Thursday, July 31, 2003

Legal Data Legal Research in a Nutshell

Legal Research in a Nutshell Links provides convenient access to all of the more than three hundred URLs mentioned in the book (Legal Research in a Nutshell, 8th ed., 2003), including appendices. Sites are arranged thematically by chapter and page number, and the list will be updated on a regular basis.
· Nutshell [Law viaBespacific]

Accounting Data FASB Statements—Full Text, Summaries, and Status

Now available on Financial Accounting Standards Board website: FASB Statements—Full Text, Summaries, and Status (required Adobe 5.0 or higher).
* The links provided on this site allow you to view the full text of all FASB Statements of Financial Accounting Standards issued since the FASB’s inception in 1973.

· Full Text [viaBespacific ]
Taxing Economies Resources covering the economy

Here are sites worth visiting:'s Economics section · This site, run by Pulitzer-winner Bill Dedman and the Columbia Journalism Review, has an excellent set of links for covering the economy, as part of its "beatby beat" guides Beat Czech out also
A one-stop shop for regional economic data.
Newsengin's free tools: A cost-of-living calculator and a percentage decipherer.
Current Value of Old Money
Among the features Starck likes here: "What is a dollar worth, purchasing power during Revolutionary War and California Gold Rush. All the way at the bottom of the page is the World GDP from One Million B.C. until now."

· One Million B.C. until now [SreeTipsViaPoynter ]
No Hope Dragon Plaguing Deflation, Inflation, Sydneylation

Governor Ian Macfarlane has been reappointed for three years to take on the challenge of rising house prices – the new inflation dragon plaguing first-home buyers in Australia and central banks around the world.
· RBA boss targets home boom [TheAustralian]
Bob Hope Have Tux, Will Travel

Hope had larceny in his soul. As a teen-ager, he was jailed briefly for stealing tennis balls and racquets from a sporting-goods shop, according to Lawrence J. Quirk’s recent biography. “Like most kids today or any day, I had to make my choice,” Hope joked about his criminal record in a monologue for the Boys’ Club, in 1967. “Was I going to go out and get a job and earn a living, or was I going to spend the rest of my life stealing? I decided to forget the job and stay with show business.” To Hope, who referred to comedy as a “scam,” laughter was another way of getting away with something. When he first began making good money on Rudy Vallee’s “Fleischmann Yeast Hour,” in 1930, Hope recalled, “I used to get the money and run around the corner and count it. . . . Like I was stealing it. And with my act I think mostly of theft.”
· An art of Non-friction: It’s no coincidence that Bob Hope’s name consists of two verbs [NuYorker(sic) ]
Estimating the causal effect of income on health: evidence from post reunification East Germany

In this paper the authors investigate if there was a causal effect of changes in current and 'permanent' income on the health of East Germans in the years following reunification. Reunification was completely unanticipated and therefore can be seen as providing some exogenous variation, which resulted in a substantial increase in average household incomes for East Germans.
· East Germans [Centre for Economic Policy Research, Australian National University (PDF file)]
How Audits Will Change

In How Audits Must Change Kris Frieswick of CFO Magazine describes how an identity crisis in the accounting profession will almost certainly lead to an increased emphasis on fraud detection in audits:
Today, auditors are fighting a battle on two fronts. On one, they must defend their battered integrity — their very stock in trade. On the other, they are challenged to explain why they should not be expected to find accounting fraud — although they have long maintained that they can't.
They are faltering on both fronts.

· Integrity [Via Corplawblog]
· Tax Collectors [Auditors ]

The individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) operates parallel to the regular income tax, imposing a different income definition, allowable deductions, and rate structure. This article examines how a tax that was originally aimed at 155 taxpayers could grow under current law to target 33 million.
· From 155 to 33 million [Courtersy ofTaxingBlog]

Wednesday, July 30, 2003


John Howard has skewed the tax system - and it hits poorer women the hardest, writes Ross Gittins.
Beware of Greeks bearing gifts and politicians promising to widen your options. Whether consciously or otherwise, they may be offering to enslave you. If I were a mother I'd be particularly on my guard.

· Mothers of all taxes [SMH ]
· Free Speech: tax-free status of charities [SMH]
Is Australia's Racism Killing The Arts?

Australia has swung to the right politically in recent years, and some observers believe that the increased hostility to foreigners and aboriginals is having a terrible effect on the nation's artistic diversity. "The socially-conservative mood, say some arts groups, is also hampering audience willingness to step out of their cultural comfort zones. In turn, this development may be driving commercially safer arts patronage."
· Zones [Age ]
Tax online/Debate

The graph helps to put the task of moving Australia completely away from income and company tax into perspective. If you look at the bar for Australia, we pay 9% of GDP via sales tax and a combined total of 19% of GDP in income and company tax. So, this implies a GST at a rate three times what it is at the moment. This would need to be 30%. If we assume that someone on $20,000 per year spends all of their after tax income, then this would involve an increase in the GST that they pay from $1,572 p.a. to $4,718, or an additional $3,145.45 p.a. based on an after-tax income of $17,300 p.a. At the moment they pay $2,700 income tax p.a., so they would be $445 p.a. worse off.
· Flat World [Tropppoarmadillo ]
Corporate Crime Without Shame

President Bush's man in charge of the Corporate Fraud Task Force, Larry Thompson, went to the White House this week to let the world know that Bush was cracking down on corporate crime.
But forcing corporate criminals and their executives to plead guilty is only half the game. The other half is punishment.
Corporate crime and violence inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.
Corporate criminals should not be given a special pass.
Make them admit guilt.
Impose tough sanctions.
Publicize the cases.

· Street Crime [CommonDream ]
Baltimore's Council Perks

Doug Donovan of the Baltimore Sun used public records to illustrate the perks of being elected to the Baltimore City Council. "Public documents and interviews reveal that a majority of council members have hired relatives as paid assistants and the entire council receives gifts, such as free parking and movie passes, not enjoyed by most Baltimoreans." Ten of the 19 members have put a relative on the payroll, and council members get free parking from a garage seeking tax breaks from the city. Everybody does it, so I didn't know there was anything wrong with it.
· No one has ever said anything to me that it was against the ethics law [Sunspot viaScoop]

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Every time Parliament tinkers with the negative gearing, it causes head-scratching later as taxpayers try to figure out the new loopholes...

