Personal Finance

Defining Your 'Fair Share' of Taxes

The tax dealings of a number of politicians have come under scrutiny, following news of their offshore holdings in the Panama Papers. The leaks have led to the resignation of the Icelandic prime minister – and the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has been criticised for shares he used to have in an offshore fund set up by his late father.

Featured Articles

Sun, Surf, Skiing, and No Taxes

The Panama Papers leak sheds some light on the intricate ways in which the wealthy can exploit secretive offshore tax regimes. As well as charging minimal or no tax to residents and non-residents, the main characteristics of tax havens are their lack of transparency and effective information exchange.

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Taxing Africa's Wealthy is not an Easy Propostion

A great deal of attention has been paid to the obstacles African governments face in effectively taxing the profits of transnational corporations. African governments are frequently urged to widen their tax bases by reducing tax incentives for foreign investors. But what about Africa’s rich? Some Africans are very rich, and in many cases, they are not paying their fair share of taxes.

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High Anxiety: Financial Security is Slipping Away

The American Dream that has existed in this country for over 50 years is on life support. For some Americans, it may already be dead.  While recent consumer confidence surveys indicate that Americans seem somewhat optimistic about the overall economy, most polls and studies show that we are anxious about our own economic futures.

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Barclays Pulls the Ripcord in Africa

Barclays has announced it is to withdraw from Africa. It will gradually reduce its 62% stake in Barclays Africa Group over the next two to three years – and, naturally, this raises questions about the prospects for banking in Africa, where Barclays has had a presence since 1925.

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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

HSBC’s decision to keep its headquarters in London is good news for the British government. An exit would have been seen as a vote of no confidence by one of the world’s major financial institutions. However, it is even better news for the British economy.

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Economic Modelling Your Tax Burden

The current debate on tax reform in Australia is strong on rhetoric but largely devoid of hard evidence. Also missing are clear proposals from the government that can be assessed on their respective merits.  The purported benefits of reform centre on worthy outcomes such as a larger economy, reduced government deficits, more stable revenue sources, less complexity and a fairer system.

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Apparently, Taxing a Company's Sales is a Bad Idea

In the midst of the row about Google’s low tax settlement, former chancellor Lord Lawson came up with a radical proposal. In an era where multinationals can artificially shift profits around the world, he said that taxing those profits has “had its day”, and corporation tax should instead be greatly reduced and “bolstered” by a tax on companies' sales – the total amount of money that a business receives from selling goods or services to its customers.

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The (Tax Inversion) Law of the Land

Globalisation – and the global economic crisis – have contributed to the erosion of national tax bases and in recent years some of the biggest multinationals, among them Apple, Vodafone, Amazon, Google, Starbucks and Microsoft, have been scrutinised for their aggressive tax planning practices.

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Another 'Bad Bank', this Time in Italy

Reports indicating that Italy is close to establishing a bad bank prompted one wag to ask if Italy does not already have enough.  The country may be better served by setting up a good bank.  The sharp sell-off in shares of Italian banks this year is an important driver of G7-leading 12.4% slide in the local bourse this year.

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The Ted Cruz Tax Plan: Realistic Feat or Campaign Hot Air?

Presidential primary season is ebb and flow, and no one knows for sure who the Republican nominee will be, but it is becoming all too apparent of who stands the best chance: Ted Cruz, Donald Trump or Marco Rubio. Rubio represents the establishment wing of the Republican Party, while Cruz and Trump compete for the grassroots conservative crowd that is tired of politics as usual.

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Here, Let Me Help You Lose that Money

In a world where financial experts are frequently proven badly wrong, it is hardly surprising that many people take charge of saving for their retirements themselves. The realities of the financial world do not make this easy, though. In addition, neither does the peculiar psychology of investing – as research in which I have been involved helps to show.

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After the Flood, Insuring the Insured

The Environment Agency still had 25 “red” flood warnings and 140 “yellow” flood alerts in force across the UK on Monday. This comes as the Association of British Insurers estimated that flood damage this winter would have cost the industry about £1.3 billion. It has been a devastating time for many, and government spending on flood defences has come in for intense scrutiny. Close attention is also needed of the industry’s plan to insure the most at-risk homes.

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