Saturday, August 01, 2015

Online Schemes to tax the sharing economy

The NSW government will launch a digital profile service before the end of the year, chasing the same sort of ‘single view’ online transaction capability established by the Commonwealth’s myGov service. NSW to build its own myGov

Revenue & Customs plans to raise nearly £1bn of extra tax by 2021 using new sources of online data to track down small businesses that are under-declaring their sales.
Tax experts said that Apple, Amazon and Airbnb were likely to be among the app stores and platforms required to hand over data that will help HMRC identify tax-evading businesses. HMRC, which already obtains data from credit card companies, is also set to extend its powers to get data from payment providers such as PayPal, under the proposals that are set to become law next year.
In a consultation paper, HMRC insisted that the expansion of its data-gathering powers would not have implications for customers’ privacy. Revenue & Customs goes online to tax the sharing economy

GAO Report – IRS 2016 Budget Cuts Increase Risk ... IRS Is Scaling Back Activities and Using Budget Flexibilities to Absorb Funding Cuts, GAO-15-624: Published: Jun 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 2015: “Internal Revenue Service (IRS) total appropriations declined from a high of $12.1 billion in fiscal year 2010 to $11.3 billion in fiscal year 2014, a reduction of about 7 percent. 

Federal Reserve Board staff as background for the June 16-17, 2015, meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) were inadvertently included in a computer file posted to the Board’s public website on June 29. Because the information has already been released, the Federal Reserve is today providing general public notification and making those projections more easily accessible on our website within the FRB/US model package (ZIP) data folder

REMITTANCES EXPLAINED: How funds are transferred across borders, and why digital is poised to disrupt this century-old industry Business Insider

Uber, Airbnb And The Conflict Between Policy’s Ratchet Effect And Tech’s Accelerating Speed Techcrunch. We actually have a shorter name for “policy’s ratchet effect”: The law.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Foreign criminals are using the housing and art market

Cybercrime as a service rise

Ekaterina Juskowski was operating the camera as her model friend strolled down the beach, looking as smouldering as she possibly could. All of a sudden, a small boat appears at the shoreline and about nine men jump out, wade through the lq shallow water and scatter into the city, leaving the now empty boat bobbling in the water. “That’s a testament to how confident these organisations are — what we call transnational criminal organisations — who smuggle criminals and narcotics right onto the beach,” U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Frank Miller told The New Times

Foreign criminals drive up London house prices by laundering money into property 
Is it game over for money laundering in London’s property market?  

Foreign criminals are using the London housing market  to launder billions of pounds, pushing up house prices for domestic buyers, a senior police officer has warned.
Donald Toon, the director of economic crime at the National Crime Agency, spoke after a spike in receipts from a tax on homes bought up by companies, trusts and investment funds rather than individuals.
Such corporations, usually based in offshore tax havens, are sometimes used by buyers keen to hide ownership of assets from their own countries’ tax authorities. The secrecy they offer can equally be used to squirrel away ill-gotten gains.  Offshore Tax Havens

World's rich are turning London into capital of inequality and tax evasion'

Australians might think Chinese investors have pushed up property prices, but "we ain't seen nothing yet," according to Colonial First State Global Asset Management chief economist Stephen Halmarick who is tipping the liberalisation of China's capital markets will inflate asset prices acrosss the globe.  We ain't seen nothing yet': Chinese foreign investment in Australian property tipped to surge 

Chinese investment accounted for 12 percent of Australia's new ... in big cities like Sydney or Melbourne, more than any other foreign investor. Corrupt Chinese Government Officials Flee To Australia Amid Hesitation To Extradite Criminals

Sydney to be blessed with MONA Type Gallery 

Walmart's use of tax havens hurts small businesses    

New York Times, New Disclosure Rules for Shell Companies in New York Luxury Real Estate Sales:
  • Seeking to increase transparency in the luxury real estate market, the de Blasio administration has imposed new disclosure requirements on shell companies buying or selling property in New York City.
    The changes will help remove a “veil of secrecy” surrounding high-end real estate sales by requiring that the names of all members of a shell company buying or selling property be disclosed to the city, the finance commissioner, Jacques Jiha, said

