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R_P

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Posted: Sep 19, 2021 - 4:05pm

How Accounting Giants Craft Favorable Tax Rules From Inside Government
Lawyers from top accounting firms do brief stints in the Treasury Department, with the expectation of big raises when they return.
For six years, Audrey Ellis and Adam Feuerstein worked together at PwC, the giant accounting firm, helping the world’s biggest companies avoid taxes.

In mid-2018, one of Mr. Feuerstein’s clients, an influential association of real estate companies, was trying to persuade government officials that its members should qualify for a new federal tax break. Mr. Feuerstein knew just the person to turn to for help. Ms. Ellis had recently joined the Treasury Department, and she was drafting the rules for this very deduction.

That summer, Ms. Ellis met with Mr. Feuerstein and his client’s lobbyists. The next week, the Treasury granted their wish — a decision potentially worth billions of dollars to PwC’s clients.

About a year later, Ms. Ellis returned to PwC, where she was immediately promoted to partner. She and Mr. Feuerstein now work together advising large companies on how to exploit wrinkles in the tax regulations that Ms. Ellis helped write.

Ms. Ellis’s case — detailed in public records and by people with direct knowledge of her work at the Treasury and at PwC — is no outlier. (...)

westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 2:54pm

 rgio wrote:

Ouch.  I really need to brush-up my German.


Yeah.....   Thankfully Vivaldi has a built-in translator.

Besides.....  The damn Germans speak English better than many English speakers here and there around the world.  How is a hapless English speaker going to learn German?


rgio

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Location: West Jersey
Gender: Male


Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 2:11pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:
rough translation:
on top of this, VAT is charged on all fuels. It is levied on the cost price of the goods and on the energy tax. As a result, roughly 64% of the price paid for gasoline goes to the state as tax. 

Ouch.  I really need to brush-up my German.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 1:49pm

 rgio wrote:

No..the VAT tax is only on the fuel (like the other taxes).  No tax on tax.



No, that's not right. The listed price of gasoline includes petrochemicals tax. When you go to pay, they'll charge VAT on the gross price (i.e. cost price plus petrochemicals tax).

here's a link (in German)

"Außerdem wird auf alle Energieträger die Mehrwertsteuer fällig. Sie wird auf den Warenpreis sowie die Energiesteuer erhoben. Insgesamt landen damit beim Benzin ca. 64 Prozent der Tankrechnung als Steuern beim Staat."

rough translation:
on top of this, VAT is charged on all fuels. It is levied on the cost price of the goods and on the energy tax. As a result, roughly 64% of the price paid for gasoline goes to the state as tax. 
NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 1:47pm

 westslope wrote:

danke schön

Just be glad that guys like me are not in charge.  There would be a full VAT charge on food, books, etc.  (Then there would also be a generous negative income tax/guaranteed income but that is for another discussion.)

Let me get this right.   The sales tax taxes the excise tax on fuel?   Not sure I would do that.  But then Germany shows commitment to providing incentives for its citizens to USE LESS.

Contrast that to North America where the dominant approach appears to be demonize supply and distribution while complaining of high fuel costs.

Funny thing about activists.  Some go on and on about taxing the rich.  But instead of clamouring for higher green/carbon/excise taxes on fuel and other demand-reducing steps, they want to shut down supply and distribution (pipelines).   That will make many oil companies richer as well as reduce public funds available for regular services, helping low-income and poor people, subsidizing greenfield energy projects, etc.



We are in pretty broad agreement on these points. I too see great social benefits from a basic guaranteed income, particularly for people already on a benefit, low income households, artisans, etc. 
And yes, sadly a lot of activism is counterproductive. If you are going to use tax as a steering element, then at least target stuff with high opportunity costs that would otherwise go scott free.. like taking fish from the sea, like polluting the environment for future generations, etc. 

Generally, there is little political support for reducing taxes here. Only one party actively advocates it, the FDP (which btw is doing well as Merkel's party implodes from her absence, leaving a political vacuum to fill).
rgio

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 1:47pm

 westslope wrote:
Let me get this right.   The sales tax taxes the excise tax on fuel?   Not sure I would do that.  But then Germany shows commitment to providing incentives for its citizens to USE LESS.