Mad economists in charge of the Asylumn called Sydney Castles & Real Estimates

Someone on a nurse's wage cannot afford to buy a three-bedroom home in any part of metropolitan Sydney. When it gets to the point when the people who serve the community can't afford to live in the community, it's an issue for everyone.
· Home is My Castle? [SMH ]

Monday, July 28, 2003

Tax Avoidance A Tax Shelter, Deconstructed

Tax sheltering is one of those activities that people normally carry on behind closed doors. But in a federal courthouse in New Haven, the doors have been thrown wide open and bright lights have been trained on one room in the house of Mammon that is tax avoidance in America today...

AS a hedge fund, Long-Term Capital, which was officially organized in the Cayman Islands, was an unregulated investment pool that by law was open only to the very wealthy. John W. Meriwether, the Wall Street bond trader, created it in 1993 with a few of his investment friends, including Dr. Scholes and Robert C. Merton, the Harvard economist with whom Dr. Scholes shared the Nobel in 1997.
Dr. Scholes, whom colleagues have described as the consummate analyst, brought much intellectual firepower to Long-Term Capital.
"This is a guy who will look at a problem and tries to devise some sort of intellectual structure that explains it," said Burton G. Malkiel, a Princeton economist who worked closely with him in the late 1980's to analyze the financial markets' crash of 1987. "If you talk to him about a problem, he immediately says, `How can we model this?' "
Dr. Scholes traces his fascination with market dynamics to his childhood in the gold-mining territory of northern Canada. What was it, he says he wondered back then, that makes prices fluctuate? "From an early age, I was very, very fascinated by uncertainty," he once said on the public television program "Nova."

· Nova Way [New York Times]
· Court Orders Accountant to Name Shelter Investors [NYTimes]
Tax Avoidance I.R.S. Takes Aim at Big Shelters and Hopes Message Filters Down

In its attack on tax shelters the government is using a strategy known as general deterrence.

These actions come after a decade in which enforcement of the tax laws grew so lax that the tax-shelter industry flourished and tax crimes, like opening secret offshore bank accounts, were openly advertised.
· Offshore bank accounts [TheLedger ]
The end is nigh for taxing times

From Czech lands to Australia, from Germany to the US, governments across the world are cutting taxes in a remarkable revival of economic liberalism. With the glaring exception of Britain, where chancellor Gordon Brown is busily hiking taxes, marginal taxes are tumbling at a speed which would have made the most ardent supporter of 1980s-style Reaganomics proud.
Even the French president, Jacques Chirac, has pledged to trim income taxes further to kick start growth after cutting the overall tax burden by 0.5% of gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
Seemingly utterly oblivious to the new global trend towards lower marginal tax rates, Brown’s one percentage point increase in national insurance contributions took the effective higher rate of individual income tax to 41% in the UK earlier this year.

· Marginal Rates [ ScotlandonSunday]

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Lets say the Flag Legislation has passed the Senate Governor, Imagine doing this to the Australian Flag

Loovely folks at Yahoo shot this... Larrikins & Wicked Wizzards of Aussie Land, are you thinking what I am thinking?
· Presidential Yahoo [Musing over News ]
What I'm saying is that you're doomed to write what you write. And you're doomed to either commercial success or artistic success. You can't say you're going to write well and going to have survival value. No one can guarantee survival value.
-William Eastlake

Cold (War) River Language, in the words of Ahab, Taxes me

Jozef Imrich published his book Cold River as an e-book last year, but wasn't satisfied with the results -- admitting that the book could use considerable editing.
He's taking an interesting approach to getting that done, publishing the book online (at where he's soliciting outside help to fix things up (join in !) -- as well as in this way allowing readers to track the progress and changes of this work-in-progress

· Work-in-Progress [Saloon: Mr Michael Orthofer, Managing Editor, at the Complete Review ]

PS: The real differences between living in chains and freedom. They make the oldest story in the world – and newest, most treacherous, most urgent. Still, publishing a badly written book about the Iron Curtain is like dropping a large stone into a still pond without creating a single ripple. (smile)
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
-- George Bernard Shaw

Blogging Business
· Business Links [Inc ]
Negative gearing needs positive hearing

Going, going, gone ... a house the young can afford is starting to look like a thing of the past.
A growing lobby sees tax breaks for investors as generational perks that put property out of the reach of young buyers. Peter Weekes and Malcolm Maiden report.
Negative gearing and other "baby boomer" property tax breaks need to be re-thought if the great Australian dream of home ownership is to be realised by future generations, consumer and community groups say. They argue that with house prices at record highs and showing no signs of falling, the property market has become so skewed towards investors that future generations will be relegated to a lifetime of renting.

· The RBA is trapped [SMH ]

Saturday, July 26, 2003

GST Usher of Black Economy?

Australians are now failing to declare more than $100 billion a year in income to the Tax Office - an estimated 15 per cent of gross domestic product, and more than the whole New Zealand economy.
Since the goods and services tax was introduced in July 2000, the cash economy has risen by about 1 per cent of GDP from just over 14 per cent.
The findings are in a major study to be released by the Taxpayers' Research Foundation, the first to examine in detail the effects of the GST on the cash economy now that it has had time to settle in.

· GST [SMH ]
· Analysis via psychic Tim Dunlop's North America [Quiggin (the Ned Kelly look alike) had a crystal ball in 1996. ]
With approval numbers sliding, the White House is pumping the child tax credit rebate. The problem? The most needy families have been left behind.

Child tax credit rebate Photo Opportunism

Alarmed by new polling data that shows 58 percent of Americans think that President Bush isn't minding the economy well enough, the administration has snapped to attention, quickly organizing a round of pep rallies. The goal is to hoodwink the public into believing that his tax cuts (which he prefers to call his "jobs and growth" plan) will benefit regular working folks.
· Baby::Tax Cuts [ TomPaine]
Subsidising what? Tax abatements often fail to generate jobs

Andy Gammill of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette studied tax breaks offered to potential employers by Allen County, Ind., and found that "more than half have fallen short of the employment promises they made while pleading their cases before local government boards." Despite the record, no government body has rescinded any of the tax abatements granted to businesses. The paper reviewed nearly 200 sets of records filed by the recipient firms.
· Sets of200 [Fortwayne]

