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Closing the thousands of loopholes that riddle the US tax code is a rare area of bipartisan agreement in Congress. So why is it so hard to end them? Shutterstock

Tax loopholes draw bi-party fire but don’t expect them to vanish

The thousands of tax loopholes that litter the corporate tax code in the United States are frequent targets of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Outgoing Republican Senator Tom Coburn released…
In the dark? Ignoring revenue has stymied Australia’s budget debate. Shutterstock

Without revenue, Australia can only have half a budget debate

The missing element in this week’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook, and more broadly, in current government policy, stares Australians in the face. Revenue needs to be increased. Increasing taxes…
To prevent future pain, the government can’t put off tough decisions on tax. Lukas Coch/AAP

Why it’s time to hike the GST and levy an inheritance tax

The government’s recent budget outlook (MYEFO) confirmed that the Australian government budget is rotten at the core. The government is hopelessly living beyond its means, with expenditure greater than…
The Financial System Inquiry says the purpose of superannuation is to provide a retirement income that can substitute or supplement the age pension. Lukas Coch/AAP

Murray pushes for fewer super tax breaks but change is unlikely

David Murray’s Financial System Inquiry may call for the removal of superannuation tax breaks but the government’s tax discussion paper, due to be released next week, is unlikely to advocate similar changes…
Australia’s children and grandchildren will not enjoy the fruits of the country’s prosperity as much as their parents. Mate Marschalko/Flickr

Young Australians set to pay for government policy mistakes

Having enjoyed continuously increasing prosperity since the Second World War, Australians have come to expect that each generation will live a better life than the last. But this steady progress may be…
Talk of a tax crackdown has Joe Hockey smiling. Lukas Coch/AAP

Australia eyes missing billions with very own ‘Google tax’

Joe Hockey has hinted he may introduce a “Google tax” as a new weapon to tackle profit shifting by multinational enterprises. The Treasurer’s suggestion is not only political as a counter to aggressive…
Forced to defend the broken promises embedded in its budget, the government has left people worried about hidden post-election agendas. Penny Bradfield/AAP

Australia’s trust emergency will stymie year of reform

Political and business leaders are touting the next 12 months as a make-or-break year for the country’s reform agenda - and Australia’s economy. A number of big changes will be proposed and debated. These…
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was re-elected despite a tight fight over his tax cuts and resulting deficit, which were revealed to be worse than expected just days after the election. Reuters

Brownback’s Kansas tax experiment may prove death knell for corporate reform

Republican gains in this month’s election, which handed the GOP united control of Congress for the first time since 2006, have lifted hopes that the government can pass corporate tax reform next year…
Leaked documents reveal how multinational companies use PwC in Luxembourg to shift profits and avoid tax. Nicolas Bouvy/AAP

Luxembourg leaks: how harmful tax competition leads to profit shifting

Hundreds of advance tax agreements between Luxembourg and more than 300 taxpayers were leaked and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists last week. The taxpayers involved…
The facts about mining revenues and taxation in Australia aren’t as clear as they should be under global transparency benchmarks. AAP/Rebecca Le May

Why isn’t Australia signing up to mining revenue transparency?

It’s a far-from-perfect instrument of global governance. But as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) coalition celebrates its 12th birthday, it can point to steadily increasing membership…
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 is 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 Barack Obama to the man on the street expressing a view as their usage has surged. Unfortunately, many of…
We’ve all experienced the frustration of waiting for public transport, but would we pay more tax for improvements? Purple Wyrm/Flickr

Six ways to boost funding for better public transport

Although Australia’s tax-to-GDP ratio is low by international standards, no-one wants to discuss how we might pay for the improvements needed to public transport, and even less the need for taxation to…
Finance minister, Michael Noonan, made bold predictions for the Irish economy. Niall Carson/PA Wire

There’s more to Ireland than a ‘double Irish’ tax loophole

Ireland is to phase out its controversial “double Irish” tax scheme. It follows international criticism and the European Union’s investigation into the legalities of Apple and Ireland’s tax arrangement…
Whichever way you look at it, tax cuts cause losses for all. PA Wire

How Cameron’s tax giveaway will end up costing you more

One of the Conservative Party’s major promises to emerge in its party conference was the promise of tax cuts to reduce the burden of government on hardworking families who do the right thing. Many critics…
The ATO considers Bitcoin property, but rulings in other countries leave room for debate. Pierre Sibileau/Flickr

Bitcoin ruling still doesn’t answer which country has the right to tax

It’s been about five years since bitcoin emerged online, claiming to be the world’s first digital cryptocurrency. Bitcoin functions as a form of digital cash; really, it is a technology, using cryptography…
A cheap or costly drop? You might be surprised to find out how Australian taxes on petrol compare to overseas. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

FactCheck: do Australians pay high petrol taxes?

UPDATED ON TUESDAY 22 JULY: See editor’s note below for details on the updates. In this year’s federal budget, the Abbott government moved to restart automatically increasing the fuel excise in line with…

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