Worldwide Taxation

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Labbie
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Worldwide Taxation

Post by Labbie » Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:01 am

Congo forces politicians to pay their taxes

KINSHASA (Reuters) – Democratic Republic of Congo has begun to collect at source income taxes which even some of its top politicians were failing to pay, to help combat a deepening fiscal crisis, the budget minister said on Tuesday.

Resource-rich but impoverished Congo has seen income from mineral exports, its primary foreign currency earner, plummet since mid-2008 as demand for its copper and cobalt has dried up due to the global economic downturn.

Amid a growing budget shortfall, the government is under pressure to cut costs and boost tax revenues.

Budget Minister Michel Lokola told Reuters that last month's decision to tax government salaries at source, rather than rely on employees to pay taxes after receiving their salaries, had already raised roughly $1 million.

"They just weren't paying. The government ministers we replaced, the MPs, the senators, they didn't pay," said Lokola, who entered the government last October in a cabinet shake-up that saw his predecessor Adolphe Muzito named prime minister.

Lokola said the move was partly aimed at setting a good example, adding that Congolese President Joseph Kabila's government salary was also subject to the measure.

"He is aware of this, and he approves of it ... I don't see how we can expect the private sector to pay their taxes if we don't pay ourselves," he said.

The decision was applauded by residents of Kinshasa, the country's sprawling riverside capital.

"I think it's necessary. Everyone used to pay their taxes, but for a while now, people don't pay anymore," said one government employee who asked not to be named.

Tax evasion is rampant in Congo and is seen by many as vital to their economic survival.

A convoluted tax system, used by employees of state agencies to help supplement salaries often received months late if at all, has helped make Congo the world's worst country in which to do business, according to a World Bank report last September.

The study found that medium-sized businesses that fully complied with the demands of state agencies would pay an average of 32 different taxes, theoretically consuming around 230 percent of their profits.
Last edited by Labbie on Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Labbie » Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:51 am

Forget the Congo politicians, Sweden is going after online strippers...

Sweden targets strippers for tax

Sweden's tax authorities are seeking the bare facts about webcam strippers' income, estimating that hundreds of Swedish women are dodging the law.

The search involves tax officials examining websites that feature Swedish strippers, in an effort to identify them and chase them for tax returns.

The tax loss is estimated at about 40m Swedish kronor (£3.3m) annually.

Project leader Dag Hardyson said 200 Swedish strippers had been investigated so far. He said the total could be 500.

"They are young girls, we can see from the photos. We think that perhaps they are not well informed about the rules," said Mr Hardyson, head of the tax authority's national project on internet trade.

The investigation into strippers is part of a wider tax project that includes online poker and fake trader locations.

Detective work

Mr Hardyson told BBC News that the strippers could be liable to pay about half of their earnings in tax. Striptease via webcam is quite legal in Sweden, unlike prostitution, he added.

"I don't think they have any costs really - almost 100% of what they earn is pocketed. Many have regular work and this is extra income. We want them to register their activity as a business - it's still taxable, even if it's a hobby," he said.

He stressed the difficulty of identifying strippers, saying the contact information on the websites was often "not obvious".

"We have to visit the companies behind the websites to get the information, then we have to work with the electronic wallets where the money is going in."

He said the Swedish tax authorities had been tipped off about Swedish internet strippers by the Dutch authorities, who had started a similar investigation earlier.

Web search tools like spiders had failed to detect the Swedish strippers.

He added, "When we investigated the sites manually it worked better,".

Yeah, I bet!!! :smt023
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Post by Dark Angel » Sun Apr 12, 2009 4:28 am

Labbie wrote:Forget the Congo politicians, Sweden is going after online strippers...

Sweden targets strippers for tax

Sweden's tax authorities are seeking the bare facts about webcam strippers' income, estimating that hundreds of Swedish women are dodging the law.

The search involves tax officials examining websites that feature Swedish strippers, in an effort to identify them and chase them for tax returns.

The tax loss is estimated at about 40m Swedish kronor (£3.3m) annually.

