ATHENS: “Once my taxes are paid, at the end of the day I have €20 (RM93) or €25 (RM116) left in my pocket,“ lamented Greek hairdresser Babis Toumbanos. Like him, there are many entrepreneurs in the country who want the new conservative government that emerged from the July 7 general election to relieve the heavy tax burden of recent years. Incoming Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis inherits an economy saddled with taxes applied in the last decade – including a previous government which he was part of -- to refloat the country’s public finances in the middle of the debt crisis. Mitsotakis has promised a “rebirth of the middle class”, which was squeezed by increases in VAT and income taxes, as well as the imposition during the crisis of a new heavy tax on real estate. The conservative leader announced that at the end of July his government will present a bill to lower these taxes, as well as the corporate tax rate from the current 28 … [Read more...] about Tax-weary Greek traders welcome change of government
Small business tax relief
MULTIFACETED FALLOUT The fallout of this trade war is multifaceted. Last week, hundreds of small American business owners who sell goods imported from China told the US authorities that should the next round of tariffs take effect, they would be forced to raise prices, fire workers, or even shut down. As US Correspondent Charissa Yong reports, there is a wide spectrum of goods that could be affected. It ranges from Bibles that are printed in China using specialised machines which US producers are not able to handle, to paint brushes that use imported bristles from a unique breed of hog raised in south-western China. The trade dispute has spilled over to scientific and academic collaboration. As US Bureau Chief Nirmal Ghosh and China Correspondent Danson Cheong report, Chinese students and scholars in American universities and research institutions are beginning to feel the chill from the souring US-China relationship. Chinese students in the US are facing suspicion that they might … [Read more...] about Trump-Xi meeting at G-20: Will it ease US-China trade tensions?
Samphan: Section 44 order a relief Some 5,000 non-registered small hotels are expected to legalise their business after a recent order issued by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO). The small hotels are among the roughly 23,000 hotels nationwide operating illegally or without an operating licence under the Hotel Act of 2004, said Samphan Panpat, honorary adviser to the Thai Hotels Association (THA). The order, enforced under Section 44 powers, is aimed at bringing illegal hotels and accommodation service providers under better state control and boosting safety for guests. According to Mr Samphan, these small hotels with fewer than 50 keys had planned to register with local authorities but their attempts were obstructed by a 2016 ministerial regulation of the Interior Ministry. The regulation required operators that transformed their buildings into hotels to comply with the Town and City Planning Act as well as the Building Control Act before seeking an … [Read more...] about Small hotels set to legalise ventures
A limited Cabinet session on Wednesday again considered granting more tax holidays, tax credits, investment allowances, income tax reductions, double tax deductions, value added tax relief and new investment in selected priority industrial sectors to stimulate business. Fiscal incentives such as double tax deductions for business spending on vocational training and research is greatly welcomed to reduce the wide deficit in skilled labor and generate more business innovation. But the government should be very careful in providing the other fiscal incentives if they are designed primarily to maintain tax system competitiveness in an increasingly globalized world, especially in the ASEAN region. The country’s tax ratio, less than 11 percent of gross domestic product, is among the lowest in the region and other middle-income countries, while the provision of such incentives will weaken the structure of tax revenue and create moral hazards. Most of the planned tax incentives would … [Read more...] about Business facilitation, not tax
PERTH (BLOOMBERG) - Australians seem to be turning sour on sugar. Consumption has been flat-lining, and appetite for the sweet stuff probably won't grow much at all medium term as people shift to low sugar, diet and sugar-free options, said Charles Clack, a Rabobank analyst in Sydney. Some state governments have been trying to discourage consumption by displaying graphic images of rotting teeth and fatty organs on buses and billboards. "Health is a large factor behind this trend, offsetting the positive influence of stable domestic population growth," said Clack. Australia isn't the only place where people appear to be wary of over-indulging in sugar. Demand in the European Union has hardly changed in recent years, and several countries have imposed taxes on sugar consumption, including the UK and South Africa. Yet Asia's taking up the slack, eating and drinking more of the sweetener than ever before. Since the region accounts for over 40 per cent of the world's sugar consumption, … [Read more...] about Rotting teeth and fatty organs turn Australians sour on sugar