🌲 Green Dreams

by Yash Gohel, Anshumi Shah and Anushka Shah

Alert:


Yesterday, scientists reported, ‘there has been a 68% decline in wildlife over the last 50 years!!’ Sadly, it is ‘due to human destruction.’ Catastrophic!


🌲 Green Dreams



A few days ago in Denmark… The government wants the Danish people to shift from petrol cars to electric vehicles. Denmark has the world’s most expensive, complicated, and confusing taxation system on vehicles. It proposed a series of tax amendments. Lower registration taxes on EVs (specifically, Tesla), higher road taxes for conventional gasoline (petrol) models, and of course, higher petrol prices. The aim is- a million EVs by 2030.


The Danish have ranked themselves as one of the world’s greenest countries. You might be wondering that an EV or a Tesla (or any other environment-friendly product as a matter of fact) must be super cheap, or at least affordable in this country. Not true. Denmark is the most expensive place on Earth if you want to buy a Tesla. The model 3 Long Range costs will cost USD 100k next year. More than a fifth of this tag comes from the high taxes.


The government predicts revenue of 50b kroner or roughly USD 8b in taxes from car sales.  The lawmakers struck a historic deal to cut carbon emission by 70% by 2030 (from 1990 levels). This is almost twice more ambitious than the European Union’s 40% target. So, if taxes will help them pursue their Green Dreams, then just roll out with it.


Currently, only 1% out of the country’s 2.7 million registered vehicles are EVs. It is definitely a long road from here. And, although this will be a great boost to Tesla, Volkswagen, and other EV manufacturers, it is a great initiative by the Danish government.


It’s time all of us think about the future- the Earth we want our children to see and act upon it.


Taxing the Champions of Pandemic


For the past 6 months, we have been talking, breathing, and suffering from the ‘rona virus’ (pun intended) – one way or another. Some of the economies have been brought to their knees because of its aftermath. 


Why are we still talking about the virus? Unlike the 2008 crisis that impacted everyone, this time some “champions” have emerged from the pandemic. They have not only done well but also benefited from the virus in the lockdown. So who are they? On one side we have the tech giants. These companies had started following the ‘social distancing norms’ even before the pandemic hit. For them, it was more business than usual. Also, we have pharmaceutical companies – for obvious reasons.


On the other end, we have pharmaceutical companies – for obvious reasons.


What’s so worrying? 


For the past 6 months, we have been talking, breathing, and suffering from the ‘rona virus’ (pun intended) – one way or another. Some of the economies have been brought to their knees because of its aftermath. Why are we still talking about the virus? Unlike the 2008 crisis that crumbled everyone, this time you gotta notice the “champions” of the pandemic. Who have not only done well but also benefited from the virus in the lockdowns, so who are they? On one side we have the Digital giants. These tech companies had started following the ‘social distancing norms’ even before the pandemic. For them, it was more business than usual. And on the other end, we have pharmaceutical companies – for obvious reasons.


With more laws like  India’s “equalization levy”, hopefully, the Tax evaders can help foot the world’s bill for coronavirus spending.


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✂️ Australian Income Tax Rate Cut- Tug of War


The Australian income tax rate cuts were planned in three stages across seven years, with the first cut delivered in July 2018, the second planned for 2022, and the last in 2024. But the government is considering bringing forward the 2022 income tax rates to kickstart the economy. 


So the ongoing debate is whether this will help or sink the economy?


It is said that the proposed income tax rate cuts will worsen inequality. Apparently the tax cuts are skewed towards high income-earners. Around 60% of taxpayers will not even receive any benefit. Someone making $200,000 would get a 5.76% tax cut, while a person on the median income of $60,000 gets 0.6%. So, the biggest benefits of the tax rate cuts kick in only when workers are earning six figures.


On the flip side, paying less taxes leads to higher disposable income for Australians. More money in their pockets means more spending. This rise in spending could help create more jobs and improve the unemployment rate.


But the real question is how do you get the people to spend the money? Previous tax rate cuts show that the rich are more likely to save and pay off personal debts rather than stimulating the economy. The people who spend extra money are indeed the poor.


The Australian Budget is scheduled to be released in October. It will include the decision regarding the new income tax rates.


Only time can tell!


㊙️ Japan and Abenomics


Remember how we told you about the doomed Japanese Sales Tax and how it led to recession? Looks like it is here to stay. Suga is a front-runner to succeed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He has made it clear that sales tax will remain at 10%. Suga is planning to revive the economy by protecting jobs and companies. Loans and deferrals on taxes will act as a cushion for businesses. But the Sales Tax hike introduced under Abe’s rule will continue. It acts as a source of revenue for the social welfare programs and supposedly cutting the tax rate will affect small and mid-sized companies.


Abe-nomics is here for good!


🎖️ The Spirit of the War, Donald Duck – Crazy Tax Story



Do you know the Scrooge McDuck – the old cheapskate billionaire uncle of Donald Duck from Scotland? He has a hat, a cane, and spectacles. He first appeared in the cartoon called “The Spirit of 43.” What’s that you ask?


This cartoon was created by Walt in 1943 as a propaganda tool urging people to pay taxes. Countries were engulfed by World War II. The USA government needed taxes because of war efforts. The citizens were expected to pay more every quarter!


The cartoon goes like… Donald gets his cash. He then gets these two visitors, which are sort of an angel-demon duo. The angel is the Scrooge McDuck who’s urging him to be frugal and save his money. And the demon is a zoot suiter urging him to go and spend his money on frivolous things.


We can see these two pulling at him trying to get him to spend his money or save his money. The cartoon actually gets really interesting to watch. There’s a lot of discussion about how you’re paying a lot more in taxes, and what are the taxes being used for. It spends a long time talking about guns and it uses the phrase, “taxes to destroy the Axis!” (Axis powers in WW-II represent the Der Fuhrer or Adolf Hitler, and his entire chaos brigade)



Wait, there’s more to this. “The Spirit of 43” has a predecessor called the “The New Spirit”, released in 1942. A voice coming out of the radio tells Donald that paying taxes should be seen as a privilege. Then, armed with a fountain pen, ink well, and stamp, Donald Duck lists three dependents — his adopted nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie — and pays a USD 13 tax on his income of USD 2,501 made from his Hollywood acting.


This cartoon cost the Congress USD 80k which they initially refused to pay. The film was later played to 26,000,000 people. 37% of them Gallup-polled, said it animated their willingness to pay taxes. (note: The Gallup Poll is the division of Gallup that regularly conducts public opinion polls)


Only the richest Americans used to pay taxes in the early years of introduction. But that changed with the attack on Pearl Harbor. A Revenue Act was put in place, with a lot of new propaganda measures. Tax returns filed skyrocketed from USD 7.7 million in 1939 to USD 36.7 million in 1942 and about 50 million in 1945.


Fortune says: “In one respect Walt Disney is a man of almost godlike power, for there is literally no limit to the things he can create on the screen…” But who would have thought? Donald Duck and taxes.



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