REMITTANCES EXPLAINED: How funds are transferred across borders, and why digital is poised to disrupt this century-old industry Business Insider

When the tax was first in operation in 2013/14, it raised £100m from 3,990 houses, with 80% of the revenue coming from two London boroughs - the City of Westminster and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, it said BBC 

Noferi, Mark L. and Koulish, Robert, The Immigration Detention Risk Assessment (July 1, 2015). 29 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 45 (2015). Available for download at SSRN:
In early 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) deployed nationwide a new automated risk assessment tool to help determine whether to detain or release noncitizens pending their deportation proceedings..."

Why the Economy Will Be Every Country’s Weapon of Choice CFR

US Tax Avoidance Trumps Greek Tax Evasion 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Arts ... It all began in the Sydney Botanic Garden

Last week MEdia Dragon caught up with John Azarias in front of The Parliament House and I must admit John looks the same as two decades ago when I first met him... John has not lost his storytelling abilities as Gillian (sic) Lester noted in the Great Synagog last month 'John is the most charming man he ever met'. This charm and thoughtfullness is reflected in the following foundation: (Actresses and writers like Bella Imrichova value this kind of foundation even more than bloggers ;-)

It all began early in 2014 when John and Patricia Azarias, the founders of the Prize, took a walk through the Botanic Garden. John Azarias loves Hellenic culture and had seen the original monument in Athens. On that particular day, as he and his wife approached the sandstone replica (commissioned in 1870 by Sir James Martin), they were struck by how eroded it was becoming. He decided then and there to raise the funds for its restoration in readiness for the Botanic Garden’s bicentenary in 2016. John and Patricia Azarias

Sydney businessman John Azarias recently wrote an account, that was published in the Financial Times, of the Greek Alexandrian poet Constantine Cavafy whose '"constant companions of the mind" were the multi-ethnic worlds of the Seleucids, of the Ptolemies, of Byzantium and of the Ottomans'. It was, as Azarias said, 'a quintessentially Alexandrian spirit'. Again, this culture was untidy, overlapping, contradictory and pluralistic—not a culture demanding conformity to a single religion or language—surely rich enough to fit King Abdullah's ideal of 'an overlap of cultures'. As I remember hearing Bill Clinton say once: 'Our differences make us interesting. Our common humanity is more important.' 

Writer - Patricia Azarias is the product of an immigrant family, born in Egypt, of an English father and a Spanish Jewish mother, speaking several languages. She is a passionate advocate of a multi-cultural Australia & is on the board of SBS Radio & Television, an active member of its Community Advisory Committee. She is the Deputy Chair of CRC (NSW). She worked for the United Nations for many years & was the Chief Auditor (2004-2006). She recently finished a year in Papua New Guinea as a UN expert on public finance and established a foundation for sending kids to school. As the Director of the Public Accounts Committee of the NSW Parliament, she wrote numerous publications. - See more at: Migrant Story

Parliament especially in Sydney is a small and people are still keeping in touch. We evev had the friendliest and considerate President in my time in NSW Parliament, Johno Johnson who is currently in the Prince of Wales hospital. The NSW Parliament is peppered with colourful characters ... In 1991 Dr Russell Cope, the Parliamentary Librarian, concluded 40 years of meritorious service Dr Cope is one of those living treasures that few institutions have

Google Blog: “The Google Translate app already lets you instantly visually translate printed text in seven languages. Just open the app, click on the camera, and point it at the text you need to translate—a street sign, ingredient list, instruction manual, dials on a washing machine. 
See the world in your Czech and Sloval languages with Google Translate  

Search Engine Land: The difference between a halo and a noose is only six inches

American road-tripping has left its mark on literature: Roughing It, On the Road, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Here are the routes that matter ...

Search Engine Land: “YouTube is arguably the second largest search engine on the Web. It is the third most visited site on the Web, according to Alexa and SimilarWeb. Recent information released by Google has shown that more and more users are using YouTube as a search engine. Searches related to “how to” on YouTube are growing 70% year over year. It is also no secret that video content is more engaging than a page of text and can be much more informative. YouTube’s popularity and reach are also expanded by its inclusion in both Google Web and Video search.”

