At the G20 meeting, most financial leaders appear ready for a global minimum digital tax. The US is not. German finance minister Olaf Scholz said “a minimum taxation should be done now ... and nearly every country understands why.” The US remains an outlier and Scholtz urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to step up: “This needs leadership in certain countries,” Mnuchin wants US companies to get what he calls a “safe harbor” and others call optional tax treatment. Without an agreement by year’s end, European countries may levy their own digital taxes on US tech companies, which could result in new US tariffs on European imports.
Will China buy $40 billion in US agricultural products, as President Trump promised? US Department of Agriculture chief economist Robert Johansson projects that agricultural exports to China will increase by $4 billion to about $14 billion in the year that ends September 30. That’s well below the $40 billion to $50 billion the White House says China promised in each of the next two years under the two nations’ “phase one” trade deal. Trump is hinting at another round of government payments to farmers to cover the losses.
California lawmaker proposes a universal basic income. Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang may have ended his run but his idea for a Universal Basic Income plus a Value Added Tax lives. Assemblyman Evan Low wants the state to provide a $1000 monthly income to all Californians age 18 and over who do not already receive state-provided financial assistance. He’d fund the payments with a new 10 percent VAT on goods and services. The tax would exempt medicine, medical supplies and equipment, educational materials including tuition and related fees.
Naming and shaming in South Carolina. 236 businesses and 231 individuals owe the state nearly $120 million in delinquent taxes and there’s little chance the state will recover the money. So the Department of Revenue has publicly listed the debtors online after exhausting all other efforts to collect. Says the department’s fact sheet: “A tax lien has been filed against everyone on this list, making these debts public information.”
Journal of Accounting and Public Policy: Call for Papers by May 1, 2020. The Journal will publish a special issue on nonprofits and their tax exempt status. Articles could address questions such as whether the benefits non-profits give society justify their tax exemption, whether tax benefits encourage charities to organize as nonprofits. and how outside audits affect tax exempt status and tax avoidance? For more information click here.
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