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Source: (consider it) Thread: Are we bothered?
Barnabas62
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simontoad

You should be!

mr cheesy, your links do tend to confirm that some measure of international co-operation would be required to prevent the rich from using tax havens for tax avoidance purposes. I'm not surprised the US abandoned unilateral action either. Bound to be both counter-productive and legally challengeable.

I can see the attractions of shaming, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't work either, unless lawbreaking is involved. This stuff will be out of the news cycle before too long, meanwhile, heads will be kept down, a few public concessions made. Then it will be business as usual.

Realistically, going for modest reforms may look pretty ineffective, but it may produce some benefit. Controlling the global financial market and the various opportunities it provides is going to be very difficult. Moral outrage doesn't strike me as much of a control mechanism.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 20921 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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From the Atlantic, suggestions for a fix. They point out that complete solutions are probably not possible, but some things could be done.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5625 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Dark Knight

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Good link, Brenda, even if it does leave me feeling a bit hopeless.

A well informed and critically educated demos is the only way to hold the rich accountable and bring anything like genuine equality into societies. The powerful interests know this.

Hence they cooperate in the neoliberalisation of the universities, transforming them from centres of independent critical education to factories training "job ready" candidates (when the economy changes every few nanoseconds, how anyone is supposed to be job ready today is a mystery), and carrying out commercialised research for the highest bidder.

They encourage the idiotic ideology that critiquing their moral failure to adequately contribute to the societies they benefit most from is nothing more than "the politics of envy."

As illustrated by the film "I Daniel Blake" (and continues to happen before our eyes in the ongoing travesty of robodebt in Australia), governments serving elite interests punish and demonise those who require the social safety nets because of the austerity economics which would not be necessary if the rich stopped leaning on the rest of us and did their fair share.

They serve us a shit sandwich, then blame us for its contents. First against the wall, I say. Liz included.

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Posts: 2822 | From: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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I'm downing a large whiskey and taking out my Rule Britannia song book. Shit! I think I threw my Union Jack one side Australian flag the other in the bin.

Look, I'm as socialist as the next Lenninist. I'm all for levelling things out AND I'm a bit of a militarist. Not like that lily-livered Corbyn who wants to get rid of Trident and wouldn't even send the British Army against the French. I even work a socialist job and I pay my Union dues sort of when they fall due. I'm all for gutting private enterprise, and letting the kulaks off the leash. Ok, not quite a Lenninist, more of a populist menshevik. OK OK, not a communinist at all - small scale capitalist heroing the kulaks but not allowing large accumulations of capital in private hands.

But leave the Queen and the Royal Family out of it, after we have nationalised their assets and put them on a salary. They have done an awful lot for this country and its about time this country gave something back.

Bottom line: The rich are rorting their tax. SNORE! They use tax havens and tax shelters. MY BRAIN HURTS! Wake me when something interesting happens.

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Human

Posts: 1168 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Dark Knight

Super Zero
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:

But leave the Queen and the Royal Family out of it, after we have nationalised their assets and put them on a salary. They have done an awful lot for this country and its about time this country gave something back.

Utter unsubstantiated horseshit.

And, as everyone knows, what is asserted as unsubstantiated horseshit can be dismissed as unsubstantiated horseshit.

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Wronger than a drooling idiot on stupid juice - but I understand his argument.
mousethief (paraphrase)
----
Love is as strong as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Posts: 2822 | From: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

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Oh come on! She is the inspiration for the Commonwealth! How many medals would we not have if the Queen had not suggested the Commonwealth Games?

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Human

Posts: 1168 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Arethosemyfeet
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# 17047

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Does nobody on this thread ever receive or make payments off the books in cash?

Um... no, I don't think so. I would view that, particularly on the scale of paying thousands to builders in cash, as extremely dubious ethically. I am currently trying to renovate a house and it would be simple to evade the double council tax on it being vacant but I choose not to. Likewise I will be paying the VAT due when it comes to the repairs.
Noting that VAT on renovation of an empty property is charged at a reduced rate of 5% (it's another one of those "tax dodges" to encourage policy - in this case to help get empty houses back up to decent standard so that they can be sold or let to help alleviate the housing crisis).
Has to be empty for 2 years (true in this case) but yes, 5% vs the zero rate on new build. It seems a travesty to me that it would be cheaper to knock down the 19th century stone cottage and build new than to renovate but that's very much a tangent.
Posts: 2835 | From: Hebrides | Registered: Apr 2012  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
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# 17338

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The simplest way to prevent tax avoidance and/or evasion is to have a tax code that is simple and transparent.

