Thursday, September 22, 2022

Public Holiday for Thalassophiles: Porches And Parlours

Thalassophiles Stands for lovers of sea and porches and parlours such as globe trotters John and Farhana 

Brunch at Bondi 

By many accounts, Queen Elizabeth II was a great lady. Her passing is an historic event. We should pay our respects, celebrate her life and mourn if we choose to.

Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas Social Media LawLawFare. NetChoice v. Paxton (PDF). Czech out the opening salvo

How do you solve a problem like the MEdia Dragon 🐉

… King’s 👑 problems with pens

Boris Johnson: I took the oath today in the House of Commons. God Save the King

All eyes were on London yesterday as the state funeral for The Queen took place in majestic style at Westminster Abbey. It has been described as the most spell-binding spectacle in the nation’s recent history. For the British people it was a moment of reverence, sadness and thanksgiving. But it was also a global occasion. The world’s media was captivated by the proceedings, with one commentator calling it an event of “special magnificence the like of which we shall never see again”. 

It was the first such funeral in Britain since the one for Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 and the biggest state ceremony since then. It was attended by world leaders, foreign royalty and other dignitaries among 2,000 mourners, and planning had stretched back for years. It also required what has been called the largest and most complex security operation the country has ever undertaken.

They queued through a chilly London night to pay their respects. Eight hours on average, just to shuffle past her coffin for no more than a minute.

Women young and old, curtsied as they greeted the oak casket side-on. You could assume they’d dreamed of meeting the Queen all their lives. That they’d practised their curtsy in the mirror as young Girl Guides…

The early morning sun shone through the stained-glass window and cast a golden glow through the medieval hall. Erected in 1097 by King William II (William Rufus), this was the site of the trials of King Charles I, William Wallace and Guy Fawkes. The scene of King George IV’s coronation banquet in 1821, and the place where Churchill lay in state.

Nelson Mandela addressed both houses of parliament under the ancient hammerbeam roof, so too Charles de Gaulle and Pope Benedict XVI.

But it was the silence which was the most remarkable thing. It was broken only by heavy sobs and muffled footsteps as they filed in their thousands through the hall.

Inside a silent Westminster Hall with Elizabeth, the great unifier

 ‘I’m calling from Westpac fraud prevention team’: Scam calls get smarter

Richard Boyle alleges tax office blocked him from helping individuals and one senior staff member said ‘I am sick of taxpayers threatening suicide’

Whistleblower claims ATO was ‘callous’ when taxpayer said he was ‘losing will to live’ over debts

Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina; Google Scholar) will present Fake News and the Tax Law (with Erin Scharff (Arizona State)) at Loyola-L.A. today as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium hosted by Theodore Seto:

The public misunderstands many aspects of the tax system. For example, people frequently misunderstand how marginal tax rates work, misperceive their own average tax rates, and believe they benefit from tax deductions for which they are ineligible. Such confusion is understandable given the complexity of our tax laws. Unfortunately, research suggests these misconceptions shape voter preferences about tax policy which, in turn, impact the policies themselves.

That people are easily confused by taxes is nothing new. However, with the rise of social media platforms, the speed at which misinformation campaigns can move to shape public opinion is far faster now. The past five years have seen a dramatic shift in the landscape of false information, and scholars in a variety of disciplines, from law to psychology to journalism, have explored the increasing influence of fake news.

Tax Court Sustains Accuracy-Related Penalty for Offshore Accounts, Rejecting Taxpayer's QAR, Statute of Limitations, and § 6751(b) Arguments 

This blog will alert readers of a new Tax Court opinion, Lamprecht v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2022-91, involving the accuracy-related penalty for failure to report income from foreign accounts. (The opinion may be retrieved at docket entry 181 from the docket entries, here.) I will set up my discussion from the syllabus for the key points decided (on the value of the syllabus see point 6 at the end of this blog):

            Ps are citizens of Switzerland who lawfully resided in the United States, where P–H worked as an investment consultant managing investments for himself and his clients. Ps filed U.S. income tax returns for 2006 and 2007 which understated their income in both years by omitting income that Ps treated as foreign sourced.

New York Times, French Tax Collectors Use A.I. to Spot Thousands of Undeclared Pools:

For those trying to offset France’s increasingly sweltering summers by building swimming pools, the tax authorities have a message: If you’re thinking of saving money by keeping your pool hidden from property tax collectors, we’re watching — from above.

Over 20,000 unreported swimming pools have been detected since last October in a handful of French regions by an artificial intelligence tool that scans satellite images of houses and backyards, the authorities announced this week. The discoveries will enable the French tax agency to collect nearly 10 million euros, or about $10 million, in property taxes, the authorities said. ...

France’s General Directorate of Public Finances said in a statement that “by optimizing the process of detecting undeclared constructions or developments,” the project aims to “fight more effectively against anomalies” and respond to demands for “fairness and fiscal justice.”

In France, permanently constructed pools increase property taxes because they boost a property’s value. Pools are taxed by size and according to local tax rates; the average 30-square-meter pool, or roughly 323 square feet, costs the owner about 200 euros in taxes per year. Property taxes are paid to local municipalities. ...

The algorithms were developed by the French tax agency in cooperation with Capgemini, a French consulting firm, and uses open-source software by Google. Neither company has access to French tax data, the authorities stressed.

The tool scans publicly available satellite photos, analyzes the surroundings of constructed buildings and identifies pools, which are often impossible to see over walls or hedges but can be detected from above as white or blue rectangles or ovals. The tool then compares those results with an existing database of officially declared pool owners and flags any outliers.

Standing up for the free press: here’s what abuse of media power looks like in Australia

Crikey had published a series of lengthy legal demands by Lachlan Murdoch's lawyers. Here's why.

Absolutely huge - this was a true David and Goliath battle. Huge kudos to the Traditional Owners and the team 

Memories of my pushbike accident came flooding back