Monthly Archives: October 2010

Quote for the day

[on filing for tax returns] This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher. Albert Einstein

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Tax and the thinking room

Amidst great frustration in the US with income taxes, they have discovered a way to mix the “throne of thought” with their ill-will towards the US tax system. I wonder if it’ll catch on in Australia.

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Quote for the day

No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session. Mark Twain

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Taxing the have nots

The wall in Berlin is nearly two decades down, the debilitating cold war is off the table and ageing Fidel in Cuba is the last of the incorrigible antagonists. Even he is reported to have backtracked. No more pontificating on the merits of ideologies once thought eternal. Happy days are here again. It’s time to relax in front of the telly and relish the culinary prowess of the y-gen on Junior Master Chef. The message is getting through to the … Continue reading

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Plain writing – banishing gibberish

In a recent news item on the complexity of legislation, especially tax legislation, the Australian referred to varied concerns raised about the burgeoning levels of entanglement now becoming inevitable in long winded legislation, regulation and guidance. Referring to legislation there was even a suggestion to impose the ultimate boundary, page limits. Rather coincidentally this week the US Congress passed the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (HR 946) – Plain writing now the rule for federal government. Plain writing, according to … Continue reading

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Travelling light with Travelex

In a decision ( 3 to 2) highlighting the unique position of ‘money’ in the Goods and Services Tax Act the High Court has delivered an interesting outcome – Travelex Ltd v Federal Commissioner of Taxation . The case was concerned with the question whether exchange of foreign currency on the departure side of the Customs barrier at the Sydney International Airport is GST-free under section 38-190(1) of the Act. If the supply of services to travellers at the airport … Continue reading

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Taxing dividend- hike certain to hurt stock values

Dividend taxation has always been fraught with the spectre of double taxation, except when franking credits or imputation are provided to ease the tax burden on the individual investor. The debate is revving up in the U.S with the prospect of a steep jump in dividend taxation in 2011 from 15 to 39.6 percent unless the Congress intervenes and allows the current rate of 15 percent to continue. In the US income from companies is subjected to tax at two … Continue reading

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Quote for the day

There’s no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting.

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The ‘ifs’ of an uncertain surplus

In the beginning there was only one economist and no economic theories. Then it got crowded and turned murky and muddy. Two of his first pupils were expelled and his son ended up teaching the class. Economists got politicised, polarised and pulverised by non-economists. Then came the quants and the Wall Street “Gekkos” with algorithms ticking in their back pockets. The rest is history – the GFC (Global Financial Conundrum). Will the current turmoil end in the short term or … Continue reading

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