro business and pro market as he destroys any semblance of credibility that the political (and elite) class has echoing a young Ron Paul in his thoroughly libertarian free-market sensibilities.


YouTube

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Jan 24

- Do I Have To Report My Offshore Gold …? (Sovereign Man Jan 23, 2013):

Let’s do a little math problem today.

As you probably know, in 2010 the US government passed one of the most arrogant, destructive, poorly conceived pieces of legislation in history, now known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

FATCA heaps all sorts of reporting requirements on US taxpayers with foreign financial accounts. This is in ADDITION to form TDF 90-22.1, which is due to the Treasury Department each year by June 30th, and IRS form 1040 schedule B.

(Nothing says ‘government’ like passing along the same information on different forms to the same department multiple times…)

Another major provision of the law requires ALL financial institutions on the PLANET to share personal customer information with Uncle Sam.

The hubris is overwhelming. Imagine what would happen if the Chinese government passed a law requiring US banks to share customer information with Beijing. People would go nuts. But in the Land of the Free, it’s normal. Crazy.

Continue reading »

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Jan 23

Papacy used offshore tax havens to create £500m international portfolio, featuring real estate in UK, France and Switzerland


Behind Pope Benedict XVI is a porfolio of property that includes commercial premises on London’s New Bond Street. Photograph: Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis

- How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini’s millions (Guardian, Jan 21, 2013):

Few passing London tourists would ever guess that the premises of Bulgari, the upmarket jewellers in New Bond Street, had anything to do with the pope. Nor indeed the nearby headquarters of the wealthy investment bank Altium Capital, on the corner of St James’s Square and Pall Mall.

But these office blocks in one of London’s most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.

Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church’s international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929.

Since then the international value of Mussolini’s nest-egg has mounted until it now exceeds £500m. In 2006, at the height of the recent property bubble, the Vatican spent £15m of those funds to buy 30 St James’s Square. Other UK properties are at 168 New Bond Street and in the city of Coventry. It also owns blocks of flats in Paris and Switzerland.

Continue reading »

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Jan 16

- One Year Of Tax Hikes On The Rich Is Promptly Spent As $60 Billion Sandy Relief Aid Bill Passes (ZeroHedge, Jan 15, 2013):

After more than two months of political grandstanding, finally the $60 billion pork-laden Sandy relief aid bill has passed through the House in a 241-180 vote (with 1 democrat and 179 republicans voting no), with the vote passing courtesy of just 49 republicans who voted with the democrats. The reminder objected in protest “against a bill that many conservatives say is too big and provides funding for things other than immediate relief for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut” Politico reports. Specifically, the House approved a $50 billion relief bill, after several hours of contentious debate in which scores of Republicans tried unsuccessfully to cut the size of the bill and offset a portion of it with spending cuts. $9.7 billion had been already voted on January 4th for a flood insurance lending facility.The biggest winner today? Chris Christie whose anti-Boehner soapbox rant drama two weeks ago may have been just the breaking straw that forced the passage of this porkulus bill.

From Politico:

Republican and Democratic supporters of the bill argued throughout the day that everyone should support it, or run the risk of losing votes for future disaster bills that might help people in their districts.

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Jan 12

- Greece Is The US, Following Vote To Hike Taxes On The Rich (ZeroHedge, Jan 12, 2013):

It’s been a while since the Syntagma square riotcam was broadcasting live from Athens. After all, despite the ongoing collapse in its economy, where only 3.7 million people have jobs compared to 4.7 million who are unemployed or inactive, the general sentiment was that “austerity” measures have been put on hiatus, and no more tax, pension, or benefits cuts are on the table. That changed last night when Greece was the latest country to become the US, following a tax hike on its highest earners. However, unlike the US, this increase in “rich” taxes is being offset by at least some spending cuts such as tighter control of the budgets of ministries and state utilities, and the reduction of parliamentary employees’ wages in line with cuts to the wages of other civil servants. In other words, it is almost time for the Syntagma square daily pay-per-view daily webcast. The good news, at least for Greece, is that it does not have a debt ceiling to worry about. Then again, when all your debt is zero coupon perpetuals in the hands of the ECB and other “official” institutions, the balance sheet is the last thing you have to worry about. It’s the income statement, one where not even all the one-time charges or loan loss reserve releases in the world will do any difference, that suddenly matters far more.

