How 13 US States ‘Shield the Fortunes of the World’s Richest People’

Research published Wednesday details how a handful of U.S. states that are “subservient to the trust industry” are helping oligarchs and money launderers from around the globe evade taxes and hide their wealth within the nation’s borders.

Titled Billionaire Enabler States: How U.S. States Captured by the Trust Industry Help the World’s Wealthy Hide Their Fortunes, the new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) estimates that the United States is host to $5.6 trillion in trust and estate assets belonging to super-wealthy elites, both foreign and domestic.

“The concept of the ‘offshore’ tax haven has very much washed ashore,” says the report, which exposes how 13 U.S. states “shield the fortunes of the world’s richest people.”

— source | Kenny Stancil | Sep 28, 2022

Nullius in verba


Once Upon a Time the US Taxed the Rich

Once upon a time, the United States seriously taxed the nation’s rich. You remember that time? Probably not. To have a personal memory of that tax-the-rich era, you now have to be well into your seventies.

Back at the tail-end of that era, in the early 1960s, America’s richest faced a 91 percent tax rate on income in the top tax bracket. That top rate had been hovering around 90 percent for the previous two decades. In the 1950s, a Republican president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, made no move to knock it down.

The rich felt those taxes. The high life struggled. Consider what happened to one fabled emblem of that era’s excess, the nation’s first-ever penthouse.

Marjorie Merriweather Post, an heiress who had become America’s richest woman, had that penthouse built atop a new Park Avenue luxury tower in 1925. The top federal tax rate then in effect as builders were putting the finishing touches on Post’s spectacular three-floor, 54-room residence: just 25 percent.

The Post clan held on to that penthouse for the next 15 years and then decided to “move on.” The American people, by that time, had decided to move on as well—from bargain-basement tax rates on high incomes. In 1940, the federal tax rate on income over $200,000 started at 66 percent. By 1944, the top tax rate on all income over $200,000—about $3.4

— source | Sam Pizzigati | Dec 3, 2022

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GST on Dairy Products a ‘Death Warrant’ for Small Farmers

Coming down heavily on introducing the Good and Services Taxes (GST) on dairy products, the farmers’ organisations on Saturday said that it would prove to be a “death knell” for small dairies and farmers who have been barely managing the rising input costs.

Ashok Dhawale, President, All India Kisan Sabha said that recommendations of the 47th meet of the council to impose 5% GST on dairy products and increasing the tax rate from 12% to 18% on dairy machinery including the milking machines will affect over 9 crore households engaged in milk production. He said that the BJP is seeking centralisation of political authority and capital and the move remains in this direction.

Talking to NewsClick, the veteran farmers’ leader said, “India is the world’s largest milk producer, and the sector is characterised by the concentration of petty producers with 75% of the rural households owning 2-4 cows. Women and peasants from the lowest social strata are highly dependent on the dairy sector. The fact that the livestock sector contributes about one-fourth output of the agricultural sector shows the economic significance of the sector for the 9 crore farming households. However, the recent changes in

— source | Ravi Kaushal | 03 Jul 2022

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26 top billionaires paid an average income tax rate of just 4.8%

Twenty-six of the richest people in America paid an average federal income tax rate of just 4.8% over six years (2013-18) when the growth in their wealth is counted as income, according to Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) using IRS tax-payment information recently released by ProPublica and billionaire wealth growth data from Forbes. This revelation underscores the need to tax billionaires and other ultra-wealthy Americans more effectively, as proposed in plans from President Biden and Congressional Democrats.

The 26 billionaires’ collective wealth grew by $500 billion between 2013 and 2018 while their total federal income taxes were just $24 billion. The taxes paid were not based on wealth growth, which under current law is not taxed, but rather on “taxable income”: wages, private business earnings, dividends, interest, profits from the sale of stocks and other investments, and other sources. As is usual among the ultra-wealthy, that taxable income—in this case, $132.2 billion—is far smaller than their leap in fortunes. [See table below and this spreadsheet]

— source | May 19, 2022

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Who is the partner for Zim to collect taxes from companies like Facebook

Nothing leads to more delays and inefficiencies than a government department/parastatal trying to go it alone. It is therefore refreshing to see more and more public private partnerships in Zimbabwe.

We saw the Justice Service commission partner a globally known company to help establish a tech-first approach. Now, the government has partnered with another global player, this time to help collect taxes on its behalf.

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is responsible for collecting taxes and other revenues for the govt. But believe it or not, even with over a thousand employees, they are still understaffed. In a mostly informal economy, Zimra would have to employ half the population to keep track of every business venture in the country. Hence why we ended up getting the 2% tax.

Now, the 2% tax was not the last of our finance minister’s revenue generating innovations. He also introduced taxes on companies that provide digital advertising, content, cloud

— source | Leonard Sengere | Feb 7, 2022

Nullius in verba