My dad used to have a saying  that big thieves always hanged the little thieves as he watched the feudalist hanging slaves then during 1940s he watched Fascist hanging jews and gypsies and slavs, but most of his life he spent living under the oppresive communist regime ... He died in 1992 when the Velvet Revolution was kind to most citizens ... As they say the difference between a halo and a noose is only six inches ... Leadership the human connection

Ebay and Paypal users face 'huge' tax crackdown

Australia to tax ALL international online purchases   

re/code: “The Bloomberg terminal makes up a significant part of the world’s financial nervous system. The machine is parked on the desks of over 325,000 financial pros who pay $24,000 a year to use it. And while it’s packed with data and news, its most popular feature by far is its instant messaging function, which traders from thousands of different banks and financial firms use to whip up deals, trade gossip and execute billions of dollars in trades every day…Symphony has been humming along in beta since April with some 30,000 people using the service. A preview was released this week and a general release is scheduled for September. And [French software engineer David] GurlĂ© has ambitions for it beyond the financial sector. He wants to sell Symphony to law firms, accounting offices, health care companies and companies in any other industry where exchanging sensitive information is necessary. Wall Street, he says, is just a “beachhead.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Local government matters most, new Australian research finds

Just because my story of Cold River is about horrors of absurd communism doesn’t mean I always identify myself with other forms of barbarism such as ruthless capitalism or weird saudisn ...

After the local government closed a public beach on the French Riviera, in anticipation of a visit from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, nearly 140,000 French citizens have signed a petition demanding that the government reopen the beach, which is known as a good spot for fishing, swimming, and public nudity French citizens protest re saudi royals closing nude beach

This major piece of social research, which has never been done before, demonstrates how and why communities value the activities and role of local governments. In the latter part of 2014, we surveyed more than 2000 Australians to find out why local government matters.

Australians prefer their governments local

One of the most startling findings of ACELG’s research is that about 75% of Australians surveyed think local government is best able to make decisions about their local areas. This is compared with 26% for state government and an embarrassing two percent for the federal government.
Australians highly value governments that are ‘close’ to the community and they want local government to be responsible for a diversity of activities with, interestingly, planning for the future being amongst the most important.
Local Government may not be recognised in Australia’s Constitution but we fail to acknowledge its place in our federation at our peril.    Australia’s Federation debate, triggered last year by the release of the issues paper, A Federation for our Future, is focussed largely on the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth, the states and territories. We’ll be badly out of step with the community if we do not broaden the debate to more fully encompass local government.
Local government matters most, new Australian research finds

This research offers one of the first detailed insights into the valuable contribution made by local government within the multi-layered crime prevention strategies and initiatives which keep Australian communities safe.  Understanding the local government role in crime prevention

Although the report argues all the agencies had the capacity to measure productivity, it also acknowledged the difficulty of deciding what counts as productivity within the public sector, highlighting two key drawbacks in using physical productivity measures in the public sector... Strengthening Productivity Measurement Treasury

Interview: Paul Mason’s guide to a post-capitalist future Prospect

Washington Post: “As of September, one of the largest companies in the world will do all of its employees and managers an enormous favor: It will get rid of the annual performance review. Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme told The Washington Post that the professional services firm, which employs hundreds of thousands of workers in cities around the globe, has been quietly preparing for this “massive revolution” in its internal operations [Read the full interview with Accenture’s CEO where he breaks the news of the decision].”

Aidan had an amazing capacity for looking right into you as a human being. “Life is all about who and what we are – our values, our gifts, our integrity. Finding our own identity is the first step.”

Siobhan Sheridan, reminded me that Aidan had, in poet David Whyte’s phrase, “the art of asking beautiful disturbing questions”. If there was ever a lull in our conversation, after I’d described the fullness of my life and work, he would catch me out with the same question. Leaning in, his head tilted to one side, he’d say, in his gentle Irish voice: “Ashley, and tell me, are you happy?”
Leadership the human connection