From the NYT:

Greek lawmakers voted late Friday to increase taxes on middle- to high-income earners, self-employed professionals and businesses despite vehement objections by the political opposition and several ruling coalition deputies who said austerity-weary citizens should not be subjected to further pain.

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Jan 11

- Up To 3.5% Of US 2013 GDP Could Evaporate Due To Enacted Tax Hikes (ZeroHedge, Jan 11, 2013):

When it comes to the impact of the just enacted 2013 tax hikes (payroll tax cut expiration affecting everyone together with the tax hike on those making over $400K), economists are in broad agreement on one thing: the first half of 2013 will be impacted by roughly a 1.0%-1.5% drop in GDP. However, a big question emerges when attempting to quantify the adverse impact on US growth as the year progresses past June 30. Most strategists and economists ignore this issue, and instead chose to believe that all shall be well as by July, the US population will be habituated to getting a smaller paycheck and general consuming behavior will no longer be impacted relative to a previous baseline.

Continue reading »

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Jan 08

- Big Oil’s Billions in Tax Perks Survive Fiscal Cliff Deal (Mother Jones, Jan 2, 2013):

Everything was supposed to be “on the table” in the crafting of deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. But in the end, congressional Democrats and Republicans skipped over some of the most glaring tax perks and giveaways. Case in point: Congress didn’t touch billions of dollars a year in freebies to the oil and gas industry that pad the profit margins of companies such as ExxonMobil and BP.

The final fiscal cliff deal does not touch oil and gas subsidies, confirms Rory Cooper, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Ending the costliest tax breaks for oil and gas companies would have raised tens of billions of dollars in revenue. Trimming just a handful of these breaks for the big five companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell—would’ve raised $24 billion over the next decade. President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal called for ending 13 breaks benefiting oil and gas companies of all sizes; it would have saved $46 billion over 10 years.

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Jan 06

- House GOP seeks to abolish IRS, replace income tax with consumption tax (The Hill, Jan 4, 2013):

Fifty-four House Republicans on Thursday reintroduced legislation that would terminate the IRS and replace the system of income taxes on people and corporations with a consumption tax.

The FairTax Act, from Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), would abolish the 16th Amendment, which was ratified 100 years ago this February. That amendment gives Congress the power to impose income taxes without having to spend the revenues evenly among the states.

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Jan 03

Don’t miss:

- Peter Schiff: Congress Sells America Down The River To Avoid The Fiscal Cliff … As Predicted (Video)

- Fiscal Cliff Deal: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly


- ‘Balanced’ tax deal: $41 in new spending for every $1 in cuts (Natural News, Jan 3, 2013):

Many Americans have long known that accounting practices in the nation’s capital are, to put it mildly, “creative.” Pay increases tend to come automatically, money can be printed and valued out of thin air, and spending “cuts” generally don’t mean actual cuts to budgetary line items – only reductions in the amount of spending increases.

It is in this context in which voters should actually view the recently completed “balanced tax-and-spending deal” reached by lawmakers and President Obama this week that ostensibly avoided the impending “fiscal cliff,” because there was nothing balanced about it.

Why? Because there literally were no spending cuts at all – again, only reductions to the growth of current line items – and most of the legislation involves increasing taxes on a whopping 77 percent of Americans.

Wait – didn’t Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi all claim that Congress and the administration would not be raising taxes on anyone but the most well-to-do wage earners (the ol’ class warfare card)?

Yes, they did. But a closer examination reveals that is precisely what happened. And keep in mind these tax hikes are in addition to the $1 trillion worth of tax hikes contained in Obamacare, which hit Jan. 1. Continue reading »

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Jan 01

- Putting America’s Tax Hike In Perspective (ZeroHedge, Jan 1, 2012):

One of those occasions when one picture really does speak a thousands words.

Houston, we may have a spending problem.

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Jan 01

- On The New Definition Of “Rich”, A $620 Billion Tax Hike Offset By $15 Billion In Spending Cuts, And Much More (ZeroHedge, Jan 01,2013):

We greet the new year with an America that has a Fiscal Cliff deal. Actually no, it doesn’t – not even close. What it does have is an agreement, so far only at the Senate level which voted a little after 2 AM eastern in an 89-8 vote (Nays from Democrats Bennet, Cardin, Harkin, and Republicans – Lee, Paul, Grassley, Rubio  and Shelby), to delay the all-important spending side of the Fiscal Cliff “deal” which “can is kicked” in the form of a 60 day extension to the sequester, to be taken up “eventually”, but hopefully not on day 59 at the 11th hour, the same as fate of the all important US debt ceiling, which remains in limbo, and which now effectively prohibits America from incurring any new gross debt as the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling was breached yesterday. In other words, America’s primary deficit sourcing mechanism is now put on hiatus, and all new net debt will come at the expense of defunding various government retirement funds as the 60 day countdown to the real showdown begins: the debt ceiling, as well as the resolution of the spending side of the Fiscal Cliff deal.

