Tax Law

Recent Posts

U.K. Conservative Policies in Trouble
Posted on 25 Jan 2013 by Martin A. Sullivan

This morning UK GDP figures for the 4th quarter of 2012 were released and the news is bad: the economy shrank by 0.3 percent. After the mini-burst of growth due to the Olympics, the UK economy is back in the doldrums. Some are calling it a triple dip... Read More

Taxing Financial Pollution
Posted on 28 Jan 2013 by Martin A. Sullivan

European finance ministers ("finance minister" is equivalent to our Treasury Secretary) voted on January 22 to move forward with a plan to tax trades of stock, bonds, and other financial instruments. As a result a financial transactions tax... Read More

The Income Tax Is Inquisitorial - Get Over It
Posted on 29 Jan 2013 by Joseph J. Thorndike

Apparently, the Italians have found a way to make their unpopular income tax even more unpopular . In the face of rampant cheating, they've adopted a new enforcement technique. Now, instead of just pawing through paychecks, bank statements and the... Read More

Will Indebted Ireland Be Forced to Raise its Corporate Tax Rate?
Posted on 13 Oct 2010 by Martin A. Sullivan

With newly released estimates of the bailout of Anglo Irish Bank the Irish government is staring down the barrel of a budget deficit equal to a whopping 32 percent of GDP. Ireland does not want a Greek-style foreign bailout and it does not want to default... Read More

Can You Distinguish a Tax From a Ransom Payment?
Posted on 8 Jan 2013 by Robert Goulder

... In case you missed it, Starbucks managed to legally pay no income tax in the U.K. over the course of several years, despite operating more than 700 thriving coffee shops across Britain. All its taxable income (yes, every penny) had been shifted to... Read More

French Budget Minister Caught in Tax Probe
Posted on 29 Jan 2013 by Robert Goulder

... Earlier this month the French Budget Minister, Jerome Cahuzac, was placed under investigation for allegedly using a secret offshore bank account to evade taxes. If that strikes you as odd, you're not alone. As budget minister, Cahuzac's job... Read More

U.S., 5 European Nations Reach Deal to Combat International Tax Evasion
Posted on 9 Feb 2012 by David T. Soborski

In a joint statement, the governments of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain stated they wished to increase cooperation in fighting international tax evasion. This would work in both directions-the European nations providing information... Read More

How Tax Collectors Learned to Love Bank Secrecy
Posted on 31 Aug 2011 by Robert Goulder

Germany and Switzerland recently signed a landmark tax agreement that resolves years of squabbling over secret bank accounts. Fascinatingly, the agreement ends one form of blatant offshore tax evasion while preserving Swiss bank secrecy. How can that... Read More

Countries Don't Help Each Other to Tax, And They Should
Posted on 12 Mar 2012 by Allison Christians

Despite the compelling idea that a central mark of statehood is the power of the sovereign to impose taxation, it is surprising how little states help each other to tax. Tax information exchange is virtually the only way to impose income taxation coherently... Read More

OECD Praises Itself Through G20 For Progress on Tax Evasion - But Is It Praiseworthy?
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by Allison Christians

In a recent post on its website, the OECD says that the G20 has reported that "steady progress is being made towards tackling tax evasion more effectively." In an article I wrote in 2010, I called the G20 a syndicator of OECD tax views ,... Read More

Japan Cuts Its Corporate Tax Leaving US With the World's Top Rate
Posted on 28 Dec 2010 by Martin A. Sullivan

On December 24 the Japanese cabinet headed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan agreed to a budget including a cut in the corporate tax rate, effective April 1, 2011, from 39.5 percent to 35 percent. Barring unforeseen circumstances the Japanese parliament will... Read More

Will Developed Countries Learn to Tax?
Posted on 6 Mar 2012 by Allison Christians

In 1963, Nicholas Kaldor published a paper in Foreign Affairs about the ongoing fiscal problems of poor countries, entitled " Will Underdeveloped Countries Learn to Tax? " It turns out Kaldor should have aimed this advice at his own country... Read More

