The murder of Boris Nemtsov, even more than previous assassinations of journalists and other figures deemed unhelpful to Vladimir Putin's regime, feels like a moment of grim significance. It represents…
Investors Europe Stock Brokers's insight:
'In its suppression of opposition, in its thuggish aggression, in its capricious and rigged “justice”, Russia is crossing the line that differentiates between democratic authoritarianism and outright dictatorship. Indeed, Putin crossed that line some time ago...'
At the end of September 2011, just days before his passing, the company that Steve Jobs founded had a $25 billion cash hoard. Nearly half of this was stashed overseas.
What’s more, Apple was running billions in profit through multiple Irish subsidiaries, neither of which were taxable by the US government.
Steve Jobs departed this life owning 5.5 million shares of Apple (and another 138 million shares of Disney, which employed similar offshore practices).
So his personal share of the untaxed offshore booty was obviously substantial.
Did this make him ‘unpatriotic’?
Was the guy who revolutionized five industries and touched the lives of billions of people some nefarious traitor because he held so much money offshore?
Of course not.
Despite all the absurd, highly negative media attention centered on shaming companies and individuals who go offshore, it’s one of the most sensible, rational steps anyone can take.
Every taxpayer on the planet looks for legal ways to reduce way they owe, or at least claim every deduction and exemption they’re entitled to.
No one files a 1040 saying, “Yeah, I’m not going to claim the child tax credit or medical expenses this year...”
Arranging one’s affairs for tax optimization is normal.
People shop at duty free stores specifically to save money and not pay sales tax.
Others live in one place (New Hampshire, for example) and commute to another (Boston) to save on state income tax.
Doing the same thing for a company is hardly different.
Apple started its shift by moving its profit center from California to Nevada, thus saving the company 8.84% in California state income tax.
From Nevada, the company then set up its Irish subsidiaries, saving the lion’s share of the federal corporate tax rate.
People blast Apple (and Microsoft, Google, GE, etc.) as unpatriotic for taking advantage of the legal options available to them.
This is simply an ignorant assertion. Critics have completely forgotten that the pretext of the American Revolution was largely motivated by taxation.
I would suggest that it is US politicians who are unpatriotic. They penalize productive citizens and businesses with one of the highest tax rates in the world.
At 39%, the United States of America has a higher corporate tax rate than Norway (27%). Or ‘Communist’ China (25%). And yes, even Russia (20%).
Moreover, I would suggest that going offshore is actually patriotic.
You see, these tactics aren’t just available to Apple and Microsoft. Even small businesses can legally take advantage of comprehensive tax treaties and offshore sales companies, especially if you are operating an online business.
Legally reducing your tax bill means putting less money in the hands of people who have an uninterrupted track record of destruction and failure.
They have an abysmal history of managing other people’s money. They blow it all on bombs, drones, wars, and unsustainable social welfare programs.
People in the Land of the Free grow up being taught that voting is a patriotic duty.
If you believe this to be true, then note that the most powerful votes you can cast are the ones you make with your feet... and your money.
Every single day you are essentially ‘voting’ for the products and services that you value. If you buy an iPad, this is like casting a vote for Apple with your dollars.
This market-based approach is much more powerful than standing in a booth and being forced to choose between two complete idiots.
In the market, the best products and services receive the most votes, and hence, stay in business.
The worst companies don’t receive enough votes to stay in business, and they ultimately go under (but not before getting a $536 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy).
Politics can work the same way.
Rather than vote in the booth for new people, we can simply vote with our money and actions to restrict the resources they have available.
This isn’t scandalous, shameful, or even remotely unpatriotic.
Rather, using legal means to slash the amount of tax that you pay is the most powerful, conscious way you can cast a vote that really matters: a vote of No Confidence.
Marine Le Pen, avec 29 à 31%, sortirait nettement en tête si le premier tour de la présidentielle avait lieu dimanche, aucun rival ne dépassant 23% - Nicolas Sarkozy, Manuel Valls, ou Alain Juppé, chacun autour de 23%, ou François Hollande, à 21% -, selon un sondage Ifop pour Marianne publié ce jeudi. Ce sondage envisage divers scénarios de confrontations possibles. Au second tour, la présidente du Front national serait nettement battue, avec 45% des voix dans le meilleur cas de figure pour elle.
Au premier tour, François Bayrou obtiendrait de 7 à 9%, Jean-Luc Mélenchon 8%, Cécile Duflot et Nicolas Dupont-Aignan entre 3 et 4% et l’extrême gauche de 2 à 3%. Que le candidat de l’UMP soit Nicolas Sarkozy ou Alain Juppé, le président sortant, François Hollande, recueillerait 21% des voix, ce qui représente un gain de sept à huit points par rapport à la dernière enquête de fin octobre 2014. Que l’un ou l’autre soit le candidat de l’UMP, le Premier ministre Valls ferait mieux que François Hollande, avec 23% (contre 17% dans l’enquête de juillet 2014 qui le testait face à Nicolas Sarkozy et d’autres candidats dont Mme Le Pen).
Le fisc français semble s'intéresser au maire du 1er arrondissement de Paris, l'UMP Jean-Francois Legaret. L'Administration fédérale des contributions (AFC) a accepté de collaborer avec les autorités compétentes de l'Hexagone. ...
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So we have this announcement from the OECD. “Switzerland has today become the 52nd jurisdiction to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement [MCAA], which will allow it to go forward with plans to activate automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters with other countries beginning in 2018.” Which all sounds jolly good, and it is …
“If you knew what’s good for you, you’d buy risk-free US Treasury bonds for your IRA and 401(k). Just in case you don’t understand that, we’re making an investment in US Treasuries mandatory for your retirement account.”
(Adds details)WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - U.S. federal prosecutors havelaunched a new probe into whether Swiss bank UBS AG helped Americans evade taxes through investments banned in theUnited States,
@investorsA public register of beneficial owners will be implemented in the UK in April 2016 as announced by the British government.
The mandatory register of trusts only applies to taxable trusts and it will not be public.
This is a welcome development since in common law countries such as the United Kingdom, trusts are regularly used to protect vulnerable beneficiaries, some of whom could be at significant risk if their identities were published.
An essential point here is that all trusts will remain confidential and will not feature not on a public register.
For companies and foundations, the register will be publicly available to those with a 'legitimate interest'.
This initiative follows the European Union's Fourth Money Laundering Directive and its associated regulations.
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'European Commission’s new president still under pressure over low tax rates for multinationals, reports the Irish Times.
The European Commission’s new president, Jean-Claude Juncker, comfortably has survived a no-confidence vote brought over news that Luxembourg had lured multinational businesses with super low tax rates during his period as prime minister.
The censure motion in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, was resoundingly defeated by 461 votes to 101.
However, the vote was hardly an auspicious start for Mr Juncker, under fire in his first month in office both over his role when Luxembourg leader and over a potential conflict of interest as head of a Commission..'
Demands against Argentina by so-called “me-too” bondholders, who are asking to be paid in the same conditions as Elliot and Aurelius Managment holdouts, are starting to pile up as holders of Argentine bonds issued under German law who didn’t take part of the country’s debt swap filed a new complaint at a United States court to demand full payment.
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