Friday, July 25, 2003

Tax Man Cometh

Weisman's account of the great tax wars focuses almost entirely on the role of powerful individuals in shaping tax policy. Weisman provides extensive biographical material on these historical figures and explains how their backgrounds influenced their tax policy beliefs. He discusses, for example, how Teddy Roosevelt's experiences as New York police commissioner convinced him that income inequality would lead to chaos, crime and anarchy. By heavily emphasizing the power of personality in shaping tax history, Weisman implicitly recognizes a consequential policymaking ingredient frequently ignored in more academic accounts of the subject. Realizing that important political shifts can turn on the incidental personality traits and preferences of national leaders, Weisman brings out the deeply complex and even arbitrary nature of the tax-making process. In the United States at least, new taxes often arise not out of a major public outcry, but from the unique combination of historical personalities, influences, and ideas that converges in centers of power.
· Tax is a problem with a history [YaleReview ]
First Stop

U.S. Department of Labor officials have created two new Web sites aimed at helping small employers learn how to comply with federal law.
The FirstStep Employment Law Advisor helps employers determine which laws apply to their business and provides information on how to comply.
The Employment Law Guide describes laws so employers can develop wage, benefit, safety, health and nondiscrimination policies. That guide is available in both English and Spanish at

· In English and Spanish
Corporate Tax Cheats Wreak Havoc On The Neediest Among Us

All across corporate America, high-priced accountants are hard at work helping companies avoid billions in taxes by hiding profits in a host of tax sheltering schemes. No summer vacation at the beach reading trashy actuarial tables for these guys. And they're doing a bang-up job: Corporations are currently turning over 30 percent less of their profits to the taxman than they did 20 years ago.
Meanwhile, all across the country, state governments, facing the biggest budget crisis since the Great Depression, are being forced to slash programs and cut services.

· It's time for the IRS to stop coddling corporate crooks and start going after tax shelter thieves with a vengeance [CommonDream ]

Thursday, July 24, 2003


Reform California's Historic Tax Revolt

There are relatively few books about the late 1970s tax revolt that are sympathetic to the goals of the tax reformers. With the exception of Alvin Rabushka and Pauline Ryan’s The Tax Revolt, most books that deal with Proposition 13 such as Robert Kuttner’s Revolt of the Haves to Peter Schrag’s Paradise Lost range from skeptical to downright hostile.

However, the appeal of Joel Fox’s The Legend of Proposition 13 goes far beyond its ideological sympathy to the tax revolt.

· 13 [Humanevents ]

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

For those who relish taxing ironies. . .

Upside-down reality 10 Things We Can Do to Perpetuate Homelessness

To many people, the world today is upside down. Look at the problem of homelessness, for example. We are the richest and most powerful nation in the world, and yet there are still thousands and thousands of people who sleep on our streets each night.
· Maybe the utterly absurd conclusion is this: We really want homelessness to exist in the United States.
[ CommonDreams]
Marietta, as she was familiarly called, reminds young people of the third millennium that true happiness calls for courage and a spirit of sacrifice, the rejection of any compromise with evil, and readiness to pay in person, including with death, for one's faithfulness to God and his commandments.

Holy See Pope recruits online guardians

It appears that the Pope is in need of something more than celestial assistance to protect his website. The Vatican has hired security experts to thwart hackers and fend off viruses aimed at infecting its website: is subjected to around 10,000 viruses a month and at least 30 hack attacks every day. Perhaps they want to make the site even more holy!

Not only virtual, but also real life of Pope John Paul II has been obscured by sheer numbers — creating more saints than any other pope (473), preaching to the biggest crowd in history (5 million in the Philippines in 1995) and travelling more than any other pontiff (at least 126 countries).

In September Slovaks, and particularly my cousin Andrej, will be third time lucky by entertaining Pope under the High Tatra Mountains.
I understand that Pope is partial to my Mamka's pyrosky. (Those potato pyrozky are the best in the world and hundreds of strangers agree with this statement. To survive as a cook at the local school for twenty odd years was not a small achievement especially in a kitchen without a running water. Maybe the sweat and blisters made so many boys to fall in love with Mamka's cooking. Mamka's cooking is what I miss the most in exile.)
· The loss of Europe's Christian memory and heritage [Jesus Journal]

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Tax Collectors

Fayette's elected tax collectors currently receive a 3.5 percent commission on all county taxes they collect, a method that costs roughly $255,776 per year after factoring in $18,176 worth of Social Security contributions for that group. In Washington and Greene counties, county real estate taxes are collected by the county treasurer's office, eliminating the need to use tax collectors. In Somerset County, tax collectors are paid a flat $2.25 fee on each tax bill they collect, regardless of size of that payment. And Westmoreland County uses a diminishing sliding scale, paying a 1.
· Scales [HeraldStandard ]
Slot Machines

Picture this. You've just pulled the lever on a slot machine. Cherries show up once. Then cherries show up again. Now you're holding your breath and watching that last wheel spin. Will it be cherries? Or will you end up fishing in your pockets for a dwindling supply of quarters? That's pretty much the situation that Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell is in. He has a budget compromise that relies on slot machines.
· Slot machines [ YDR]
Politicians made their sound bites after all the scandals broke into the news saying they would regulate and stop these crooks. But the legislation sits in committees waiting for the public attention span to disperse - which I expect it has already.

Loopholes Fixing corp. corruption with taxes - or not

In his comment to my article on Corporate Corruption titled A simple equalizer, akmarx suggested the following:
I say there is a relatively simple answer to this complex problem.
The heart of the issue is the corporations collective ability to dodge paying their share of the tax burden through IRS loopholes, offshore "home offices", tax regulations that allow debts to mimic profits, and a multitude of other tax related sins. The important thing to notice here is that each of these is related to the tax code, and how these large businesses use that code to legally (and sometime illegally) to keep more of their money and pay less tax.
The answer is to collect taxes in a different way. Leave no loopholes for tax evasion.
No, all this crooked corruption is not related to the tax code contrary to the above statement. Only one element of what I covered is, the part about the pseudo offshore headquarters.

