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Personal Tax Review


In the years preceding the onset of the financial crisis, personal income tax rates were, by and large, on the way down across the OECD member states. However, while some of these countries have managed to maintain, or in some cases modestly reduce, income tax for the low-paid, the highly-paid and the wealthy have become an easy target for governments in their search for revenue, and this has led to upwards pressure on top income tax rates. In this review, we summarise some of the most notable recent examples of this trend.


We start our round-up in the United States, where decisions about tax and spending have come to encapsulate the deepening enmity between the Democrats and Republicans over issues related to the economy, and how best to fix it. Ever since President Obama arrived in the White House he has made it clear that wealthy individuals and households should be prepared to pay a little more in tax so that the burden of closing the federal deficit does not fall disproportionately on those of more moderate means. The line in the sand that Obama has drawn is USD250,000 per year in income for households and USD200,000 for individuals, below which nobody, he says, should suffer an increase in income tax. Therefore, he argues, when the temporary income tax cuts enacted under President Bush expire on December 31, they should not be renewed for those with annual income above these amounts.


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Latest Tax News


Schäuble Snubs NRW's Tax Data Disc Purchase

Distancing himself, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has insisted that the purchase of tax data discs by federal states in Germany, containing information on German residents alleged to have evaded taxes in Switzerland and in other countries, does not offer an appropriate credible solution to the longstanding problem.
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China Clarifies Withholding Tax On Dividends Paid Abroad

China's State Administration of Taxes has announced a relaxation of the rules governing the withholding tax that foreign investors have to pay on dividends repatriated from their share of investments in Chinese companies.
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South Korea Pursues Further FTAs Within ASEAN

Following the commencement of negotiations on a trade treaty with Indonesia, the South Korean government has indicated that it will look to negotiate additional treaties with other countries within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, starting with Vietnam.
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US Pensioners To Be Hit By Year-End Dividend Tax Hike

According to a study prepared for the Edison Electric Institute by Ernst and Young, the sharp increase in United States dividend tax rates, which will take effect on January 1 next year unless Congress takes action, would hurt older American investors who are at or nearing retirement age the most.
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France Eyes Retroactive Tax On Overtime Hours

The French Socialist Party has recently submitted an amendment to the country's second 2012 supplementary finance bill, providing that overtime hours be subjected to income tax with retroactive effect from January 1, 2012.
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