No..the VAT tax is only on the fuel (like the other taxes).  No tax on tax.

westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 1:40pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:


  Happily.
Sales tax of 19% on all non-food commodities (excluding books and education certain other items). Food items and books have a sales tax of 7%.
Gasoline tax of 65.45 euro-cents a litre (= US$ 2.91 a gallon if I used the converter correctly), PLUS sales tax of 19% on the gross total of gasoline + gasoline tax.


danke schön

Just be glad that guys like me are not in charge.  There would be a full VAT charge on food, books, etc.  (Then there would also be a generous negative income tax/guaranteed income but that is for another discussion.)

Let me get this right.   The sales tax taxes the excise tax on fuel?   Not sure I would do that.  But then Germany shows commitment to providing incentives for its citizens to USE LESS.

Contrast that to North America where the dominant approach appears to be demonize supply and distribution while complaining of high fuel costs.

Funny thing about activists.  Some go on and on about taxing the rich.  But instead of clamouring for higher green/carbon/excise taxes on fuel and other demand-reducing steps, they want to shut down supply and distribution (pipelines).   That will make many oil companies richer as well as reduce public funds available for regular services, helping low-income and poor people, subsidizing greenfield energy projects, etc.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 1:37pm

of course the parity in per capita tax revenue fails to consider the disparity in GDP.

German GDP:  just over US$ 40k per capita
US GDP: just over US$ 60k per capita

So basically a person in the States earns half as much again as a person in Germany but pays the same in tax.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 1:16pm

 westslope wrote:

Thanks.  Now shock us and report the sales taxes and fuel taxes that Germans must pay.    




  Happily.
Sales tax of 19% on all non-food commodities (excluding books and education certain other items). Food items and books have a sales tax of 7%.
Gasoline tax of 65.45 euro-cents a litre (= US$ 2.91 a gallon if I used the converter correctly), PLUS sales tax of 19% on the gross total of gasoline + gasoline tax.

EDIT

not sure if this is a customary metric but the various arms of German government (federal government, state government, municipal authorities) collected EUR 739.7 billion in 2020 or 
€ 8,910 per capita (= US$ 10,513 per capita). 

Appears US government revenue is comparable at US$ 10,420 per capita.

US breakdown:
https://www.thebalance.com/cur...

German breakdown (from 2015)

westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 12:43pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:


good question, had to research it. 
Yes from 1958 to 1989 the tax rate for the top income bracket was set at 53%.

Edit: actually 53% applied through to 1999, according to Wikipedia. It was scaled back in the new millennium to 42% and raised again to 45% in 2007.



Thanks.  Now shock us and report the sales taxes and fuel taxes that Germans must pay.    

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 9:55am

 westslope wrote:

Thanks.  Did the German income tax system once upon a time have marginal rates in excess of 50%?  

If Germany is like other western countries, marginal income tax rate schedules have flattened over the decades.

Is there any significant call for flatter income tax rates in Germany these days?  

I always find it curious how northern European voters tend to cope with and support higher income tax rates than US voters.



good question, had to research it. 
Yes from 1958 to 1989 the tax rate for the top income bracket was set at 53%.

Edit: actually 53% applied through to 1999, according to Wikipedia. It was scaled back in the new millennium to 42% and raised again to 45% in 2007.


westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 9:41am

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:


That's basically the German system:
........




Thanks.  Did the German income tax system once upon a time have marginal rates in excess of 50%?  

If Germany is like other western countries, marginal income tax rate schedules have flattened over the decades.

Is there any significant call for flatter income tax rates in Germany these days?  

I always find it curious how northern European voters tend to cope with and support higher income tax rates than US voters.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 9:14am

 islander wrote:

I'd exempt the first 15K in income.  20% tax rate on income 15K-100K, 50% tax rate on everything else.  This needs tweaking because I don't know enough to see if that covers the budget. But a simpler rate, where people have the largest portion of the benefit pay the largest portion of the burden. Everybody pays something. Limit exemptions and ways to make the system gameable. 


That's basically the German system:
Zone I 
0 to 9,744 tax free 

Zone II
9,744 to 14,753
progressive tax starting at 14% tax on all taxable income in excess of 9,744 

Zone III
14,754 to 57,918
progressive tax starting at 24% on all taxable income in excess of 14,753

Zone IV
57,919 to 274,612
tax rate of 42% on all taxable income in excess of 9,136

Zone V
tax rate of 45% on taxable income in excess of 17,375




islander

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 8:41am

 rgio wrote:

Their share...defined as ? 

The top 1% currently pays about 40% of the cost of running the place.  The bottom 90% pay about 28% of the costs of running the country. 

What's your proposal?



