Questions from Ritchie we can answer

Posted by Christie Malry on January 23, 2014 at 9:36 am


Where would you rather live? In a more or less equal society?

He presents a map showing inequality by country. The UK and US are the same mid shade of green.

But we know people want to live here. That's why we have extensive immigration hurdles, lots of asylum seekers and newspapers terrified we're about to be swamped by Bulgarians. In the US, they've built a bloody great fence to keep the Mexicans out.

Ritchie himself, as a citizen of an EU country can live in any of the EU member states. He chooses to live in the UK.

So I guess he's privately happy with our level of inequality, all things considered, else he would move to a more equal country.

On Ritchie's government procurement idea

Posted by Christie Malry on September 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Ritchie, of course:

One obvious solution is to change the rules on government procurement. As a minimum, anyone offered a government contract must be able to show they’ll pay tax on it in full in the UK and to make sure they do not use tax havens

So, any group with a subsidiary in those well known tax havens of the Netherlands, Ireland, the United States or the world's number 1 tax haven, the UK itself, would be forbidden from tendering for any government contract.

If you're trying to undertake a major public infrastructure project, such as build a motorway, commission railway rolling stock or run a secondary school or hospital on a PFI contract, you probably don't want to restrict yourself to Bob the Builder merely on the grounds that any group with any sort of international experience is banned.

(Yes, I know Worstall got to the UK point first. Bastard).


Posted by Christie Malry on February 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Via Ritchie, the following:

“[President Obama] supports corporate tax reform that would reduce expenditures and loopholes, lower rates for people investing and creating jobs in the U.S., due so further for manufacturing, and that we need to, as we have the Buffett Rule and the individual tax reform, we need a global minimum tax so that people have the assurance that nobody is escaping doing their fair share as part of a race to the bottom or having our tax code actually subsidized and facilitate people moving their funds to tax havens," Sperling said.

If you're worried about people avoiding the US headline corporate tax rate of 35%, the second highest in the developed world, how about you reduce it instead of trying to bully other countries to increase theirs?

Seriously, just fuck the fuck off.

When is a tax haven not a tax haven?

Posted by Christie Malry on February 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Take a look at this table, from the U.S. researcher Kimberly Clausing. It demonstrates which countries are working hardest to wage economic warfare on the United States (and, by extension, on other countries,) via the global tax system.

How come Norway is considered a worst offender? The standard US corporate tax rate is 35%. So how can Norway's effective corporate tax rate of 38.4% - over 3 percentage points higher than the US rate - be considered "waging war" on the US's tax revenues?

It's also worth noting that all of these are overseas profits. It's a quirk of the US tax system that it seeks to tax the profits of overseas subsidiaries directly. Almost all other countries only tax profits when remitted to the resident parent company. So where Ritchie says these countries are "waging war" on the US, they're really only seeking to tax the economic activity that has taken place in their borders. If that's war, I'm a banana. 

Johnny Depp on tax avoidance by the mega rich

Posted by Christie Malry on November 7, 2011 at 9:30 am

Johnny Depp on his strange living arrangements:

What? Hang on a minute; why did he leave France? He makes a sour noise, part grunt, part hurrumph. "Cos France wanted a piece of me. They wanted me to become a permanent resident. Permanent residency status – which changes everything. They just want," and he mimes peeling off notes in his palm. "Dough. Money."

If Depp spends more than 183 days in France, he explains indignantly, he'd have to start paying income tax. "I'm certainly not ready to give up my American citizenship. You don't have to give up your American citizenship," he adds sarcastically, but then he'd have to pay tax in both countries, "so you essentially work for free."

Is there anyone alive who still doesn't understand that the interaction between national tax systems can sometimes create perverse effects, and that rich, highly mobile individuals will seek to minimise these effects as best they can?

Will #ukuncut now boycott or occupy Hollywood in protest?

Questions from Ritchie about Swiss tax we can answer

Posted by Christie Malry on October 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Courtesy of Twitter:

Most countries tax their citizens on a territorial basis. That means if you're not resident and ordinarily resident in the UK you don't pay tax on money that you earn outside the UK. You only pay tax on the money you earn in the UK.

The US is different: it taxes its citizens on a worldwide basis. So, if you're an American citizen, you pay US tax on your worldwide income. Even if you don't live in the US.

This means that, presented with a Brit with a Swiss bank account, HMRC has to do quite a lot of digging to find out how the money got there, for how long it's been there and what the residency status of the citizen was for each of the years over which interest has been accruing. To save them the bother of launching a full-blown investigation, HMRC finds it easier to cut a deal in lieu of probing more deeply.

If you're a US citizen with a Swiss bank account that you never informed the IRS about, you're obviously in breach. There are no ifs, no buts. They've got you bang to rights because it's definitely taxable in the US. So that's why they find it easier to take it all.

Brief look at that tax havens report

Posted by Christie Malry on October 11, 2011 at 11:42 am

ActionAid says that those bad companies on the FTSE 100 are investing in bad tax havens.

So what are the three biggest tax havens? Turn to page three. They're the US state of Delaware, the Netherlands and Ireland. Switzerland is ninth.

When your biggest tax haven is a country with a federal tax rate of 35% and your two next biggest are first world countries that are fully fledged members of the European Union, with all the social responsibility that brings, it's probably a good time to admit your tax havens report is a load of bollocks.