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

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Going for Tax Reform Big Time

What if $10 billion were raised over ten years to transform Congress and make it do what it should be doing for the people (See, Think Big to Overcome Losing Big to Corporatism, 1/7/22)? In a more recent column, Facilitating Civic and Political Energies for the Common Good, 2/2/22, I outlined how $1 billion per year could be spent lobbying Congress for a people’s agenda.

First $100 million per year would be used to get through Congress long-overdue legislation such as full Medicare for All, a living wage, preventing corporate abuses, etc. The second $100 million would be devoted to create facilities making it easy for people to band together in their various organized roles (e.g., workers, consumers, patients, savers) so they could counter corporate bosses who unite their investors and many lobbying trade groups.

Now, I wish to suggest the third $100 million per year be used to make Congress change the disgracefully unfair, wasteful, and inefficient tax laws.

Start with Congress providing the Treasury Department with adequate funds to crack down on tax evasion – estimated to be between $600 billion and $1 trillion a year! Republicans

— source | Ralph Nader | Mar 11, 2022

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Amazon Avoided More Than $5 Billion in Taxes Last Year

Amazon’s latest annual financial report released last Friday paints a vivid picture of a company that is edging toward monopoly status—and doing so at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.

The company reported a record $35 billion in U.S. pretax income for fiscal year 2021, a haul that is 75 percent more than its 2020 U.S. earnings of $20 billion. Just as notable, the company’s effective federal income tax rate of 6 percent means it avoided about $5.2 billion of federal income tax in 2021. If Amazon had paid the statutory 21 percent tax rate on its 2021 U.S. income without any tax breaks, that would have meant a tax bill of more than $7.3 billion. Instead, the company reports a current federal income tax expense of $2.1 billion.

Amazon’s 2021 federal income tax payment is comparatively significant for a profitable company that paid less than $0 in the first year of the Trump-GOP tax law. But the company’s continuous tax avoidance adds up over time. Over the past four years, Amazon reported a total federal tax rate of just 5.1 percent on over $78 billion of U.S. income.

The (entirely legal) mechanisms Amazon uses to achieve this are familiar. Tax credits account for $1.1 billion of the company’s tax avoidance, with deductions for excess

— source Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy | Matthew Gardner | Feb 8, 2022

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Amazon Dodged $5.2 Billion in Taxes in 2021

An analysis released Monday shows that Amazon utilized several perfectly legal mechanisms to avoid paying $5.2 billion in federal corporate income taxes in 2021, a year in which the online retail behemoth saw its profits and sales skyrocket.

Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), estimated that given Amazon’s record-breaking $35 billion in U.S. pretax income for fiscal year 2021, the Seattle-based corporate giant paid an “effective federal income tax rate of 6%”—far lower than the statutory corporate tax rate of 21%.

Had Amazon paid the latter rate on its 2021 U.S. income, Gardner noted, the company’s federal tax bill would have amounted to more than $7.3 billion.

“Instead, the company reports a current federal income tax expense of $2.1 billion,” Gardner wrote Tuesday. “Amazon’s 2021 federal income tax payment is comparatively significant

— source | Jake Johnson | Feb 8, 2022

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Tax on Global Mega-Rich Could Help Lift 2.3 Billion Out of Poverty

A new analysis released Tuesday estimates that an annual wealth tax targeting the world’s millionaires and billionaires would raise enough revenue to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, provide universal healthcare to the people of low- and middle-income nations, and produce enough coronavirus vaccines to meet global demand.

The study was carried out by the Fight Inequality Alliance, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), Oxfam, and Patriotic Millionaires, advocacy groups that have long warned about and cataloged the corrosive impacts of wealth inequality—which has only gotten worse during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

“The insane reality is that whilst billions face a daily struggle to survive during this pandemic, billionaire wealth is spiraling out of control,” Jenny Ricks, global convenor of the Fight Inequality Alliance, said in a statement. “This cannot be right.”

— source | Jake Johnson | Jan 18, 2022

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How Fortune 500 Companies Avoid Paying Income Tax

The U.S. corporate tax rate was cut from 35% to 21%, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).1 The U.S. tax rate is now much more competitive with other nations, but companies are continuously looking for ways to save money.

The passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.
Large multinational companies can still save billions of dollars by using foreign subsidiaries and tax havens.
Other methods used by Fortune 500 companies to reduce taxes include accelerated depreciation and stock options, while some industries even offer specific tax breaks.

The Real Tax Bill

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found in a 2017 report that over the eight-year period from 2008 to 2015, 258 profitable Fortune 500 companies paid an average effective federal income tax rate of 21.2%—while the federal tax rate was 35% for all those years.2

— source | Matthew Johnston | Jan 27, 2021

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Almost $500bn ‘lost to tax abuse by firms and super-rich in 2021’

Countries are losing almost half a trillion dollars through tax abuse by multinationals and the super-rich, enough to fully vaccinate the global population against Covid-19 three times over, a report has said.

Research by tax campaigners found that estimated losses had risen from $427bn last year to $483bn (£359bn) in 2021, with the UK alone responsible for almost 40% of the total.

Britain facilitates abuse and evasion through a network made up of British overseas territories and the City of London, the report said.

The State of Tax Justice 2021 – jointly published by the Tax Justice Network (TJN), the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and the global union federation Public Services International – said $312bn of the total sum was the result of cross-border corporate tax abuse by multinational corporations and $171bn offshore tax evasion by wealthy individuals.

The report said the total was calculated based on data self-reported by multinational

— source | Larry Elliott | 16 Nov 2021

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Under Modi, Tax Burden has Shifted from Corporates to People

It was once famously said that the executive (government) is nothing but a committee to manage the affairs of the ruling class in any society. The Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government is a fine example of this truth. The open and brazen way in which it has worked to the advantage of India’s powerful corporate sector has few parallels in the world.

Take the example of taxation, which is the sovereign right only of governments. In the name of spurring ‘growth’ and ‘employment’ the Modi government has decisively reduced taxes levied on big business while increasing the burden on common people through direct and indirect taxation. It has also reduced customs duties (tax on imports) to encourage entry of foreign products into the country, thus damaging domestic industry, especially the medium and small-scale sectors.
Corporate Tax Cuts

As the chart below shows, income tax collections increased from Rs.2.6 lakh crore in 2014-2015 when Modi came to power, to Rs.5.6 lakh crore – a rise of 117%. In the same period,

— source | Subodh Varma | 24 Oct 2021

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