By Nick Giambruno, International Man: When I hear about strategies that purport to legally allow US citizens to avoid having to pay income taxes, the first thing that usually comes to mind is that it is some sort of cockamamie scheme.
Entries in Taxation (43)
By Abigail Field, Attorney, Benzinga: Every year that multinational corporations and wealthy individuals lower their U.S. tax bills by stashing profits in off-shore tax havens, you pay more to cover their tab. The same is true for small businesses.
By Nick Giambruno: Why Peter Schiff is moving some of his businesses, and himself, to fiscally troubled Puerto Rico: think perfectly legal low-tax paradise for American citizens.
By Abigail Field: While Congress cowers before lobbyists hired by multinationals and re-enacts loopholes that let corporations like GE and Apple hide their income from the IRS, the Legislature of the tiny State of Maine decided it had had enough.
By Abigail Field: Today, Congress started the process of enacting the “GE Loophole.” If Congress did nothing, billions more would flow into the treasury, enough to cover the $10 billion tab for extending unemployment benefits.
By Ralph Dillon, Global Financial Data: In Washington, they are examining how to close the loopholes that Americans have used to avoid paying taxes. Loopholes for individuals. Multinational corporations? Business as usual. Lobbyists rule. Here is what it looks like.
My beloved state of California, whose $2 trillion economy is the eight largest in the world ahead of Italy and Russia, has a new problem: it’s awash in cash. It’s projecting multi-billion dollar surpluses for years to come. The feeding frenzy in Sacramento is a sight to behold.
Not that 2013 was such a great year in Germany, economically speaking, with growth stalling at barely above the zero line. But it was a superb year for extracting taxes from hard-working people. And it shoved Germany deeper into two decades of retail quagmire.
"Insurrection" is showing up in the French media, though it's still more an exaggeration than a description. "Fiscal discontent” is better, but not broad enough. Now François Hollande, the most despised French President in the history of polls, is going to turn this mess around.
By Tim Parker, Benzinga Staff Writer: There’s bad news coming out of Ireland, but you’re not likely to feel too sorry for the victims. Ireland's Finance Minister Michael Noonan announced that he’d take steps to plug a loophole that lets multinational corporations have a presence in the country but not pay the 12.5% tax on money crossing its borders.
Great Start in Germany: Three Days After Election Victory, Merkel’s Party Breaks Campaign Promise Of “No Tax Hikes”
Germans pay a lot of taxes. The value added tax was raised to 19%. The state grabs 42% of any income above €52,882 and 45% above €250,731. There’s the church tax, solidarity tax, gasoline tax.... Not much is left over when a German is done paying taxes. So, during the campaign, Chancellor Merkel’s party pledged categorically not to raise taxes.
Contributed by Don Quijones: The first four items the G-8 dealt with was the need for governments to share information to “fight the scourge of tax evasion.” If only their primary targets were multinationals, banks, and hedge funds that pay a pitiful fraction of the taxes they owe in the countries they operate. But they’re going after the little guy.
Contributed by Chriss Street: Presidents Nixon and Clinton, embroiled in scandals, triangulated in favor of legislation considered vital by their opponents. President Obama, facing a blizzard of scandals, is likely to go down the same path and support conservative legislation that would reform corporate income tax and spur a renaissance in manufacturing.
Fed’s Fisher Hilariously Slams Fiscal-Policy Chaos, Slugs QE, And Throws In Funny Video Spoof of Congress
Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher is one of the funniest – and most disturbing – voices out there in the sea of equivocating central bankers. But this time, he outdid himself in the dreadfulness of his warning and the humor of his presentation.
Contributed by Don Quijones: As bank lending has dried up, Spain's government has barely lifted a finger to help struggling self-employed workers or small enterprises. Instead, it apparently made it its mission to make their working lives as difficult as possible by ramping up their tax burden to historic highs.
No one accused Apple of having violated US tax laws. The Senate hearings merely exposed how Apple is dodging income taxes by doing what multinationals do: taking advantage of handouts and loopholes that Congress hands them. Now it turns out that much of the discussion was based on a fairytale.
On paper, Apple has no reason to borrow. Last time it issued bonds was in 1996 when it flirted with bankruptcy and absolutely had to get its hands on some moolah. After Steve Jobs returned in 1997, Apple wisely stayed away from Wall Street and did its own thing. But that era is over. And a new era is dawning upon the icon: Wall-Street engineering.
Luxembourg, with a population of just over half a million, smaller even than the other speck in the Eurozone, Cyprus, ranks in the top three worldwide in per-capita GDP. In a Eurozone wealth survey, it had the highest average household wealth. Only Cyprus, a former off-shore banking center in the Eurozone, came close. Yet Luxembourg is threatened with ruin.
Austria would fight to maintain bank secrecy, declared uppity Finance Minster Maria Fekter. She is worried. After squashing Cyprus, gutting its offshore financial and money laundering center, and destroying its main resource, the EU has now trained its big guns on Austria and Luxembourg.
Contributed by Doug Casey, Chairman, Casey Research: "Another reason for having a second passport – certainly if you're an American – is that nobody anywhere in the world wants to open a bank account for you. It's a subtle and indirect form of exchange control that the US has already imposed."