· Loopholes [EPeople ]
Law The Devil Made Me Do It

Mayo v. Satan and His Staff is an intriguing classic. Plaintiff filed a civil rights action alleging that Satan and his employees “on numerous occasions caused plaintiff misery and unwarranted threats, against the will of plaintiff” and “placed deliberate obstacles in his path and caused plaintiff's downfall.” Plaintiff asserted these transgressions violated his constitutional rights. He sought the court’s permission to proceed in forma pauperis.
· Strange Judicial Opinions [Lawhaha]

Solawyer If

If a builder builds and a baker bakes, it could follow that a solicitor solicits. Strike that from the record, because legal eagles won't have a bar of it.
· Lawyer [SMH ]

Monday, July 21, 2003

Fraud ID theft 'used in GST fraud'

Crime syndicates are using "trojan horse" companies and stolen tax file numbers to make thousands of false claims for GST repayments in what some investigators say is Australia's quickest growing fraud.
· Trojan Horse [SMH ]

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Centre of Expertise Man on sex-slavery charges works for Tax Office

John Davies, who was arrested last week and charged with slavery offences, is a highly placed executive officer with the Australian Taxation Office collecting a salary package of more than $100,000 a year.
Davies, 49, and his wife, Wei Tang, 40, were each charged and appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday after investigators found six Thai women locked in their Rae Street, Fitzroy North, house.
The women were allegedly locked in the house for up to two months and forced to work at a Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, brothel owned by Tang.
The Age has learned Davies works as an executive in the ATO's Centre of Expertise and was based at a Casselden Place office in the central business district. The centre is staffed by officers with high levels of competence in one area of tax specialty.

· Sex & Taxes [Age ]

Saturday, July 19, 2003

IRS Section 527 political committees

The Center for Public Integrity spent months culling records from the IRS' disclosure system for Section 527 political committees to determine the universe of financial activity for these little-known groups. We found that hundreds of 527s "spent more than $430 million during the past three years to influence elections and policy debates across the country." To produce the report, we examined nearly 20,000 sets of filings pulled from the IRS web site, which has since been revamped. The story, part of a larger project due this fall, is the first to put a dollar figure to 527 activity since after the 2000 elections.
· 527 Activity [Public Integrity]

Voting Offshore Company Captures Online Military Vote

Since 2001 Accenture and have been strategic partners "to jointly deliver comprehensive election solutions to governments worldwide. Last month Accenture bought the public-sector election assets of, which suffered its own scandal this year when it was discovered that Osan Ltd, a firm of Saudi and other foreign investors, bought controlling interest in it.
The company earned nearly $700 million last year working for Uncle Sam and - ironically - is currently under contract with the Internal Revenue Service itself to redesign its online and Internet operations.
· A sense of civic duty isn't high on Accenture's list of priorities [CommonDreams ]
Making Policies from Taxing to Blogging Joke's on you, says the Westminster blogger

Labour MP Tom Watson's ironic appeal to the nation's youth is becoming an unlikely hit in the internet community.
Westminster held a world-first in July2003 AD, when around 120 bloggers descend on parliament for a discussion on how politicians can best use the "blogosphere" to further policy and public interaction.

· Maaa Dear Watson [BBC ]
· Parliamentary blogosphere [Guardian ]
· Editorial pages are predictable, repetitive, and usually cranky [TimPorter]
· Jourggers [TiM]
International Tax Policy and the Competitiveness

Yesterday the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on U.S. international tax policy and the competitiveness of U.S.-owned foreign operations. Last week the committee held a similar hearing on the competitiveness of U.S. firms conducting domestic operations. The testimony presented at these hearings evidences a fascinating clash among various interests, all of whom want a piece of the $50 billion that would be on the table following a repeal of FSC/ETI.

The submission of the U.S. Treasury was disappointing. The Treasury continues to advocate reform, in part, on the grounds that the current U.S. approach of worldwide taxation is anti-competitive as compared to territorial systems (and other worldwide systems with less stringent CFC rules).

David Rosenbloom (in PDF version) and Stephen Shay should be commended for offering testimony rising above the fray of interest group politics. Mr. Rosenbloom offered a moving (for me anyway) and seldom-voiced assessment of what is right about the U.S. tax system:

[I]t touches the lives of more than 150 million people year in and year out, and does so with virtually no corruption, surprisingly little error, and remarkable efficiency, given the scope of the system and the complexity of our national economic life. Both the system as a whole and the agency that administers it are national treasures – the envy of just about every other country that has devoted serious though to these subjects.

I take Mr. Rosenbloom’s point to be that this is indeed an ideal time for fresh, and perhaps radical, thinking about fundamental reform of the U.S. international tax rules. In going down that road, though, we should be careful about embracing wholesale criticism of the system as dysfunctional and anti-competitive. Such sentiments are more likely to be voiced by parties that have a short-term interest in tax reduction, through whatever means possible, than by parties with an interest in establishing long-term and conceptually sound tax reform. Mr. Shay likewise counsels that we ought to be taking a broad view of the tax system. In Mr. Shay’s opinion it would be wrong to conclude, without further analysis, that the proceeds of FSC/ETI repeal should necessarily be earmarked for international tax reform. The determinative criterion should be how the proceeds can be used best to improve the lot of U.S. citizens and residents. That goal may or may not involve revision of the international tax rules.
· To Improve the lot of US citizens [Courtesy of Mitchell Kane of Taxing Blog Fame]
The shocking mix of fiscal madness and duplicity

The evidence of Bush’s duplicity on taxes is rising almost as fast as his borrowing.
· Left, Right & Center [Tompaine. ]
· Offshore’s Rise: free trade is not "win-win."

Here is the dream. You are a backbencher...
· Machiavellian madness [Australian ]

Friday, July 18, 2003

There are three things not worth running for - a bus, a woman or a new economic panacea; if you wait a bit, another one will come along.
- Derick Heathcoat-Amory, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1958-1960.

Lies, damn lies and politics

It's ironic it has taken plausible, but erroneous, intelligence reports that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger to re-awaken media interest in John Howard's reasons for supporting the invasion of Iraq. You use uranium to make nuclear bombs and defectors from Saddam Hussein's regime have revealed how, during the 1991 Gulf War – and as Hussein harboured the false expectation that Iraq could produce a nuclear device – he told his scientists to ready the putative bomb for use.
· Gulf Media [Australian ]
OMB Watch Announces New Weblog

Launched July 8, OMB Watch's new weblog will cover a wide range of tax and budget issues, and will be updated throughout the week by OMB Watch budget staff.
· Watchdogs [OMB ]
Americans for Tax Reform

According to a new report by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), Iowa has the 15th lowest cost of government among the 50 states, while Illinois has the 12th highest. The study, published in each of the past 11 years, is designed to show key policymakers and the public the cost of government at the local, state, and federal levels.
· Cost of Government [The report, which is available at (]
Government Information Challenges Emerge As Government Documents Increasingly Go Digital

Library Journal: As government documents librarians incorporate more digital materials, they are finding that the very shape of their libraries is transformed...
Like other documents librarians, Carolyn Kohler (government publications librarian at the University of Iowa) has found herself unexpectedly at the forefront of technological change and momentous political issues: the public's right to know vs. legitimate security concerns; public accountability for government actions vs. government secrecy; permanent public access vs. instantaneous (but maybe temporary) electronic access.