What did happen last night was merely the legislating of the inevitable tax hike on the 1%, which was assured the night Obama won the presidential election, something not even the most rabid Norquist pledge signatories had hope of avoiding. This was the first income tax hike in nearly two decades. A tax hike which, regardless of how it is spun, will result in a drag in consumption. It was also the brand new definition of rich, with the “$250,000” income threshold now left in the dust, and “$400,000 for individuals ($450,000 for joint filers)” taking its place. If you make more than that, congratulations: you are now “rich“.  You will also be hated for being part of the 1%. and be the target in the ongoing class war.

Who knew that “New Normal” would also bring us the “New Rich” definition. Continue reading »

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Jan 01

See also:

- DHS Insider: ‘There Won’t Be Any Meaningful Deal About The Fiscal Crisis. This Is Planned … The Coming Collapse Of The U.S. Dollar Is A Done Deal.’


- The “fiscal cliff” deadline has passed (AP, Jan 1, 2013):

WASHINGTON – The “fiscal cliff” deadline has passed – technically, at least.

The beginning of the New Year in theory means across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts kick in, but Congress is working to cancel them before they can have an impact.

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Dec 31

- $1 Trillion Obamacare Tax Hike Hitting on Jan. 1 (Americans For Tax Reform , Dec 28, 2012):

On January 1, regardless of the outcome of fiscal cliff negotiations, Americans will be hit with a $1 trillion Obamacare tax hike.

Obamacare contains twenty new or higher taxes. Five of the taxes hit for the first time on January 1.  In total, Americans face a net $1 trillion tax hike for the years 2013-2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The five major Obamacare taxes taking effect on January 1 are as follows: Continue reading »

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Dec 31


YouTube Added: 29.12.2012

A look at what will happen to your taxes if the Congress doesn’t come to an agreement.

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Dec 31

Before:

- French Constitutional Court Strikes Down 75% Millionaire Tax, Finds It ‘Unfair’

So Obelix will not return:

- Depardieu ‘Shrugged’ – Open Letter To French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault (From Gerard Depardieu)

- Gerard Depardieu Is Latest Refugee From French Millionaire Tax, Escapes To Belgium


- France Seeks New Path to High Tax (Wall Street Journal, Dec 31, 2012):

PARIS—The government of Socialist President François Hollande on Sunday said it would consider other ways of imposing a top income-tax rate of 75% on high-wealth individuals after the country’s top constitutional authority scrapped the plan.

The Constitutional Council’s decision is a political blow to Mr. Hollande, who had vowed to shift to the rich the burden of efforts to improve the country’s finances.

Continue reading »

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Dec 31


YouTube Added: 27.12.2012

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Dec 29

- French Constitutional Court Strikes Down 75% Millionaire Tax, Finds It “Unfair” (ZeroHedge, Dec 29, 2012):

In a crushing blow to socialism, wealth redistribution and purveyors of the “fairness doctrine” (as defined here first) everywhere, the French Constitutional Council ruled on Saturday that Hollande’s brilliant idea to tax millionaires at a 75% tax rate – a move which has since seen numerous millionaires leave France and move to Belgium – is unconstitutional. Per Reuters, the Council ruled that the planned 75 percent tax on annual income above 1 million euros ($1.32 million) – a flagship measure of Hollande’s election campaign – was unfair in the way it would be applied to different households. Which is ironic because just like in the US, so in France, the selective wealth redistribution campaign waged by the government against the “rich” (which have yet to be properly defined: those making over $250K? Over $400K? Over €1MM?) was based on the premise that it is only “fair” that the rich contribute more. Turns out fairness in the eye of the government beholder, was unfair. But the move begs the question: would the court have struck down the law had it been a merely 50% tax hike? And if the income cut off was, say, €500,000? The far bigger question is, and has been in this year of encroaching socialism, just what is the definition of “rich”, what is the definition of “fair redistribution”, and where do the two coincide. Finally, how soon until the US Supreme Court weighs in as well on any final Fiscal Cliff tax hike proposal which, like in France, will see the “rich” pay an abnormal share, and will that too be ruled unconstitutional?

