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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #41

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The conception of "immoral tax avoidance" sounds curious ...

One of the principal bases of a lay modern democracy is legality.

If there is a legal way to pay less taxes, from the perspective of the "social contract" we "signed" as soon as we were born ... that's not "immoral", since the judgment about morality is subordinated to the evaluation of legality [at least in a lay democracy].
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:11 PM   #42

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Now, the argument "the poor have no means to avoid/evade tax" is quite weak.

In Italy for example there is a very wide "black market" of workers. Irregular workers don't pay taxes on their earns [sure they will have no pension, but they don't pay an euro of taxes]. The business which uses this irregular work don't pay taxes on work too .. [this is why it's "convenient" for both the sides].

Moreover, a consistent number of retired regular workers [always in Italy] enters the black market of workers. So that with the pension they earn also an irregular wage [on which they don't pay taxes].

P.S. Irregular work is illegal, so that it would be also "immoral" ... theoretically.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #43

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In Britain, the taxman WILL find and catch you. Work for "cash in hand" (i.e. your "black market workers") does exist, but this is very ad hoc and if the taxman gets wind of it, the employer is in big trouble, especially if the employee is on benefits.

The rich, on the other hand, can apparently decide whether they'd like to pay tax or not........
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #44

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Yes, but in many cases people have no choice other than to take irregular jobs.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:28 PM   #45

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Now, the argument "the poor have no means to avoid/evade tax" is quite weak.

In Italy for example there is a very wide "black market" of workers. Irregular workers don't pay taxes on their earns [sure they will have no pension, but they don't pay an euro of taxes]. The business which uses this irregular work don't pay taxes on work too .. [this is why it's "convenient" for both the sides].

Moreover, a consistent number of retired regular workers [always in Italy] enters the black market of workers. So that with the pension they earn also an irregular wage [on which they don't pay taxes].

P.S. Irregular work is illegal, so that it would be also "immoral" ... theoretically.
As I pointed out in the OP, tax avoidance is legal. Tax evasion, which is what you describe here is not.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #46

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As I pointed out in the OP, tax avoidance is legal. Tax evasion, which is what you describe here is not.
And this is the real ethical issue from the perspective of state fiscal policy.

Poor individuals to avoid to pay taxes have to enter illegality ...

rich individuals [rich ... already families of the middle classes] can use legal ways to avoid to pay some taxes.

A very recent example.

The technical Italian government has faced this problem reducing the possibility [proposing a law about, now that the government is falling, we will see ...] to cut the base on which to pay taxes subtracting some kinds of expenses. Well, families of the middle classes are used to deduce expenses to cut the base on which calculate taxes.

But also common workers [regular] do that.

So the effects of similar laws affect the entire population, not only the "smart" ones ...

Now, to link similar limitations to the total incomes of a family is anyway difficult. A businessman can declare earns even inferior to the ones of a common workers. How?

If you run a business you can deduce all the expenses, a worker cannot ... just some expenses.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #47

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Hello Fox. So a country gets the government deserves?

How do you suggest that a population should demand such then, when it seems to me that there's no choice available that would result in a decent government such as I've described?
By manufacturing new choices. Electoral politics has a certain market quality to it: genuine demand tends to be met with supply. Here's the thing, though: there's no real demand for integrity. Oh, sure, people talk about it in a half-hearted fashion, but they don't really care on a day-to-day basis. So long as they've got a reasonably decent job and some basic luxuries, they have minimal interest in the actual details of the political process. This is understandable, but it also has a very real effect: political corruption. And this gets even worse when said individuals allow themselves to be distracted with ultimately trivial side-issues instead of focusing properly on the broader picture.

The problem here is that there isn't much people can do as individuals to affect direct, immediate change. Just like markets, electoral politics is a collective phenomenon, which tends to leave the rare individuals who actually do care, who actually do demand integrity, feeling as you say, cynical. Getting even one person who would rather be watching football than keeping up with what his elected representative is doing to change his ways would be a nearly Herculean task, so getting an entire nation of such people to do it is quite daunting. That's what's required, though: either the people need to be politically aware and actively demand integrity, or they need to understand that it's collectively their fault that their representatives are constantly misbehaving. When it's the odd representative doing ill, sure, it's his fault; when it's nearly all of them doing ill, it's the people's fault.

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What's the answer? Revolution?
I suspect a lot of these issues, at least in western representative democracies, could be resolved well short of outright revolution if the general population were itself more virtuous and politically aware, but in a worst-case scenario, yes, it might come down to revolution.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:52 PM   #48

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Why not a flat rate tax of say, 10% on any earnings? No deductions, no exceptions and avoid all these loopholes and reduce the bureaucracy required to administer the current tax regimes.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:59 PM   #49

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Why not a flat rate tax of say, 10% on any earnings? No deductions, no exceptions and avoid all these loopholes and reduce the bureaucracy required to administer the current tax regimes.
well, it defies the purpose of taxation as the idea is to rob the common people of their earnings but enable the wealthy to pay little by their hordes of tax lawyers who know how to cut corners
(if my company really takes off i am gonna do the same. but maybe with only one lawyer for starters )
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Old December 13th, 2012, 11:00 PM   #50

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here is mr. schmidt proving my point:
Google boss: I'm very proud of our tax avoidance scheme - Home News - UK - The Independent

Last edited by infestør; December 13th, 2012 at 11:59 PM.
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