· Documents and Resources on EU E-Government [ Europa]
· National eGovernment sites [ Europa]

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Australian Treasurer Do no harm

There are non-monetary things that add to the wealth of a society. Civic engagement and the values which it promotes like trust and tolerance are some of those things. You can call them social capital if that is conceptually easier. It might help with the idea of building them up, running them down, adding to our wealth, or detracting from it. But a society which has these things should be careful not to let them run down. Once they are gone it takes a lot of effort to get them back again.
· Trust [Sydney Institute(viaMargo)]

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Value for Money No Fees for Online Vehicle Registration

Dave Fletcher reports that as of yesterday, has additional dropped fees for renewing your vehicle online. This is a big step. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways to get rid of the fees. No one likes paying more for online renewal---most people think it ought to be cheaper. But government funding methods don't always mesh with real world expectations. Dave doesn't report how they finally managed to pull this off, but given that it happened on July 1, the start of the fiscal year, I'd guess it has something to do with a change in how its funded.
· EGovernment [Radio ]

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Families New Tax System

Is it worth working now? Financial incentives for working mothers under Australia’s new tax system
The introduction of A New Tax System in July 2000 included substantial changes to social security payments, including family assistance and child care subsidies. Most of these payments are income tested, so that as a family’s income increases the amount of government assistance they receive is reduced. This paper analyses the impact of increasing income and child care costs on the financial incentives for women with children to increase their participation in paid work.

· Paid Work [UNSW: WordDocument]
Fraud Lack of Resources

But, to his astonishment, the police did not act. They've never done anything because they reckon they don't have the manpower or resources. It should have been a reasonable cakewalk down the trail to get some form of recovery for all the money he had taken, but because major fraud haven't jumped or done anything, we've had to take civil action, and that is horrifically expensive. Smibert's experience reflects a trend in which an increasing number of people and organisations are bypassing police and turning to private investigators to probe fraud and other criminal activities.
· Probing [ AGE]
Legal Professional Privilege Fight over 'privilege' heats up

Attacking the attorney-client privilege, once a rare legal tactic, has become a standard tool of government lawyers these days and a cause for increasing concern among corporate defense attorneys. In the latest flexing of the federal government's muscle to pierce attorney-client privilege, the Treasury Department is trying to force the Dallas-based law firm of Jenkens & Gilchrist to reveal the names of more than 600 clients who used certain tax shelters that the Internal Revenue Service considers abusive. The IRS wants to audit the investors.
· Tax shelters [NLJ ]
Accounting Exclusive Interview : Is the Glass Half Empty?

In his new book released this month, Hidden Financial Risk: Understanding Off-Balance Sheet Accounting, Ketz delves into accounting scandals that serve as case studies throughout the book, including Enron, WorldCom, and Waste Management. Divided into four parts, he tells how businesses deliberately understate their levels of risk, why nobody stops them, what to do about it, and concludes with an explanation of a doctrine created by accounting firm Arthur Andersen about 40 years ago that may, ironically, hold the key to the industry's resuscitation.
· Creative Beancounters [Accounting ]
Alternatives The alternative tax whammy

When IRS Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson first urged President Bush and Congress to kill the alternative minimum tax, she hadn't experienced it. "But this year, it's personal," she says, since she got hit by this parallel tax system that most Americans never heard of and don't know exists.
They're about to find out - personally- about the alternative minimum tax,

· enacted in 1969 to make sure the super-rich pay at least some taxes. [ CapitolHill]

Monday, July 14, 2003

Corruption Corporate Corruption - legalized robbery!

How is it possible for corporations to get away with things that would have been illegal a few decades ago? This is easy when the guys who are supposed to be their "watchdogs" are them (the same guys). Most people in high level government positions today are intimately connected with big business. Many of them are former CEOs themselves. Many of the decision makers at the FDA (for example) are former high level employees of the drug companies. (Is this what the industries mean by "self-regulation"?) It's democracy of the rich, enslavement of the rest!
As for the corporations, the CEOs are absolute dictators! That's not the way it is supposed to be. Corporate boards of directors are supposed to be "overseeing" the work of the CEOs. Experts in corporate governance say a director should spend a minimum of four hours per week executing his duties for the board, which includes auditing the companies finances.* It's more likely they (the board) will meet a couple of times a year for an hour or two. They probably meet to determine the CEOs (and his staff's) compensation packages. Then this CEO travels to the corporations where members of his boards are themselves CEOs and sits on their board of directors to determine that CEOs compensation!

· It's a nice tight group across the corporate spectrum! [ ThePeople]

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Here is a good story...
· Generosity [Guardian ]
Tax Reform Taxing Principles

‘Tax Reform’ – the block buster comedy – is coming soon as a feature presentation courtesy of Democrat Gov. Mark Warner Productions. Before that show is released we should consider if the principles of tax reform create comedy, tragedy or melodrama. Then, let’s write the script.
Remember the classical political science definition of politics as ‘who gets what’. Every act of any branch of government creates winners and losers. So, what principles should guide decisions where someone has to lose?

Is the better measure of each citizen’s gain from their social compact with the state – what you earn or what you spend? Big difference. Both are taxed now.

· Economists can argue, like lawyers, either way [AmericanDaily ]
Truth is Out Truth, Advocacy, & Scholarship

I care more about the truth than I do about what side I am on. So I frequently criticize arguments offered in support of positions I agree with. I guess that is why I am a scholar and not a lawyer or political activist.
· Truth [Isolum ]
Doing Business Focus On The Corporation

With millions in corporate money marinating everything from the Congress to the Smithsonian, little is left untouched.
From the Nature Conservancy, to the National Consumers League, the corporate cash is flowing, and many public interest groups are swimming in it.
Even the Gray Panthers, that venerable public interest group started by Maggie Kuhn to fight for the rights of seniors against the corporate goliaths, cannot stay dry for long.
· They too have been soaked [EatTheState ]
Are do-gooders actually inflicting greater harm on businesses and workers by relying on the government, rather than the free market, to determine wages?