From Reuters:

While the tax plan was largely symbolic and would only have affected a few thousand people, it has infuriated high earners in France, prompting some such as actor Gerard Depardieu to flee abroad. The message it sent also shocked entrepreneurs and foreign investors, who accuse Hollande of being anti-business.

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Dec 29

Company channelled bulk of profits through Ireland and on to Cayman Islands, allowing to it pay just £238,000 to UK taxman


Facebook Ireland was able to cut its tax bill to just €3.2m by using an accounting technique called the ‘Double Irish’. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

- Facebook paid £2.9m tax on £840m profits made outside US, figures show (Guardian, Dec 23, 2012):

Facebook has become the latest multinational to come under the spotlight for its tax affairs after figures revealed it paid just £2.9m in tax on profits of more than more than £800m.

Filings for Facebook Ireland, through which all of the social network’s profits outside the US are channelled, show it paid the Irish tax authority €3.2m (£2.9m) last year.

Continue reading »

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Dec 28

See also:

- America’s 75 Economic Numbers From 2012 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe


- 16 Things About 2013 That Are Really Going To Stink (Economic Collapse, Dec 28, 2012):

The beginning of the year has traditionally been a time of optimism when we all look forward to the exciting things that are going to happen over the next 12 months.  Unfortunately, there are a whole bunch of things about 2013 that we already know are going to stink.  Taxes are going to go up, good paying jobs will continue to leave the country, small businesses will continue to be destroyed, the number of Americans living in poverty will continue to soar, our infrastructure will continue to decay, global food supplies will likely continue to dwindle and the U.S. national debt will continue to explode.  Our politicians continue to pursue the same policies that got us into this mess, and yet they continue to expect things to magically turn around.  But that is not the way that things work in the real world.  Bad decisions lead to bad outcomes.  Instead of realizing that what we are doing is not working, our “leaders” continue to give us more of the same.  As a result, there are going to be a lot of things about 2013 that will not be great.  Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything will be “okay” somehow is not going to help anyone.  We’ve got to make people understand exactly what is happening and why it is happening if we ever hope to see real changes.

The following are 16 things about 2013 that are really going to stink… Continue reading »

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Dec 17

- Depardieu ‘Shrugged’ (ZeroHedge, Dec 16, 2012):

Via Emmanuel Martin, Executive Director of
the Institute for Economic Studies-Europe (www.ies-europe.org) and editor of www.LibreAfrique.org.,

Last week the big story in French headlines has been the tax exile of Gerard Depardieu in Nechin, Belgium, half a mile from the French border. French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault called the French movie star’s behavior “minable” (pathetic). A socialist MP, Yann Galut, even suggested that M. Depardieu loses his French nationality. In an open letter in the Journal Du Dimanche on December 16, Depardieu, who famously starred as Obélix, the big Gallic fellow of Astérix, carrying menhirs on his back – and sometimes throwing them at the Romans, replies. With a taste of Ayn Rand’s famous character John Galt. Gerard shrugged.

Depardieu begins by saying that what is pathetic is to call his behavior pathetic. Although he does not want to justify the many reasons of his choice, he makes it clear that he leaves after paying 85% of taxes on his income this year and € 145 million through his entire life; He leaves because the French PM thinks that “success, creation and talent, in fact difference, must be punished”. He then reminds Jean-Marc Ayrault that he set up companies that employ 80 people. Depardieu says he is ready to give up his French passport and his “Social Security” (the French public health care system, which he claims he never used).

This letter is important.

Continue reading »

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Dec 15

The duchy of Cornwall gave the prince an income of £18m last year, but says it is not subject to paying corporation tax


Prince Charles. As well as the duchy income, last year the prince received £2.2m in grants from the taxpayer to pay for his travel by private jet, helicopter and train, and the upkeep of Clarence House. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/PA

- Prince Charles’s £700m estate accused of tax avoidance (Guardian; Dec 14, 2012):

HMRC has been asked to investigate alleged tax avoidance by Prince Charles‘s £700m hereditary estate.

