Finance, Money, Tax Fairness

Repealing estate tax is very bad idea

Repealing the Estate Tax will definitely benefit Trump. Repealing the Estate Tax is a very bad idea. Repealing the estate tax could save Donald Trump’s family more than one billion dollars.1

People who inherit large sums of money are not special. They are just very lucky. They have won the cosmic birth lottery. They are just lucky to be born to a very wealthy family. When they inherit hundreds of millions of dollars, they have done nothing to deserve it.

When an American citizen wins the lottery (except in Puerto Rico), they must pay taxes.

If you win the lottery, you have to pay taxes. Children of very wealthy people should also pay taxes on their inheritances.

Notes:

  1. Forbes. Why repealing the estate tax could save Donald Trump’s family more than $1 billion.

 

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Finance, Money, Tax Fairness

Trump’s tax plan is a very bad idea

Trump’s tax plan is very bad idea.

According to article by CNBC:

Economists and tax experts are overwhelmingly skeptical that the bills in the House and Senate can generate meaningful job growth and economic expansion. Many view the legislation not as a product of genuine deliberation, but as a transfer of wealth to corporations and affluent individuals

By 2027, people making $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million or more would get a $5.8 billion cut, according to the Joint Committee and the Congressional Budget Office.

In a recent University of Chicago survey of 38 prominent economists across the ideological spectrum, only one said the proposed tax cuts would yield substantial economic growth.

With a potentially far-reaching dimension, elements in both the House and Senate bills could constrain the ability of states and local governments to levy their own taxes, pressuring them to limit spending on health care, education, public transportation and social services.

But recent history suggests that when corporations get tax relief, they find abundant uses for money that do not involve paying higher wages. They give dividends to shareholders and stock options to executives. They stash earnings in tax havens.

In 2004, Congress invited American corporations to bring home overseas earnings at a sharply reduced rate, pitching it as a means of bolstering investment. But the corporations spent as much as 90 percent of their windfall buying back their shares, according to Bureau of Economic Analysis research.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Environment, Tax Fairness

Mr. Trudeau, please end fossil fuel subsidies.

Right now, Canada gives big oil $3.3 billion in handouts to fossil fuel companies every single year. To put that in perspective, that’s enough money to hire over ten thousand new teachers, four thousand new doctors, and still have enough money left over to end the water crisis on First Nations reserves.1

Mr Trudeau, stop fossil fuel subsidies now! I don’t want my tax dollars contributing to climate change. You talked the talk at the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. You now need to walk the walk

Click here to go to Leadnow page and sign petition.

Notes:

  1.  Leadnow. No more handouts!
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Tax Fairness, Tax Havens

Trudeau not serious about cracking down on tax havens!

After the Panama Papers were published,  this is what Trudeau said:

“One of the things that we’ve seen around the world, and not just with the Panama Papers, but with the various concerns about the one per cent or the 0.1 per cent (of the wealthiest) not paying their fair share, is that there is an increasing desire for transparency and accountability and making sure that everyone is participating to a fair degree.”

The Trudeau government has committed $90 million a year to the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) to go after tax havens. That is a good first step.

But there are important things Trudeau needs to do additionally which he is not doing.

First of all, a tax gap study needs to be done to measure how much money is not being paid by individuals and corporations hiding money in tax havens.

Britain measures the tax gap. The U.K. has recovered more than $3.5 billion since 2010. Canada has handed out fines totaling $13.4 million since 2010. That is not a typo. That’s billion in the case of Britain and million in the Canadian case.

Between 2010 and 2015, 662 people in Canada were convicted for tax evasion or tax fraud overall, but only 49 had “money and other assets located offshore,” according to documents provided to the Toronto Star.

Because court records are public information, the Star requested the names of the convicted offshore tax evaders through Access to Information legislation. The documents released by the CRA, show 31 separate convictions for tax evasion with an “offshore component.”

Of the 31 cases revealed to the Star, the CRA provided names to just 13 cases. The rest of the case names and all of the case numbers were redacted, making it impossible to determine the identity of the unnamed offshore tax cheats.

Mr. Trudeau, why are you withholding information from the Canadian public. The public has the right to know the identities of those convicted of tax fraud. Court records are public information. Please release all information without redacting the case names. Also release information for all 49 cases.

Read the Toronto Star article for details about one of these “offshore component” cases.

Mr. Trudeau, when are you going to do an estimate of the tax gap due to the illegal abuse of tax havens? Canadians have a right to know. Give us a definite timeline when we can expect to see this estimate. There is an estimated $8 billion to be recovered. Why is this not a priority with your government.

Second, the Trudeau government has to prosecute KPMG for their role in facilitating tax evasion in the Isle of Man scheme.  Court records indicate that at least 26 clients parked more than $130 million offshore in the KPMG scheme. The scheme involved gifting funds to and from shell companies in the Isle of Man, which sits between England and Ireland. You can read the details of one particular case involving Peter Cooper and his two adult sons in this CBC article

It is clearly a case where it could lead to a criminal investigation, because obviously there were things that were done here that were not in line with reality,” Laval University tax professor Andre Lareau told CBC News during a trip to the Isle of Man this summer.

In civil court documents, CRA alleges that KPMG, as well as some of its wealthy clients, knowingly participated in a “grossly negligent” tax avoidance scheme that deliberately deprived the federal treasury of millions in unpaid taxes.

The tax planning product “is a sham and was intended to deceive the minister,” the CRA court filings allege.

Michael Hamersley, a former KPMG lawyer turned whistleblower in the U.S., also reviewed the documents filed in court in Canada.

His testimony helped the Internal Revenue Service convict three KPMG U.S. executives in a different tax shelter scheme in the mid-2000s. In that case, KPMG agreed to pay a fine of nearly half a billion dollars.

Hamersley said, “It’s exactly the type of behaviour that I saw in the U.S. at the time.”

“When your transaction and the tax results are dependent upon hiding the true facts, you start to cross into potential criminal liability,” Hamersley told CBC News.

Watch the CBC documentary about the Isle of Man scandal.

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