As Stimulating as a Tax Cut -- a Living Wage

When President Franklin Roosevelt supported the establishment of a federal minimum wage in the mid-1930s, he argued that "no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to exist in this country." The minimum wage was always intended to be a living wage. Roosevelt's words, long forgotten in Washington, are finding new life in the cities, where many still believe a day's work deserves a decent wage.
· Deserving a decent wage. [SanFrancisco(viaCommonDream) ]

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Equity Rich/Poor

Taxes same for rich and poor All the newer forms of taxation seem to follow an alarming trend, Bill Gates pays the same amount as the 85-year-old widow living on Social Security. Drainage tax, 911 tax, wheel tax, recycling tax, and others all cost every taxpayer the same dollar amount. The rich would counter that their roads are no better than the roads that the poor people drive on, so why should they pay more? The simple fact is that it takes a certain dollar amount to run the country. If everyone were taxed the same amount, many people would have to pay more in taxes than what they earn.
· Driving Dollar [Elk ]
Politics Political Organizations Filing and Disclosure

The IRS launched a Web site to make it easier for political organizations to electronically file required documents and improve the public’s access to the information. The Political Organizations Filing and Disclosure site, at, reflects congressional changes from last year intended to ensure that political organizations with tax-exempt status, known as Section 527 political organizations, disclose financial and other essential information on a timely basis. The public can view, search or download the entire database of electronic filings by political organizations. Visitors to the site can learn contributors’ names, contribution amounts and dates, as well as review a list of the organization’s expenditures.
· Tax Exempt/Section 527 [ IRS]
Employee Free Agents in the Workplace

The rise in contract labor in the environmental industry offers employers both opportunities and challenges...
The 20 standards used by the IRS to determine the classification of a worker are: To what degree does the recipient "direct the work?" (Generally, the more detailed the directions, the more likely the worker is an employee and not a contractor.) Under what conditions can the worker be fired? (An independent contractor should not be fired unless contractual obligations are not met.) What are the legal obligations of the worker?

· Obligations [Epoline ]
Politics Crooks

The two major political parties are crooked.
Corporate Crime Reporter last week released a report documenting $9.3 million given by convicted criminals to the Democrats and the Republicans in the 2002 election cycle. (See the full report, "Dirty Money: Corporate Criminal Donations to the Two Major Parties," at

· Without shame, they take big money from criminals. [ CommonDreams]
Economic Crime Birthplace of Emails

Most Australians know their country leads the world when it comes to cricket and swimming but until yesterday our prowess at corporate fraud had been sadly neglected. Enter accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers, whose "global economic crime survey 2003" claims 47 per cent of Australian businesses suffered from "economic crime" - that is theft, fraud, corruption or bribery - in the past two years. This puts us well ahead of our Asia-Pacific counterparts (39 per cent) and only slightly behind the world's worst region Africa (51 per cent), the birthplace of emails from Nigerian royalty asking for bank account details.
· Austro Nigerian Empire [Age ]
· Canada [ Ottawa]

Thursday, July 10, 2003


Misleaders Why the CEO in Chief Needs an Audit

The Bush White House is run on a business model. The president is the CEO. He delegates to others, including the vice president, who was once a CEO himself. It therefore should come as no surprise that George W. Bush, a Harvard MBA after all, is doing what other CEOs do when they get into trouble. In his case, he's "restated" his reasons for going to war.
Corporations do this all the time. If a profit of, say, $2.8 billion turns out to be a loss of a similar amount on account of unanticipated developments (corruption, greed, the demands of mistresses), the figure merely gets "restated." Usually no one is held responsible for this, because a billion here or a billion there can, as we know, fall through the cracks. In fact, the CEO -- having been given a bonus for such a banner year -- is then given another one for managing his company through difficult times.

· Times of CEO [The Washington Post Company]

Housing Australia Community

Imagine the community's contempt if the federal and state governments proposed to have a 25 or 30 per cent rate of GST on the purchase of all household items. But that is the effect rate of indirect tax many new home buyers now face on the biggest item of purchase most will make in their lifetime. The association said one of the biggest problems was that some indirect taxes were levied several times on a new development. All of these, except stamp duty, then had the GST added. The system is in a mess with taxes on taxes and the real tax burden hidden from new home buyers .
· Housing [Mercury ]


Tribunals Unsexy

HEY are hugely costly and very unsexy and of questionable usefulness, so is it time to bring down the curtain on the tribunals? I think it is. The alternative is to go on throwing good money after bad, and that's not a sensible policy. Apart from enriching a bevy of lawyers, the tribunals have yielded little. It is surely incontestable that on a cost-effectiveness basis, they are difficult if not impossible to justify. They have told us as much about the greed of the legal profession as about the toxic elements in the body politic.
· Body [ Waterford]

Wednesday, July 09, 2003


Fraud Sun-Sentinel

Jenni Bergal and Purva Patel of the Sun-Sentinel tracked 121 securities fraud cases from the Southeast to find that federal watchdogs have been largely ineffective in combating securities fraud and helping victims recover their money. Only about one in five cases yielded a criminal prosecution and just 16 of 262 people involved have done prison time. While SEC violations have resulted in the levying of $176 million in fines and penalties, only about $6.5 million has been collected. Sometimes, fines were waived; sometimes the government got stiffed.
· Victims [SunSentinel ]

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Taxing River

You spend the second half of your life getting over your first half:

Cold River has no great debates or brilliant insights about tax or politics. But it is taxing and political through and through because the characters are nothing, and mean nothing, outside of the economic and political situation in which they find themselves...
· Overnight Success takes 20 something years for survivor-writer [Dual Loyalty: Yesterday's story]

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Intergenerational Equity

Generation X The Commonwealth's Intergenerational Report'

Issues of Principle
in the Allocation of Social Resources Between this Generation and the Next

· 'Death is Inevitable, Why Aren't Taxes? [UniSydney: McAuley, Ian]

Indirect Taxation: Federal v Regional

VAT/GST Canada offers a variety of interesting situations

The dominance of the Value Added Tax (VAT) (Consumption, Goods and Services, Spending Taxes) poses a serious problem for the finance of regional governments, since conventional wisdom has long held that the only good VAT is one levied by the central government. For example, McLure (1993, 58) noted that " is not appropriate to assign the VAT to subnational governments." Even in federal countries, in which regional revenue needs are most obvious, most analysts probably agree with Tait (1988, 165) who states that "the simplest way to run a federal-state sales tax system (including VAT) is to adopt a form of revenue sharing...."

