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Some people think the environment is a matter of life and death. They’re wrong, it’s more important than that.

With apologies to Bill Shankly. The scale of the environmental challenge is clear to many people. However, the solutions in terms of decarbonisation divide rather than unite people and states. I am pessimistic about the agreement of measures to provide a measured decarbonisation of the economy. The failure of the EC to get agreement on […]

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An end to the tax veto in Europe

The EC have released a proposal to move to qualified majority voting on tax proposals instead of the existing position where approval of all member states is required. This is not a surprise as the Commission have always expressed frustration that member states can stop tax proposals with their veto. I can see that this […]

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Brexit – A Reverse Norway Solution

On Brexit, I’m not surprised we are where we are and the vote on 15 January. There are probably 150 MPs who want to “remain” in the HoC and they won’t vote for a Leave deal. This means any deal needs to get over 300 of the remaining 480 votes to get through – which […]

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OECD – is populism a response to the OECD failing to follow its own mandate?

In researching some issues on digital taxation I looked at the 2003 OECD paper “Implementation of Ottawa Tax Framework Conditions” which starts with the mission statement of the OECD which repays some attention: “Pursuant to Article 1 of the Convention signed in Paris on 14th December 1960, and which came into force on 30th September […]

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The Digital Economy and Taxation – 1. Internet Shopping and Local Taxation

Much is being written about “digital taxation” at present, but the analysis is conflating three separate issues, digital services, beps and the impact of internet shopping on bricks and mortar retailing. They are separate issues needing different solutions. The principals of the taxation of digital services go back to the late 90s and the Ottawa […]

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The tyranny of experts and populism

Experts have been getting a hard time recently, disparaged by a number of politicians. Their credibility diminished in the mind of the common man. Their pronouncements not believed by many. And yet given the complexity of the modern world we need experts to advise on issues, so how have we got here and why does […]

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Tax policy and developing countries – a 2016 update

I’ve been having a number of discussions about how successful the OECD project on Tax and Development has been and the challenges it faces. It was clear from inception that the inherent challenge in the project is that the interests of developed countries do not coincide with those of developing countries in many policy areas. […]

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Luther, Trump and Neo Liberalism

There is a very good piece in the FT today about how we reinvent historical figures for our times on Martin Luther to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg which would lead to a schism in the Christian church. It set me thinking about […]

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The Daily Mail and HNWI tax

Today’s Daily Mail has the following quote in an article about the tax paid by HNWI in the UK: “More than 2,000 individuals – each worth at least £20million – are suspected of dodging almost £2billion between them. But only one has been successfully prosecuted – and that was back in July 2012. The HM […]

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Apple and Deferred Tax – Will the US get any tax from the Irish structure?

The debate about the state aid challenge to Ireland about Apple has been fascinating and I’ve covered some issues in a previous blog. But what has also interested me  is the discussion about when the US tax on the profits which accrue in Ireland will be paid and which government is foregoing tax to facilitate […]

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