With another whistleblower releasing the inner details of tax evasion strategies (the LuxLeaks) in the build up to the G20, it is timely this week’s Renegade Economists radio show interviewed Dr Mark Zirnsak (Tax Justice Network) to discusses his report on tax evasion – ‘Who Owns the Commonwealth‘. We discuss the scope of tax minimisation/ evasion/ dodging/ planning, the motivation for foreign MNCs to avoid tax and the small steps forwards by some tax havens to assist cash strapped governments.
We didn’t get time to discuss the need for a switch of tax bases to avoid the sort of trickery Amazon has undertaken here in Australia, declaring a paltry $1.5m despite desecrating the retail book industry. The need to tax ‘fixed’ (ie land and land-like assets) rather than mobile tax bases is a key issue the G20 should be formulating policy around.
Indeed 25 of the top 27 tax avoiders enjoyed monopoly rents, ensuring a double tax evasion. One on the existing tax base and another on the economic rents that should be taxed. Ideally we would prefer to reduce company tax in favour of higher taxes on monopoly rents, the immobile factors of production.
Search the Lux Leaks documents for your own tax evasion story.
Whilst so many governments are cash strapped, facing credit rating writedowns, many of those same governments (ie USA, England and the Philippines) are already back in land bubble territory.
With this in mind, the show concludes with another report based on publicly available data (via ASX listed company reports): David Collyer’s Englobo – Land Banking Profits During a Housing Supply Crisis report. All the conditions for affordable housing have been met in terms of land supply, what have been the results?
See you at the Speculative Vacancies 7 report release, Wed Nov 12th