Over the last decade, however, such views have begun to change. There appear to be at least three reasons why the question of sub-national consumption VATs needs to be reconsidered, particularly in federal countries with important regional governments.

First, there are few other major revenue options open to countries in which, for whatever reason, substantial expenditure responsibilities have been shifted to lower levels of government, if those governments are to behave in a fiscally responsible manner.

Second, sub-national VATs have now in fact been successfully operating in Canada for a decade (Bird and Gendron 1998) and have also existed, if to less general acclaim, in Brazil for over 30 years. Finally, several novel proposals have recently been made to overcome certain problems that some see with applying the system used in Canada to other countries in which tax administration is less well developed.

Canada thus offers a variety of interesting situations: separate federal and provincial VATs administered provincially, joint federal and provincial VATs administered federally, and separate federal VAT and provincial RSTs administered separately.
· VAT: Federal State Relations [WorldBank ]
· VAT & GST links
· Tax Administration


Looking Good Botox Tax Bonus
· No Comment


Symbols of Power Trading In Favors: Soft money documents imply quid pro quo between donors and politicians

Legislative favors, increased access to federal lawmakers and instructions on how to use loopholes to evade federal contribution limits--these are just some of the arrangements discussed in recently released documents relating to judicial challenges of a new soft money law, a Center for Public Integrity study has found.
· Team 100 is an exclusive group of people who are responsible for raising at least $100,000 each for the Republican Party [Center for Public Integrity ]

Ethics czar probes letter on Sens tax deal
· "Chinese wall" of Lobbying [ ]
· Dante's Inferno: Visa for Cash Scandal by Dante Tan [Australia.Jana Wendd]

US IRS chief counsel resigns, led crackdown on tax shelters
· Moving On [Tribnet ]

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Tax Returns

Tax Return: Oz & International Tales of deducting and weaving tax the imagination

People will go to extraordinary lengths to outsmart the taxman. Julian Lewis reports ...

Tax Returns: Oz bias Taxing times

Last Monday marked the end of the financial year and you'll soon have to lodge your tax return. The net is packed with tools to keep you on top of your personal finances, reports Simon Crerar.
· Links [SMH ]
· Why you're hating the wrong state taxes [SMH Aussie Flavour: Ross Gittins]

Tax Avoidance: International

Tax Avoidance IRS Closes Door on Controversial Tax Shelter

Former Tyco International Ltd. Chairman Dennis Kozlowski really knew how to take advantage of tax laws. Now, however, others won't be able to follow in his footsteps. The Internal Revenue Service has closed a major loophole that will prevent many executives from sheltering certain types of income from taxation.
Mr. Kozlowski reportedly used a technique that allowed him to defer income taxes for between 15 and 30 years by transferring company stock options to family partnerships.

· $208 Million Income Shelter [AccountingWEB US - July 02, 2003]
· Court considered act of tax inspectors against L. Kozachenko to be illegal [Russia - July 02, 2003]

Friday, July 04, 2003

U.S. Income: History

U.S. Income: HistoryEvolution Of Federal Income Tax Withholding: The Machinery Of Institutional Change

Taxes are the backbone of any politico-economic regime. Constraints on a government's power to tax are constraints on its power to act. Focusing on the legalization of mandatory federal income tax withholding through the Current Tax Payment Act of 1943, this article examines forces that have eroded constraints on the U.S. government's power to tax.
· Small incomes yield the largest revenue to the state [Cato ]
Intelligence and Ideology: Why Liberals Think Conservatives Are Stoopid

It seems clear that intelligence is unrelated to (i.e., uncorrelated with) political ideology. For every brilliant liberal mind, there is a brilliant conservative mind. For every liberal dunce, there is a conservative dunce. My sense, from years of careful observation both as an engaged citizen and as a detached philosopher, is that liberals are far quicker to ascribe low intelligence to conservatives than conservatives are to ascribe low intelligence to liberals.

Liberals, as such, are committed to the notion (and to the reality) of moral progress. Progress (unmodified) is change for the better. Moral progress is moral change for the better. Conservatives are more pessimistic than liberals about the possibility or likelihood of moral progress. To a conservative, humans are imperfectible. They are corrupt by nature, always prone to doing evil, and in standing need of oversight and correction. One engine of correction is the state, which is why conservatives are not anarchists. Another engine is tradition, which, to a conservative, is simply accumulated wisdom, the very embodiment of reason. Yet another is religion.

Liberals equate progress, in all of its forms, with reason. Progress consists in using reason to make things better, to perfect humanity, to eliminate and prevent various evils. Liberals view human beings as malleable (or, to change the metaphor, as blank slates). If we reason aright, liberals believe, we shall remake people and thereby remake the (social) world. Everything, to a liberal, is up for grabs. Everything is revisable. Every belief, every value, every practice, every law, every institution. If a thing cannot pass the test of reason (or rather, the liberal's deployment of reason), it is to be rejected, however old it may be, however useful it has been for however many people, and however much it has insinuated itself into people's lives. The major impediments to moral progress, to the liberal, are tradition, bigotry, and superstition.

· Tradition, bigotry, and superstition [TechCentralStation ]
Money Machine Hall of Absurdly Great Deals: The Silna Brothers' Perpetual Money Machine

It's one of the most incredible deals in the history of the business world, and it has to be in the top 10, rivaling any deal that has taken place in Wall Street in the last 25 years," said Roy Boe, the New York Nets owner who was one of the principals to an agreement that allowed four ABA teams to join the NBA in 1976. "These guys collect that kind of money from the NBA and all they have to do is sit there.
· The Spirit of St. Louis [CorpLaw]
Royal Taxes Prince Charles Uses SPE to Evade Taxes

In June 2003 Prince Charles released personal financial statements revealing that last year he earned over U.S.$16.4 million (at yesterday's exchange rates) from an obscure special-purpose entity he calls the "Duchy of Cornwall."
According to the Prince's financials:

The Duchy is one of the oldest landed estates in the country, created in 1337 with the primary function of providing the present and future Dukes of Cornwall with an income from its assets. The Prince of Wales is the 24th Duke of Cornwall.