Project leader Dag Hardyson said 200 Swedish strippers had been investigated so far. He said the total could be 500.

"They are young girls, we can see from the photos. We think that perhaps they are not well informed about the rules," said Mr Hardyson, head of the tax authority's national project on internet trade.

The investigation into strippers is part of a wider tax project that includes online poker and fake trader locations.

Detective work

Mr Hardyson told BBC News that the strippers could be liable to pay about half of their earnings in tax. Striptease via webcam is quite legal in Sweden, unlike prostitution, he added.

"I don't think they have any costs really - almost 100% of what they earn is pocketed. Many have regular work and this is extra income. We want them to register their activity as a business - it's still taxable, even if it's a hobby," he said.

He stressed the difficulty of identifying strippers, saying the contact information on the websites was often "not obvious".

"We have to visit the companies behind the websites to get the information, then we have to work with the electronic wallets where the money is going in."

He said the Swedish tax authorities had been tipped off about Swedish internet strippers by the Dutch authorities, who had started a similar investigation earlier.

Web search tools like spiders had failed to detect the Swedish strippers.

He added, "When we investigated the sites manually it worked better,".

Yeah, I bet!!! :smt023
LMAO...they've been working hard to track down the stippers...ya sounds about right... :smt005
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Post by Labbie » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:12 pm

Another segment of the economy that no one has thought of, maybe they need a bailout too!!!

Lawmakers rebuff prostitution tax

CARSON CITY, Nevada (Reuters) – Nevada lawmakers on Thursday defeated a proposed prostitution tax that had won support from brothel owners and working ladies willing to do their part to ease the state's $3 billion budget crisis.

Nevada, one of only two U.S. states that allow some prostitution, is reeling from a deep economic recession that has led to high numbers of foreclosures, dwindling tourism revenues and a gaping budget shortfall.

State Senator Bob Coffin, a Democrat, proposed levying a $5-per-customer service tax on patrons of some 20 legal brothels operating in rural Nevada, all of them outside Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, where prostitution remains outlawed.

But a sharply divided Nevada state Senate committee voted 4-3 Thursday to kill the tax, which Coffin said would have raised an estimated $2 million a year.

Bordellos, which go by such names as the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, the Chicken Ranch and the Shady Lady Ranch, already are taxed by local governments. Brothels and their prostitutes also pay an annual $100 licensing fee each to the state.

"It's time for an increase," Coffin said. "The leadership of the legislature has been saying for many months that everything was on the table as far as money revenue, so I decided to take them up on it and bring this forward."

Coffin said similar proposals never went very far in the past due to opposition from legislators who felt that taxing prostitution would further legitimize an industry they regard as distasteful and morally bankrupt.

George Flint, chief lobbyist for the state's prostitution industry as head of the Nevada Brothel Association, called the proposed tax a kind of "insurance policy" against future efforts by the state to end legalized brothels.

Flint testified in favor of the bill earlier this week along with several working ladies.

Nevada's brothels also have reportedly been hit hard by the U.S. recession. They attract about 365,000 customers a year, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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Post by Labbie » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:14 pm

Changed the thread title.
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Post by Dark Angel » Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:16 am

Taxing Matters


Tax Day. Fox News is flogging Astroturf "tea parties" underwritten by corporate lobbyists, while its pundits warn that raising the top income tax rate to the level it was under Bill Clinton constitutes "socialism." The Wall Street Journal editorializes about the evils of the estate tax. Ari Fleischer, Daddy Bush's old flack, is trotted out to complain that "redistribution of income" through the tax code "is getting out of hand."

Really? Here's the grim reality. Since 1980, when the conservative era began, inequality has reached Gilded Age extremes - while top end tax rates have been cut. The wealthiest few captured ever more of the nation's income while successfully lowering their tax rates.

