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Analysis and Comment (17)

A bitter inversion: AbbVie nixed its US$54 billion acquisition of Irish drug maker Shire after the US Treasury eroded the benefits of doing a corporate inversion. Reuters

Need to access cash driving surge of corporate inversions, not the high US tax rate

Corporate inversions have been front page news in the US for months with everyone from President Barrack Obama to the man on the street expressing a view as their usage has surged. Unfortunately, many…
After a promising start to an ambitious economic turn-around program, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will have more difficulty with tax changes scheduled to come in over the next few years. EPA/Harish Tyagi

Japanese tax hikes loom large for Abenomics

Another record trade deficit for Japan is raising doubts about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” strategy for economic revival. The new figures follow poor manufacturing sentiment numbers earlier…
Tax protests outside a Starbucks in London. But do people really care enough to make a difference? Steve Parsons/PA

Consumers won’t boycott Apple or Google over tax … yet

The tax arrangements of major brands such as Google, Apple and Amazon have prompted a fierce debate over questions of organisational ethics, social justice and international co-operation. But as a consumer…
Lame duck, dying swan - headline writers have had fun with the treasurer’s sixth budget, but the fact is this budget will be remembered for its fiscal irresponsibility. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Swan’s budget is a lame effort from a dying government

It has been pretty difficult to get too excited about the latest budget – it is a lame Swan effort from a dying government. It will mostly be remembered as a monument to fiscal irresponsibility. The budget…
This year’s federal budget failed to provide any hint of meaningful tax reform for businesses and individuals. Image from www.shutterstock.com

A budget for citizens — but where is the tax reform vision?

Budget night has come and gone again. For those sad folks (I count myself among them) who follow tax and fiscal policy obsessively, it’s the most glamorous night of the year. But the budget does matter…
The mining tax is fraught with significant design issues. But can it be fixed? AAP

Reforming the mining tax: is it possible?

The Commonwealth government’s mining tax, the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT), has been a continuing source of controversy. It is easy to point to its significant problems, but a considerable challenge…
The case for significant, productivity-enhancing tax reform has been made by the Henry Review - but the challenge will be for meaningful reform not to swallowed by pre-election noise. AAP

Chance for meaningful tax reform recedes in looming election hue and cry

Reform of Australia’s taxation system has to be high on the agenda to raise national productivity, for greater simplicity, and to improve equity. However, because of the magnitude of the challenges to…
Google’s tax-minimisation strategy is causing problems for the Australian Taxation Office. AAP

Digital disruption is eroding Australia’s tax base

It might well have been a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day, but on the very day I had an article in The Conversation called Giant profits, tiny tax bills: time to close loopholes on corporate…
Does Australia’s company tax rate place a significant impost on local businesses? shutterstock

Australia’s company tax ‘burden’ is just a myth

Treasurer Swan could reduce the headline corporate tax rate from its current 30% rate to just over 15%, with virtually no consequences for government tax revenue with one simple piece of legislation: simply…
Despite the lack of any substantial reform, last week was quite a big week for Australia’s tax system.

Company tax and the limits of politics

Last week was quite a big week in tax, although when the dust had settled it was not clear what — if anything — had really happened. First, the Treasurer announced in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook…
The Business Tax Working Group failed to reach a consensus on how to fund a lower corporate tax rate. Image from www.shutterstock.com

A lost opportunity for business tax reform

The release by the Business Tax Working Group of the Draft Final Report represents a lost opportunity for business tax reform. The Group dumped its original broader base, lower rate, revenue neutral approach…
Tax reform or trickery? Treasurer Wayne Swan’s plan for businesses to pay a monthly tax bill instead of a quarterly one has been met with acrimony from the business community. AAP

Timing is everything: making sense of Swan’s corporate tax shake-up

One of the more contentious issues in the 2012-13 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) is a tax-timing change. Corporate income tax will be paid monthly instead of quarterly for very large corporations…
There are economy-wide gains to be made from lowering the corporate tax rate, but businesses will need to make concessions of their own. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Subsidies are standing in the way of corporate tax reform

Yesterday, the government’s business tax working group released its discussion paper on possibilities for tax reform. The paper makes a case for a broader base and lower tax rate (the corporate tax is…

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