It was traditional for many centuries for families with landed estates to settle the land and other assets in trust, so that each generation could live off the income but was unable to sell the estate. This was done to ensure that the estate, and the income which it provides,continues from generation to generation. The same approach has, in effect, been adopted with the Duchy of Cornwall to provide private income for The Prince of Wales; because the beneficiary is so important, the ‘trust provisions’ have, over the years, been set out in legislation with the financial security of the Duchy of Cornwall overseen by HM Treasury. . . .

(The Duchy enjoys some very special tax attributes -- the trust itself pays no taxes, and the Prince only pays taxes on the trust's ordinary income. This leaves capital gains completely untaxed, permitting the trust to preserve its capital and keep it invested)

The Prince of Wales pays income tax on the annual surplus arising from the Duchy of Cornwall in line with normal tax rules and regulations. He does not pay capital gains tax on capital gains made by the Duchy as he is not entitled to the Duchy’s capital or to capital profits, and cannot be taxed on profits which he does not receive and which do not belong to him.
The Duchy of Cornwall itself does not pay capital gains tax because, as a Crown property, it is not a taxable entity. In the same way as for trusts, the Duchy does not pay corporation tax because it is not a company and because all the income is subject to income tax.

· The Duchy of Cornwall [via ]
Safety of Bible Belt: No ban on Autobahn autosex
· Having sex while driving at 60mph down a motorway is not an offence in Germany [Guardian Angel]
Bible & Taxes Where Faith and Politics Intersect

Religious leaders on both sides of the political spectrum say they think the connection between faith and politics is growing.
Conservatives point to President Bush's faith-based initiatives effort as evidence. Despite continuing controversy over Bush's plan, they say it shows a willingness to accept religion's role in addressing society's problems.
On the left, religious leaders cite spiritually motivated environmental activism and social justice movements.
What's happening now around the country is that faith is being applied to issues that Jesus talked about — like poor people.
· A Biblical Tax Policy? It's a sign of things to come. [ABC: US]
· Yes, there are many dead people who are more interesting than you and I. [Blog of Death]
Deflation 2004AD Latham flags tax change, Crean knocks it down

The new shadow treasurer, Mark Latham, was in hot water on his first full day in the job after implying that Labor would review tax breaks for property investors.
· Only to have his leader appear to contradict him within hours [SMH ]
Home truths about the hazards of playing housie

IT'S downright un-Australian to suggest that negative gearing of dwellings is playing a role in squeezing some export industries out of business.
It's also taboo to point out that, because of the investment housing boom, Sydneysiders have the most expensive housing in the world, relative to their income.

· Melbourne and Brisbane are not far behind [Australian ]
· Downright Royal [ ]

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Olympic Dreams...But Can You Deliver?

What should hosting an Olympic Games mean to a city? Many Olympic cities have promised regeneration and few have delivered. From the Foro Italico in Rome to Homebush in Sydney, the world is littered with desultory, underpopulated Olympic zones that were once the subject of some planner's proud boast.
· London [London Evening Standard 07/01/03]

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Tax Arms and the Taxman: Digging for Truth Buried Under Powerful Institutions

It was exactly one month ago today that, buried among the empty speeches and photo opportunities of the G8 world leaders, the Brazilian president 'Lula' da Silva made a concrete proposal to tackle two of the worst problems facing the world today - extreme hunger and the trade in weapons.
· Reality of Myths [CommonDream ]

Taxpayer Taxpayer-funded travel

Niki Kelly of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette tracked taxpayer-funded travel by eight of Indiana's top elected officials since 2002, finding that they spent more than $72,000 on car and plane travel both in Indiana and elsewhere around the country. The paper reviewed hundreds of pages of travel documents, vouchers and more for those elected to the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, auditor, treasurer, secretary of state and clerk of courts.
· The men and women in these positions represent the entire state [FortWayne ]
US Starving the Beast."

Bush argues for tax cuts by claiming they'll stimulate economic growth and create jobs, but he and other Republicans also make it clear that they want to deprive the government of revenue -- "starve the beast."
Democrats have been fighting back mainly by saying GOP tax cuts haven't produced growth yet -- and won't -- and also that they primarily benefit the rich and deepen the federal deficit.

· Appropriate Hearing [Coshoctontribune]
Death & Irony The final irony

'Isn't it ironic?' You hear it all the time - and, most of the time, actually no, it isn't. Hypocritical, cynical, lazy, coincidental, more likely. But what is irony and why did pundits think it would die two years ago, after September 11? Zoe Williams meticulously, sincerely, unironically, hunts it down
· stunning article on the "death" of irony [Guardian ]

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

A TAXING SITUATION, IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE my humble blogs, MD &TT, have now gone beyond joy and are in danger of committing blogging meltdown...

Technorati 44. An officer in the ATO's large business unit: a key player (2) (Cosmos)

Media Dragon 58 inbound blogs, 62 inbound links Created 53 minutes ago (Cosmos)
tion was committed but also profiles the broader culture in which it was able to flourish... a culture of low morale, boozy lunches and high absenteeism, as well as confusion about old and new methods of tax enforcement. · Tax Club [ABC 4Cnrs] · An officer in the ATO's large business unit: a key player [SMH ]
Taxing Times 2 inbound blogs, 2 inbound links Created 53 minutes ago (Cosmos)
tion was committed but also profiles the broader culture in which it was able to flourish... a culture of low morale, boozy lunches and high absenteeism, as well as confusion about old and new methods of tax enforcement. · Tax Club [ABC 4Cnrs] · An officer in the ATO's large business unit: a key player [SMH ]

· Amazing!! [No 44 in the Technorati world]

GST So how does one judge the success or otherwise of a new tax regime?

This is a valid question now that we are three years into GST. Clearly, there are as many ways to answer that question as there are perspectives. A political assessment might, for example, focus on the absence of articles in the press concerning GST, or alternatively their presence depending upon one's political allegiance.
· On that basis GST is a success, at least for the Liberals [OLO:Paul Stacey - 1/7/2003]

The GST has been plain sailing so far - but the compliance storm is looming

July 2003 marks the 3rd anniversary of the introduction of GST - a landmark piece of legislation which dramatically altered the Australian tax landscape. Despite its turbulent political beginnings, the GST has become an accepted part of life for business - and the Tax Office was careful to ease business into the changes wrought by the new tax system.
· Companies could be forgiven for thinking that all is well in the new GST order... [OLO:Kevin O'Rourke - 1/7/2003]