Tax Deadline Approaches: Uncompetitive tax regimes make my blood boil as they extract more than a pound of flesh!

By | May 30, 2007

Yes, even in Taiwan we all have to pay Taxes, and even here Death is certain, too! Just to dispel any rumours. However, tax deadline is much later than either the UK or the US. And that day is tomorrow, May 31st! F32in2

So, after spending hours fighting with the paperwork (actually just two or three!) and plugging the data into our ‘free’ (did I say, free!) software, provided by the Republic of China National Tax Administration (Thanks, guys! Good job!)! No Quicken or Intuit here! … we were able to complete this year’s tax paperwork.

We printed it off, and promptly forgot to go to the Post Office! So that’s what I’ll be doing first thing tomorrow! I don’t usually mention taxes on this blog for several reasons: the most important of which is that taxes are SO different from country to country – and so much lighter a part of the burden for individuals in some jurisdictions than others.

Suffice it to say, Western countries, like the UK or Germany have tax rates that are CRUSHINGLY high for most people: income taxes, house taxes, car taxes (gas, licensing, etc.), VAT (17.5% in the UK), taxes for this, taxes for that, taxes for the next, … When other countries (like Hong Kong, and Japan…) adopt UNCOMPETITIVE tax regimes (EU Tax commissioners words, not mine), I just want to shout, “Yes! That’s right!” But it’s not these NIC countries that are being UNCOMPETITIVE, it’s YOU, it’s YOU OLD EUROPEAN countries that want high taxes, to line your treasuries’ pockets, not your citizens’ pockets. Yes, you might create social benefits with the monies, but then yet again, you might spend it on creating and maintaining beaurocracies! Why not let your citizens decide what to do with THEIR money!?

Now, I know and freely admit that I’m not an expert on taxation issues; nor do I care about European taxes that much! But when tax authorities that operate under profligate governments who want to create little fiefdoms at the expense of individuals cry that other countries with low-tax regimes are UNCOMPETITIVE, it is a signal that things are not right.

Let’s put this on an individual level: Two neighbors live in an average priced housing area with similar incomes and similar general expenses. One of the neighbors, however, spends more on gardening, house renovation, has more children, goes on more expensive holidays, purchases more food; while the other seeks to rein in non-essential spending, preferring simpler decorations, … Do you think it makes sense the first neighbor goes around shouting: “Neighbor, you’re being uncompetitive! You need to spend more! Spend more like me! Then we can be good neighbors!”

Do you think you’re government is profligate or thrifty? Is your government a good neighbor or a bad neighbor? Does your government encourage fiscal responsibility or fiscal stupidity? Comments, please! Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I can weigh in on what tax competition means, too!

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This posting is an entirely personal and unresearched opinion on TAX issues. I do not pretend to KNOW anything about taxes or principles of taxation, except as much as I need to to file my own taxes. As with any financial issues, you need to seek validated and professional advice from qualified and authorized sources!

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