Personal Finance

Due Process in Imposing Taxation, Important Today, Began 800 Years Ago

If you ask anyone what the Magna Carta is all about, you might be told that it is some sort of proto-human rights or constitutional document. This largely results from the fame and after-life of two particular clauses (39 and 40) – and the way the document has been interpreted and used over time. Such principles, though, played no part in its creation in 1215. Then, it was a kind of peace treaty between King John and the barons, and in many ways a financial peace treaty at that.

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Tax Evasion Exposes a Broken System

There has been an international outcry over the leaked HSBC files, which provide evidence that the bank’s Swiss arm helped wealthy clients put millions of dollars’ worth of assets out of the reach of the tax authorities. Naturally, politicians from all parties have responded by committing to holding anyone found guilty of tax evasion accountable for their actions. 

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A Job-Killing Corporate Accounting Change?

A modest change in an accounting rule is normally too much inside baseball to attract notice. But a proposal by the institutions that set accounting standards for publicly traded companies is prompting criticism from Congress and corporate America, backed by estimates that the change could kill millions of US jobs. 

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Deconstructing The Psychology Of The Nigerian Tax Regime

In Nigeria, as well as around the world, a majority of taxpayers view tax not as a contractual contribution to government expense, but as an involuntary tribute to be paid to avoid prosecution and penalty. Merely transcribing taxes from economic textbooks into local law will not work; tax regimes have to be developed from within the society, and targeted at the peculiar needs of the government. Tax policies have to be written by the people – and for the people. Only then would a sense of participation and expectation be truly generated, and the tax system manifestly effective.

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Calling The Bluff On The Visa & MasterCard Antitrust Settlement

What would have been the largest class-action lawsuit in US history was set to go to trial this month. The defendants, Visa and MasterCard, were being sued by practically every merchant in America for alleged fee-fixing. Some estimates pegged the damages to be in the tens of billions. Instead, the defendants may have averted Armageddon with a settlement proposed back in July. But is it just a “stunning giveaway” as Senator Durbin claims?

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What the West Can Learn From Islamic Banking

Across the Middle East and South-East Asia, Islamic financial institutions hold aggregated assets estimated to be worth $50 billion. To some, this cash-rich sector represents a huge opportunity for growth and investment. But perhaps, what Islamic banks can really offer is a set of guiding principles that can enhance financial stability, four years after the crisis. 

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It Is Time For A Flat Tax System In Europe

Over the last two decades, European policy makers have imposed restrictive fiscal policies on member states. They have concentrated on the design of fiscal rules and the structure of budgetary processes but they have never thought of introducing a new tax system able to reduce unemployment and increase investments. Only one tax system could eliminate all the growth-related problems without generating side effects on domestic expenditure: a flat tax system.

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