Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Taxman in the Mirror

5 Tools to Help You Search the Archived Internet - Tech.Co – Adam Rowe: “The archived internet deserves more recognition. Online security has been a hot button topic in the tech community recently, with data scandals and privacy policy updates constantly driving the conversation

It makes me wonder what sort of poor leadership the western intelligence agencies have these days. …. Anonymous Coward

Lesson From The Tax Court: What Makes Tax Law Complex

Tax reminds me of the children’s poem that starts “I have a little shadow.” Tax is the shadow (sometimes not so little) that follows all of us throughout life. Put another way, every activity in life throws a tax shadow. And life is not simple. I submit that much of tax complexity is a reflection of life’s complexity, including people’s relationships with one another.

During a wide-ranging presentation, the former cyber spy boss said that the problem posed by nation state attackers had increased over the last five years and become an issue for enterprises as well as governments. "Nation state attacks using criminal group as a proxy" is a "fairly new issue" and one of the issues along with the commoditisation of hacking tools that makes international geo-politics a feature of corporate security.

*Hacking | A Box in Space

Mark Holmes writes pithy tales of failed marriages and booming businesses, weaving in F. Scott Fitzgerald, historical digressions and groan-aloud puns.

Now he’s working on a much-anticipated thriller (get it?) about the late pop superstar Michael Jackson.

Mr. Holmes is no best-selling author. In fact, his work is free. Mr. Holmes is a federal judge known for the clear, colloquial writing style he brings to arcane rulings on the U.S. Tax Court.

This week, Sloan Speck (Colorado) reviews a new work by Kai A. Konrad (Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance), Dynamics of the Market for Corporate Tax-Avoidance Advice (2018).

electric shock cbd light rail from www.dailytelegraph.com.au

· SYDNEY'S troubled light rail project is being investigated ... Yesterday Anna was walking through the CBD and received an electric shock.

‘Jaw-Dropping’ Report Reveals Rampant Wage Theft Among Top US Corporations Common Dreams (UserFriendly)

recent report by a Harvard law school alumnus, Pete Davis, points out that law schools like Harvard serve the interests of wealthy elites by training primarily future corporate lawyers. (See also here). This is consistent with the available evidence on graduates’ employment, notwithstanding widely publicized—and dubious—claims of law schools being liberal or left-leaning.  

Walmart sued its former chief tax officer for violating her employment agreement by defecting to online rival Amazon, the latest broadside in the slugfest between the two retail giants.

Lisa Wadlin, Walmart’s senior vice president and top tax executive, wrongfully left the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain last month to move to Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle, Walmart officials said Wednesday in a lawsuit. They’re seeking to stop Wadlin from taking the Amazon position until May 2020 and bar her from handing over “sensitive business information obtained at Walmart.”

Kitty Richards, An Expressive Theory of Tax, 27 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 301 (2017):

The tax code is full of ineffective, inefficient, inequitable, or otherwise problematic provisions that make little sense when evaluated through the lens of traditional tax policy analysis, yet remain popular with citizens and legislators alike. The tax literature is equally full of carefully-researched, technically precise, and theoretically sound proposals for reform that nonetheless fail to get traction in the public debate. Why?

What tax scholarship is missing is the importance of social meaning: what do our tax laws say about our society’s values, and how is taxation being used to construct cultural ideals in contested spaces?

David G. Duff (British Columbia) & Benjamin Alarie (Toronto), Legislated Interpretation and Tax Avoidance in Canadian Income Tax Law:

Predictable statutory interpretation helps ensure the reliable operation of contemporary systems of taxation. Tax liabilities that are not clearly expressed and articulated by legislatures lead to over-reliance on litigation as a means to enforce and clarify legislative intent. For this reason, modern legislatures continually amend and draft new tax provisions, reformulating existing rules and introducing new ones to address ever-changing social and economic environments. Moreover, legislatures also respond with amendments directed at judicial decisions with which they disagree, as well as the transactions and arrangements at issue in these cases. As these amended and new rules are then subject to application and interpretation by revenue departments, taxpayers, tax advisors, and the courts, all of which legislatures may respond to through further subsequent amendments, tax legislation at any given time can be regarded as the recursive product of an ongoing dialogue.

Miranda Stewart (Melbourne), Transparency, Tax and Human Rights:

Transparency has attracted unprecedented attention in national and global debates about taxation in recent years. It has been adopted as a goal by international organizations, governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), academic commentators, media and citizens across the political spectrum. There has been a particular focus on transparency to enforce taxation of multinational enterprises and high wealth individuals, with a specific goal of addressing avoidance and evasion in tax havens. The pursuit of transparency in taxation is consistent with broader trends, as John Braithwaite and Peter Drahos observed nearly two decades ago that transparency was the most striking emergent principle” in global regulation. However, who is transparent, concerning what data, process, or outcomes, why transparency is the goal and how it is intended to achieve the stated regulatory outcome, differ depending on the context. The paper explores the meaning and uses of transparency in a fiscal context, where it started as transparency of governments and budgets to the people, but more recently has shifted to focus on the transparency of taxpayers to governments, between governments, and even to the public.

He’s handling the final phases of the hugely complicated court case stemming from Mr. Jackson’s estate-tax return. An unusual combination of music fans and tax nerds is anticipating the end of the five-year court battle, and Mr. Holmes is poised to apply his distinctive voice to one of the most recognizable voices of the 20th century.

In a recent keynote address to the TPMinds Australia conference in Sydney, ATO Deputy Commissioner International, Mark Konza, talked about the future of transfer pricing and the trends that are shaping that future, from an Australian perspective. Some of the points he made included:
1. Tax compliance by multinational enterprises has been and remains an issue of acute community concern .
2. "Globally and locally, we are seeing changes to the transfer pricing landscape that inhibit the ability of those MNE's who want to 'game the system'."

Bruce and Belinda Robertson, cattle farmers from the rolling hills of the NSW mid-north coast, opened their mail one evening to find “URGENT” correspondence from the global law firm Ashurst.

Marked “STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL NOT FOR PUBLICATION”, the letter claimed Bruce Robertson had made allegations which were unfounded, defamatory, reckless, disparaging, dishonest, misleading, extremely false and denigrating.

Its cranes dot the city skylines. From expressways, sports stadiums, office towers and billion-dollar infrastructure projects, Lendlease now rakes in more than $16 billion a year in earnings. How is it then that the construction juggernaut has paid no Australian tax in years? Jason Ward and Michael West report.
Lend Lease: double dipping and Dutch tripping

New York Times, Tax Havens Blunt Impact of Corporate Tax Cut, Economists Say:
The new corporate tax cuts are unlikely to stimulate the level of job creation and wage growth that the Trump administration has promised, a trio of prominent economists has concluded, because high tax rates were not pushing much investment out of the United States in the first place [Thomas Tørsløv (Copenhagen), Ludvig Wier (Copenhagen) & Gabriel Zucman (UC-Berkeley), The Missing Profits of Nations (data and slides)].

A ‘standard’ deduction? No such thing, ATO warns ahead of tax time
The most common myth that leads to errors being made at tax time is that people think they are entitled to automatic or standard tax deductions, according to the ...

Police rubbish rumours slain bikie boss Mick Hawi had $10m price on his head
RUMOURS slain bike boss Mick Hawi had a $10 million price on his head have been rubbished by police. “No gangster's life is worth that much, doesn't matter ...
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