And worse - this is still going on. This month, every Republican Senator - joined bizarrely by 10 Democrats - pushed for yet another tax break for the super-rich - those with fortunes over $7 million. Apparently worried that the heirs of the Paris Hilton class might not be able to keep the yacht clubs humming, Republican Senators voted in lockstep to direct the Congress to raise the full exemption of estates from $7 to $10 million per couple, and drop the top rate from 45% to 35%. Over a decade when fully in effect, this represents a bauble worth about $90 billion to the 1 in 400 estates (one-fourth of one percent) that reach that level.

Fleischer would suggest this is a small, but inadequate step to curb the confiscatory redistribution of the tax code. But he's peddling bull.

In 1980, as "Gilded Age Taxation," a study by the Institute for America's Future shows, the richest 1% of Americans captured fully 7.7% of the nation's after-tax income. The middle sixty percent captured about 50.9%. By 2006, the latest CBO figures show the opulent 1% -- making an average $1.3 million -- captured a staggering 16.3% of the nation's income after all that tax code redistribution. While the middle sixty percent garnered only 44.1%. If class war is being waged, the rich are on the march.

The Institute for Policy Studies details the staggering contrast to the Eisenhower years. In 1955, the top 400 taxpayers averaged about $12.3 million in income (2006 dollars) and paid, after exploiting every loophole imaginable, 51.2% of that in federal income tax. A half century later, the richest 400 average a breath-taking $263.3 million in income each, and pay a mere 17.2% of that in federal income taxes. (A lower tax rate than paid by most of their secretaries).

If those 400 taxpayers had paid at the same rate in 2006 as a half century earlier, the federal treasury would have collected $35.9 billion more in revenue, or enough to double the energy and transportation budget combined. No wonder Ike, clearly a stealth "socialist", could afford to build the interstate transport system.

So why do Republican Senators en mass and 10 wayward Democrats - Max Baucus, Evan Bayh, Maria Cantwell, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Patty Murray, Bill Nelson, Ben Nelson and Jon Testor - think the wealthiest one-fourth of one percent of Americans need another tax break? They wax eloquent about saving family farms and small businesses. But upon sober review, the New York Times editorial board provided a tempered evaluation of the argument: "That is swill." Opponents of the estate tax haven't been able to dig up a family that was forced to liquidate its farm or business due to the tax because these folks simply do not exist.

The sad reality is that conservative dominance over the last decades has had profound effects. One of these is that income inequality grew to Gilded Age extremes, while top end tax rates were slashed. Fleischer is right. We did witness a lot of redistribution. But it went from the middle class to the very top, not the other way around.

(Incidentally the new tax break isn't a done deal. A conference committee will decide its fate in the next week or two. You might want to call or write Republican Senators or the wayward Democratic 10 and tell them enough already.)
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Post by Labbie » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:11 pm

From CNN: Unusual State Taxes

Tennessee: Crack Tax - buyers of illegal drugs must pay the state within 48 hours.

Alabama: Playing Card Tax - $0.10 per deck (of 54 cards or fewer); retailer must also buy a license to sell playing cards.

Mississippi: Amusement Tax - 7% extra on "all forms of diversion"; Gospel music exempt, unless the performers also perform "hillbilly or pop" music during their act.
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Post by Dark Angel » Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:09 am

Crack Tax...ROTFLMFAO...sounds like they may be able to put away some junkies by way of tax evasion charges.
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Post by Labbie » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:40 am

Oregon is raising taxes on beer from $2 a barrel to $52 a barrel.

That's a 1900% increase.
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Post by Gavin Shaw » Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:52 am

Labbie wrote:Oregon is raising taxes on beer from $2 a barrel to $52 a barrel.

That's a 1900% increase.
WTF???

That is a massive increase (if it is true and not someone trying to pull your leg). How have they justified it?
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Post by Labbie » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:04 am

How's The Wall Street Journal for a reference?

This Tax Is For You
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Post by Gavin Shaw » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:03 am

Aren't governments supposed to be looking at ways to better manage what money they do have?

Everyday I hear people losing jobs, prices going up, pay being frozen or being reduced so the company can 'afford' to keep all or most of its staff.