Taxes & Sovereignty: The Euro Experiment
Posted on 22 Aug 2011 by Robert Goulder

Henry Kissinger predicted the demise of the euro many years ago. He and other euro-skeptics saw a fundamental flaw in the structure of the single currency. The flaw -- which remains in place to this day -- is that countries adopting the euro must forfeit... Read More

Corporate Tax Transparency
Posted on 12 Apr 2012 by Allison Christians

The activist-led movement to increase multinational tax disclosure is proving to be a full-employment program for natural resource industry lobbyists. The money and energy available for fighting against transparency seems limitless. We have seen the effects... Read More

U.K. Road to Competitiveness Is Paved With Tax Increases
Posted on 26 Apr 2012 by Martin A. Sullivan

It has been the stated policy of the United Kingdom's Conservative-led coalition government "to create the most competitive corporate tax regime in the G20." Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reiterated this policy -- expanded to... Read More

  • Blog Post: Will Indebted Ireland Be Forced to Raise its Corporate Tax Rate?

    With newly released estimates of the bailout of Anglo Irish Bank the Irish government is staring down the barrel of a budget deficit equal to a whopping 32 percent of GDP. Ireland does not want a Greek-style foreign bailout and it does not want to default or restructure its own sovereign debt or the...
  • Blog Post: Japan Cuts Its Corporate Tax Leaving US With the World's Top Rate

    On December 24 the Japanese cabinet headed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan agreed to a budget including a cut in the corporate tax rate, effective April 1, 2011, from 39.5 percent to 35 percent. Barring unforeseen circumstances the Japanese parliament will approve this plan early in 2011. After this change...
  • Blog Post: 'Stateless Income' Is Key to International Reform

    Next time you hear multinationals talk about international tax reform -- which they equate to an exemption system that does not deny deductions for expenses allocable to foreign income -- notice that there is no mention of profit shifting. They routinely present a picture of a simple world in which there...
  • Blog Post: Taxes & Sovereignty: The Euro Experiment

    Henry Kissinger predicted the demise of the euro many years ago. He and other euro-skeptics saw a fundamental flaw in the structure of the single currency. The flaw -- which remains in place to this day -- is that countries adopting the euro must forfeit monetary policy to the European Central Bank but...
  • Blog Post: How Tax Collectors Learned to Love Bank Secrecy

    Germany and Switzerland recently signed a landmark tax agreement that resolves years of squabbling over secret bank accounts. Fascinatingly, the agreement ends one form of blatant offshore tax evasion while preserving Swiss bank secrecy. How can that be? The answer is simple: tax collectors have been...
  • Blog Post: Can You Distinguish a Tax From a Ransom Payment?

    ... In case you missed it, Starbucks managed to legally pay no income tax in the U.K. over the course of several years, despite operating more than 700 thriving coffee shops across Britain. All its taxable income (yes, every penny) had been shifted to related entities in other countries. That caused...
  • Blog Post: U.K. Conservative Policies in Trouble

    This morning UK GDP figures for the 4th quarter of 2012 were released and the news is bad: the economy shrank by 0.3 percent. After the mini-burst of growth due to the Olympics, the UK economy is back in the doldrums. Some are calling it a triple dip recession . The chart below shows why the UK voting...
  • Blog Post: Taxing Financial Pollution

    European finance ministers ("finance minister" is equivalent to our Treasury Secretary) voted on January 22 to move forward with a plan to tax trades of stock, bonds, and other financial instruments. As a result a financial transactions tax will likely become law in eleven countries--including...
  • Blog Post: French Budget Minister Caught in Tax Probe

    ... Earlier this month the French Budget Minister, Jerome Cahuzac, was placed under investigation for allegedly using a secret offshore bank account to evade taxes. If that strikes you as odd, you're not alone. As budget minister, Cahuzac's job is to fund the Republic and reduce the nation's...
  • Blog Post: The Income Tax Is Inquisitorial - Get Over It

    Apparently, the Italians have found a way to make their unpopular income tax even more unpopular . In the face of rampant cheating, they've adopted a new enforcement technique. Now, instead of just pawing through paychecks, bank statements and the like, officials will also scrutinize spending habits...