The duchy of Cornwall last year provided Charles with an income of £18m and HMRC’s anti-avoidance group is now being asked to examine its non-payment of corporation tax following a potentially significant court ruling on its legal status.

The issue has been raised by an accountant investigating the tax affairs of the duchy – an agricultural, commercial and residential landowner.

He has analysed the impact of a judicial ruling handed down last year. Anti-monarchy campaigners claim it shows the duchy is running “a well-entrenched tax avoidance scheme”.

Continue reading »

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Dec 12

- Berkshire Seeks To Avoid 2013 Tax Hike, Buys Back BRK Shares (ZeroHedge, Dec 12, 2012):

Define irony: when the most vocal supporter of a dramatic change to the existing tax policy takes advantage of the last few days of the old one…

  • BERKSHIRE HAS PURCHASED 9,200 OF CLASS A SHRS AT $131,000-SHR
  • BERKSHIRE RAISED PRICE LIMIT FOR BUYBACKS TO 120% BOOK VALUE
  • BERKSHIRE MAY BUY ADDED SHRS AT NO MORE THAN 120% BOOK VALUE
  • BERKSHIRE BOOSTS BUYBACK PRICE LIMIT TO 120% BOOK VALUE VS 110%

A total $1.2 billion spent to avoid a few hundred million in new taxes. And now back to the hypocrticy of the “Buffett tax”, and “Patriotic Millionaires for America.” In other news, total donations to pay down the debt in Fiscal 2013 (starting October 1): $290,195.03.

Full release: Continue reading »

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Dec 11

- Microsoft avoids paying £159MILLION in corporation tax EVERY YEAR using Luxembourg tax loophole (Daily Mail, Dec 10, 2012):

  • Microsoft avoids UK corporation tax on £1.7billion a year in UK revenue
  • Along with other major companies, uses Luxembourg office to legally dodge tax
  • Tech giant claims it ‘fulfills all tax obligations’
  • Tax activist blast the company as ‘withholding money from the people who need it’
  • Microsoft pays no tax on £1.7billion of online sales in the UK thanks to a legal loophole, it has been reported.

    The technology monolith is funnelling cash generated by online sales of Windows 8 software to Luxembourg to sidestep tax obligations, according to The Sunday Times.

    Continue reading »

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    Dec 08

    - Starbucks to pay £20m in tax over next two years after customer revolt (Guardian, Dec 6, 2012)

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    Dec 08

    - Show This To Anyone That Believes That Taxes Are Too Low (Economic Collapse, Dec 6, 2012):

    Every year average Americans pay dozens of different types of taxes, and yet many of our politicians are very open about the fact that they want to raise rates even higher and invent even more ways to bleed us all dry.  Someday historians will look back and be absolutely amazed at how stupid we were.  We have the most complicated tax code in all of human history and at this point the federal tax code is more than four times as long as the entire collected works of William Shakespeare.  In many places it is so incomprehensible that nobody actually understands what it means and the entire thing is absolutely riddled with loopholes from the beginning to the end.  Trust me, I used to study this stuff.  Nobody could ever read the entire thing – it is close to four million words long.  But that is just for federal income taxes.  We have a number of other taxes taken out of our paychecks such as state income taxes, Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes.  Sadly, the taxes taken out of your paycheck are only just the beginning.  As I will detail below, there are more than 40 other taxes that average Americans pay each year in addition to the taxes that are taken out of our paychecks.  Our politicians love to find ways that they can “raise revenue” without us feeling it.  Most people just focus on income tax rates and they forget about the dozens of other ways that they are bleeding us dry.  It really is kind of like “death by a thousand cuts”, and of course the middle class gets hit the hardest.  The poor are exempt from many taxes, the ultra-wealthy are masters at cheating the system and avoiding taxes, and so the most pain is always felt by those in the middle.  Hard working middle class families and small businesses all over America are being financially raped by this insidious system.  If you know of anyone out there that believes that taxes are “too low”, please show this article to them.Just counting federal, state and local income taxes, some Americans will be paying marginal tax rates of over 50 percent in 2013.  But like I said, there are a lot of other taxes we pay than just those.

    The following are 44 more taxes that at least some average Americans are paying now or will be paying soon other than federal, state and local income taxes… Continue reading »

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    Nov 29

    - Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50p tax rate (Telegraph, Nov 27, 2012):

    Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50p top rate of tax, figures have disclosed.

    In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.

    This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50p top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.

    Continue reading »

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