I remember the Aus PM telling us to 'tighten our belts' and take some of the pain that was coming. Seems he meant to say for us to take all the pain.

Soon we the average people won't be able to afford anything, let alone be able to afford to go to work. Then what?
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Post by Labbie » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:39 pm

States add water bottle desposits

WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- A number of states are requiring deposits on plastic water bottles to increase revenue and decrease litter, a U.S. advocacy group says.

The Container Recycling Institute says 11 states currently require deposits on some beverages while seven others have deposit bills pending, USA Today reported Friday.

This year New York, Connecticut and Oregon joined California, Maine and Hawaii in adding water bottles to their deposit laws.

"If you have two plastic 16.9-ounce bottles and this one is used to hold Sprite and this one is used to hold water, why should one be covered and the other not?" says Peter Spendelow of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

New York estimates it will take in $115 million in unclaimed deposits this year while Connecticut is expected to gain about $41.5 million annually from deposits.

Retailers and beverage manufacturers oppose the move.

"States are looking at this as a money grab," says Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association.
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Post by Dark Angel » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:09 am

Labbie wrote:Oregon is raising taxes on beer from $2 a barrel to $52 a barrel.

That's a 1900% increase.
Yes but the state also doesn't have a state income tax...besides that's... 18.3 cents per pint...not really that drastic...unless you are a raging alcoholic.
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Post by Labbie » Sat Apr 18, 2009 2:06 pm

Dark Angel wrote:Yes but the state also doesn't have a state income tax...
Wrong again Sparky.

http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/PERTAX/
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Post by Dark Angel » Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:05 am

Labbie wrote:
Dark Angel wrote:Yes but the state also doesn't have a state income tax...
Wrong again Sparky.

http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/PERTAX/
Ok my mistake sales tax was what I meant to say.
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Post by Labbie » Mon May 04, 2009 11:16 pm

Chinese officials ordered to smoke more

WUHAN, China, May 4 (UPI) -- A Chinese provincial government has an unusual solution to the economic crisis -- it is ordering local officials to smoke more cigarettes.

Officials in central China's Hubei province issued an edict ordering local government officials -- including teachers -- to consume a total of 230,000 packs of locally produced cigarettes, worth about $600,000, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

The edict said officials who "fail to meet their targets" or are caught smoking cigarettes produced from neighboring provinces would be subject to fines, the British newspaper said.

Officials said the edict is aimed at increasing the province's tax revenues and protecting local cigarette manufacturers from outside competition.

"The regulation will boost the local economy via the cigarette tax," said Chen Nianzu, a cigarette market supervision official in Gong'an county.

A Gong'an county newspaper reported members of a "special task force" raided a local middle school during the afternoon and found three "non-compliant" cigarette butts. The school was not fined, but a teacher said it was subjected to "public criticism" for "undisciplined practices."
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Post by Knightmare » Thu May 07, 2009 5:00 am

"States are looking at this as a money grab," says Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association.
Yep. A guy from the American Beverage Association saying it's nothing more than a " cash grab ".

Heaven forbid the states actually decide to clean up their environment.

Way back before Michigan had a deposit law, you used to see can and bottles all over the place. In the woods, alongside the roads. The ditches were basically clogged with them.

The deposit law was fought tooth and nail, but it was eventually brought to a vote, and the people decided it was a good idea.

Lo and behold, no longer do we see litter like that everywhere. NOW almost all we see thrown out are...get ready for it....water bottles.

I wish someone in this state would get the courage to start a petition to put a deposit on those as well.

Now, I fully admit that the timing of the states passing this is a little too convenient. BUT....that 5 or 10 cents deposit isn't that big a deal. It eventually gets to the point that you don't even think about it when you are paying it.

Not to mention, it can't really be a " cash grab " if people return the bottles to get their deposit back.
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Post by Knightmare » Thu May 07, 2009 5:07 am

Retailers and beverage manufacturers oppose the move.
Of course they do. It means that they'll have to spend a little money to set up a printer of some sort to put the deposit info on the bottles. Heaven forbid.
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