This isn't the right metric either. Top 1% is under 1 Million a year. That's big, but it fails to reflect the stratification and gigantic steps to the top 0.01%, and the top 0.001%. People rarely if ever make enough extra to move between those strata. And those guys in the top 0.001% are behind the Gates/Buffet/Musk/Bezos/Ellison/Walmart crew by BILLIONS of dollars. 

So back to your question. Yes, they pay more, but they get exponentially more benefit. By your numbers, they are paying ~30% more of the burden. But they have captured 95% of the income increases over the past decade.  Often their effective tax rates is lower than people in the lower tiers. 

I'd exempt the first 15K in income.  20% tax rate on income 15K-100K, 50% tax rate on everything else.  This needs tweaking because I don't know enough to see if that covers the budget. But a simpler rate, where people have the largest portion of the benefit pay the largest portion of the burden. Everybody pays something. Limit exemptions and ways to make the system gameable. 
rgio

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Posted: Sep 16, 2021 - 8:19am

 Red_Dragon wrote:


I'd happily pay more if it got us a more European civilization. Also, the 1% needs to pay their share.

Their share...defined as ?? 

The top 1% currently pays about 40% of the cost of running the place.  The bottom 90% pay about 28% of the costs of running the country. 

What's your proposal?

Red_Dragon

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Posted: Sep 15, 2021 - 1:58pm

 black321 wrote:

Do we need another tax cut?
We do have budget issues, 
and did pay trillions of $ the last 18 months.
Are WE (not them, over there, but we/us) going to pay for it?


I'd happily pay more if it got us a more European civilization. Also, the 1% needs to pay their share.
black321

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Location: An earth without maps
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Posted: Sep 15, 2021 - 1:16pm

 Red_Dragon wrote:
Do we need another tax cut?
We do have budget issues, 
and did pay trillions of $ the last 18 months.
Are WE (not them, over there, but we/us) going to pay for it?
westslope

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Location: BC sage brush steppe


Posted: Sep 15, 2021 - 7:52am

This morning's depressing thoughts....

Does everybody here realize how 'exceptional' the current American tax system is compared to let's say northern Europe?  Or how much better the socio-economic outcomes are in northern Europe?  

.... or understand the link between fiscal policy and inflation or the link between fiscal policy and national security?   
Red_Dragon

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Posted: Sep 14, 2021 - 6:43pm

Democrats' tax plan would cut bills for most Americans -congressional estimate
kcar

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Posted: Aug 4, 2021 - 6:30pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

So in early June, my pickup fan belt got shredded. It was new and so was the jockey wheel so I don't know what the deal was there, but the net result was me being broken down on the side of the road (exactly why you replace belts before they go bad, right?). I called the insurance and told them to call me a tow truck and they did so while I waited for that process to play out, a highway patrol cruiser pulled up to see if I was carrying 150 million dollars worth of fentanyl and/or if I needed help. I told them a tow truck had been called and bid them good day. Before he got back in his veekle, he said "by the way, your tags are expired." I looked down and the sticker said 7 2020 and it was only June so my brain said "ha ha ha idiot" thinking he was confused on the month but then I thought Ohhhh this is 2021 and I chuckled and said "ah, I must've told my son to put the stickers on and it never got done. So when I got home I dug around the pile of junk around the computer but never did find the stickers. But once I got back from vacation I went to the courthouse to pay for the new tags. Well she looked me up and said "this hasn't been registered since 2020" and I said "oh, do tell!" and she looked at it and me and said "if you pay now it'll be $160 for the last two weeks of July, then those stickers will be expired and you'll have to buy new stickers in August." I said can I just pay for the next year now? and she said no so I stood there for a minute and she finally said "just come back in August and pay for new stickers." I still wasn't tracking because I figured at that point I would have to pay $320 so what's the point? but I only have one blank check in my wallet because I never write checks so if I write a check now I will have to remember to get  a blank check again next week and that's probably why I forgot to pay last summer, because the courthouse will take a credit card but they penalize you like 5% or something so write a check, chief! So I shrugged and went home. So today I remembered to go to the courthouse and she looked it up and said "It looks like you didn't register this veekle in 2020" and I said "nope," with a sheepish chuckle and she does all her paperwork and number crunching etc. and tells me, "that'll be $160." Here I was all prepared to say the truck had been in the shop and not driven for over a year but she just said $160 so I wrote a check for $160 and said goodbye and she said "see you next year," and I said "maybe" and she said "maybe" and we both chuckled.



"The more you drive, the less intelligent you are."

Just don't ever say "plate a shrimp" to Scott. 


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