There have been mutterings about the complexity of the UK tax code (and about anomalies such as the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, etc) for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember there have been people saying that if the whole thing was (a) easier to understand, and (b) had fewer differences between its treatment of the employed and self-employed then the temptation to evade/ avoid would be taken away for all but those with something to hide who would be easier to spot.

Meanwhile the Labour Party and others seem to have gone quiet on wealthy so-called Non-Doms and the sweetheart deals they make with the Inland Revenue: I'm thinking people like the Fayed family, Lady Green, etc, who despite living in the UK for decades (or in Lady Green's case being born here) somehow get away with claiming they're non-domiciled, regardless of the fact their children go to school here, etc, etc, etc.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

Posts: 4672 | From: somewhere in England... | Registered: Sep 2012  |  IP: Logged
Sipech
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# 16870

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
The simplest way to prevent tax avoidance and/or evasion is to have a tax code that is simple and transparent.

There have been mutterings about the complexity of the UK tax code (and about anomalies such as the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, etc) for as long as I can remember. [snip]

There has to be a payoff between simplicity and closing loopholes. Some of the complexities that arise in the UK tax system have done so because of past tax avoidance.

An example would be the capital gains tax (CGT) on shares. If I've got 10,000 shares, bought in 5 tranches at 5 different prices and then sell 2,000 of them, which 2,000 have I sold? The slightly bizarre answer is that I am deemed to have sold the shares that I might buy in the next few days. i.e. shares I might not yet own.

While this may seem counter-intuitive, it's because of the nature of short-selling. If I try to offload a load of shares at £10.00, that pushes the share price down (say to £9.95). If I then buy 2,000 shares at £9.95, I've effectively made a gain of 5p per share. So the CGT rule is there to make sure that my £100 gain is taxed.

This is just one example. The general rule of thumb is that the simpler the rule, the simpler the setup you need to dodge the tax.

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I try to be self-deprecating; I'm just not very good at it.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheAlethiophile

Posts: 3693 | From: On the corporate ladder | Registered: Jan 2012  |  IP: Logged
sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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Most international tax treaties prevent double taxation, but generally allow both the source country and the residence country to tax the income. The source country gets to tax first (usually a withholding tax), then the residence country taxes, giving relief (through a tax credit or a deduction) for the tax paid in the source country. In essence, you pay the higher of the two tax rates because the relief in the country of residence will not be in excess of the tax paid in the source country.

The mechanism by which this happens depends on the terms of the treaty between the two countries and the nature of the income.

Now, if there is no treaty, both countries can tax at will.

In case you think it is only the right-wing people who take advantage of tax havens, consider that the list of former Canadian prime ministers in the latest leak was 1 Conservative and 2 Liberals.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

Posts: 7719 | From: Canada, eh? | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
ExclamationMark
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# 14715

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It seems that Bono has now entered the lists.

Can I suggest that anyone like him, Brian and Brenda who feels guilty about the investment may wish to make a donation to charity equivalent to the amount of tax payable, were the investments to be in the UK? Photo copies of the cheques please!

By these shall all men know you are my disciples

Posts: 3748 | From: A new Jerusalem | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged
sharkshooter

Not your average shark
# 1589

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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
The simplest way to prevent tax avoidance and/or evasion is to have a tax code that is simple and transparent.
...

Tax codes used to be simple, but in a world of complex transactions and structures, a simple tax code lends itself to tax avoidance.

If you simply said "income is taxable at 25%", for example, the most obvious problem would be what is income. Other issues would include where and when is it taxable, and who is liable for the tax.

And that's just the start.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. [Psalm 19:14]

Posts: 7719 | From: Canada, eh? | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
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# 9110

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
It seems that Bono has now entered the lists.

Can I suggest that anyone like him, Brian and Brenda who feels guilty about the investment may wish to make a donation to charity equivalent to the amount of tax payable, were the investments to be in the UK? Photo copies of the cheques please!

By these shall all men know you are my disciples

Source re Bono.

There may be others, of course.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 20921 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
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# 5430

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I rather warm to ExclamationMark's suggestion re charitable giving.

However, I'm not holding my breath, waiting to see who'll be the first to offer...

...but what a bit of Good News it would be, if someone did, no?

IJ

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The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 9124 | From: Passing The Glums At The Bus Stop | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
B62, why is the binomial theorem a sin?

Normally I get your abstractions, Martin60, but this time you beat me.
Compound interest.
Here are some traditional arguments, Martin60.

