Thursday, March 15, 2012

My tax paradise (Nothing as powerful against tax havens as tax heavens)

My tax paradise is not, as some could think, a country where there are no taxes paid, but a country with a just, transparent and efficient tax system which, without weakening the citizen, allows for the fiscal revenue necessary for the government to undertake what the citizen considers it should undertake on their behalf… and nothing more. 

Currently such a fiscal paradise does not exist anywhere. In fact what dominates in the world is the existence of real Kafkaesque tax infernos. Countries capable of transforming themselves into tax paradises have all to gain. 

My tax paradise would be governed by the following two principles: 

1. Every person has the inalienable right to contribute to his country by the payment of taxes, no matter how poor he is. It is also unacceptable that citizens can be odiously divided by interested politicians and bureaucrats, in those paying and those not paying taxes.

2. The state must not receive any income other than those taxes paid directly by the citizens in their own name. Is an inalienable right of citizens to have their governments work exclusively for them, without patrons or other interested parties, introducing confusion into such relation.

In this respect, in my tax paradise, any person who receives a single dollar in income, for any reason or from any source, pays taxes. The tax rate, progressive of course, could for example be between 10 and 49 percent. Never should the government be able to get hold of the largest portion of the income of any citizen, no matter how wealthy that citizen might be.

Companies would not be taxed at all, because their function is to create jobs and increase the taxable income of the citizens, something they can do much better without any distortions. Of course, companies would have to withhold and pay taxes on dividends paid to those who are not fiscally domiciled in the country.

All other revenue that may enter the state, such as the net oil revenues (Venezuela) and net import duties, should be distributed directly to citizens, in the extent that macroeconomic realities so permit, and will become part of their taxable income.

The tax revenues collected by the central state should be automatically distributed on a highly decentralized basis, which in our case (Venezuela) I visualize to be about 10 percent for the governorates and 40 percent to municipalities, 90 percent of these to be distributed based on population and 10 percent based on the territory. Municipalities may also collect their residential property taxes.

In cases of national emergency, and with the favorable vote of 80 percent of the Assembly, the National Assembly may also enact a tax on the value of financial assets up to a maximum of 1 percent per year, up to a maximum period of 3 years.

¿Could public services be privatized? Absolutely, but always allocated on the basis of minimizing user fees and not, as is usual, maximizing state revenues.

¿What about public debt? Not a penny more that 30 percent of GDP, and only long term debt.

I appreciate any suggestions you may have to help make even more paradisaical my tax paradise. 

Translated from El Universal

PS. Phrased in other words: Corporate taxes only dilute citizen's tax representation or... clearer yet... the corporations have hijacked the citizen's tax representation... to the delight of politicians.

PS. And of course, VAT and similar, beside being regressive do not give real representation, as there is not an identified citizen behind its payment.

PS. Public borrowing capacity (or money printing seigniorage) is a valuable strategic asset that should not lightly be consumed or squandered.

PS. Oh, how I dislike redistribution profiteers... let's diminish their franchise value with a Universal Basic Income