The Catholic Church has never rescinded its arguments against usury.

I don't understand theistic, textist arguments. All I know is that debt for the necessities of life is a great evil.

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Love wins

Posts: 16863 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
All I know is that debt for the necessities of life is a great evil.

I think that is the Catholic position, Martin60.

From the article

quote:
The sin rests on the fact that sometimes the creditor desires more than he has given…, but any gain which exceeds the amount he gave is illicit and usurious.
There is a recognition that usury involves exploiting someone who is already vulnerable through debt. That still seems to me to be a valid moral argument. A Samaritan finds an injured man by the roadside and says, "Oh good, he'll be prepared to pay a lot to me if I rescue him from this dangerous place". Doesn't work, does it?

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 20921 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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What's that got to do with business finance? Financing nonessential but rational, large purchases? Property, vehicles?

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Love wins

Posts: 16863 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
What's that got to do with business finance? Financing nonessential but rational, large purchases? Property, vehicles?

Not a lot. I think there is a moral and practical need for potential borrowers to shop around, be aware of budget consequences. Voluntarily getting into debt you cannot replay, for non-essential purchases, is pretty feckless.

Conversely, I think there is a moral and practical obligation on lenders to check out ability to pay.

Curiously, I was talking about these issues a couple of days ago, with some friends in a retirement club. When we grew up, money was more concrete,a matter of notes and coins. If mum ran out of money at the end of the week, we lived on what was left or went without. Getting into debt was a sin. When poverty came through the door, love flew out of the window.

Today, money is more abstract, and the more cashless the society becomes, the more abstract money becomes. Crossing the line into debt is much easier than it was 60 years ago.

The biblical stories and principles do belong to an age when money was more concrete. I think we have to take that into account.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 20921 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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Aye, we come from the same cultural background. This is the best of all possible worlds, so how are lenders being impractical? And how can they be moved to be as moral as gambling mongers?

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Love wins

Posts: 16863 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
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The categorical imperative went missing as well, Martin60.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 20921 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
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# 18096

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
It seems that Bono has now entered the lists.

Sound the horns! Unfurl the Banners! Gentlemen, lower you lances. CHARGE!

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Human

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
It seems a travesty to me that it would be cheaper to knock down the 19th century stone cottage and build new than to renovate but that's very much a tangent.

Lots of things are cheaper to destroy and rebuild than to repair. You can make a large stack of new things on a production line for probably less effort than it would take to hand-craft one thing in situ. That is the nature of mass production.
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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
The categorical imperative went missing as well, Martin60.

What, do as you would be done by? It never caught on in the privileged. And we're all privileged ...

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Love wins

Posts: 16863 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
It seems a travesty to me that it would be cheaper to knock down the 19th century stone cottage and build new than to renovate but that's very much a tangent.

Lots of things are cheaper to destroy and rebuild than to repair. You can make a large stack of new things on a production line for probably less effort than it would take to hand-craft one thing in situ. That is the nature of mass production.
And there's another factor to consider: the big house building firms deliberately depress the rate at which houses are built so as to maximise prices and therefore rate of return and therefore profit. It doesn't matter how many homes the government wants to have built, if Wimpey, Barrett, etc don't want to see more than 175,000 built in a year then there won't be.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Martin60
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# 368

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Then nationalize them.

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Love wins

Posts: 16863 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Then nationalize them.

I'd prefer to "regionalize" them. Housing is a national problem, but the particular form of that problem will vary in different parts of the country. Therefore, the solutions will differ across the country. Which makes the appropriate authority to build houses local government, or a regional government if it can be shown that the housing needs across a larger region are similar and an economy in scale can be achieved.

But, we already have that. Local councils building council houses. Except previous Tory and Tory-lite governments have progressively demolished their ability to do that - through right to buy which sold off their housing stock, restrictions on budgets they can spend on replacing that stock (which often then gets bought quickly and cheaply under right to buy, so that private landlords can benefit from extortionate rents, even any effective planning control to direct private developers to build the housing needed in the area.

The result has been to land those private developers with effectively a blank cheque to build whatever will make the most profit, wherever it is cheapest to build. Private developers holding local authorities to ransom, "we want to build 1000 homes on this cheap green-field site, grant us permission or we'll let another council have the benefit of that council tax revenue". Massive developments of houses, of the wrong type (almost never social housing), in the wrong place (no access to public transport), without any supporting facilities that are expensive to build with little profit (schools, GP surgeries, local shops).

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.

Posts: 32086 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



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