Global Feed

Photo by cottonbro studio Italian retailers prefer cash transactions. That helps explain why the country ranks near the bottom in Europe in digital payment adoption, and is among the 30 most "cash dependent" major economies in the world, according to the latest Cash Intensity Index (ICC). This ranking, measures the effect of cash usage on the Gross Domestic Product in 95 countries around the world. The currency preference also is why Italian business owners are cheering the 2023 draft budget proposed by new far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The new government's fiscal plan includes a measure to permit stores, taxis... Read more →


The sports arena in Miami bore the FTX name until the cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy. (Photo by 350z33 via Wikipedia Commons) Even before the FTX meltdown, cryptocurrency operations were in regulators' and legislators' sights. Now more, worldwide, are calling for added government attention to the sector. European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has called regulation and supervision of crypto an "absolute necessity." Gary Gensler, chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in a Yahoo Finance interview today said his agency already has the authority it needs to oversee the crypto industry. But he also noted that... Read more →


Some of my grandmother's paintings, known as the main Vera Gallery in our house. (Photo by Kay Bell) The hubby and I are art fans, primarily of painted works. That's why almost all of our vacations include a visit to our destinations' museums. Our appreciation of a piece hanging on a wall is why most of our rooms are adorned by framed artworks. Most are signed limited edition print versions of our favorite painters' works. But we also have some originals of a few notable artists, as well as works that are more sentimental but just as lovely, like the... Read more →


The Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) division is doing its part to close the Tax Gap, which now sits at $496 billion in uncollected tax. The IRS' law enforcement group's recently released annual report notes that its agents initiated more than 2,550 criminal investigations, identified more than $31 billion from tax and financial crimes, and obtained a 90.6 percent conviction rate on cases that were prosecuted. Much of IRS-CI's success during the 2022 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, was due to its increased cooperation and partnership with its global counterparts to combat tax and financial crimes worldwide.... Read more →


Fornillo Beach in Positano along Italy's Amalfi Coast. (Photo by Mihael Grmek via Wikipedia Commons) The hubby and I just finished watching the second season of Stanley Tucci's culinary trek across Italy. So, at least for a few more weeks, we're thinking (OK, dreaming) about moving to that boot-shaped Mediterranean peninsula. If we did, which we won't, we wouldn't renounce our U.S. citizenship. That comes with too steep a tax price. But officially remaining American nationals also carries a tax cost. Most Americans who move abroad still owe U.S. taxes on their income, regardless of where it's earned. That's because... Read more →


Dealing with global taxes can be a real puzzle. (Rubik's Globe photo by Alan Kotok via Flickr CC) Americans are inordinately competitive, especially when it comes to international matchups. But there's not much for the United States to cheer as far as our ranking in the Tax Foundation's latest International Tax Competitiveness Index. Each year, the Washington, D.C.-based tax policy nonprofit measures the degree to which the tax systems of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) 38 member countries promote competitiveness. The U.S. tax system basically is middle of the pack in the Tax Foundation's 2022 evaluation. OK,... Read more →


The October filing extension deadline, which falls on Oct. 17 this year since the 15th is Saturday, is less than a week away. The Internal Revenue Service is waiting on the uber procrastinators to get their filings in by next Monday. But the IRS isn't the only federal financial office awaiting postponed documents. FinCEN also demands extended FBAR filings be in by Oct. 17. Taxable money, but not an IRS issue: FBAR, or Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, is how FBAR information is the federal government's way of tracking foreign bank and financial accounts owned by U.S. taxpayers.... Read more →


Photo by Kindel Media I am not a fan of camping. Bugs. Sleeping on the ground (see bugs). But I do love campfires, especially when they're used to char marshmallows for s'mores. Apparently so do millions of other people worldwide. And thanks to a United Kingdom tax ruling, that country's fans of this graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow treat can continue to enjoy the gooey goodies across the pond sans some VAT, or value added tax, charges. A U.K. tax tribunal recently ruled that a British food wholesaler of American snacks is not liable for VAT on its product Mega Marshmallows, which are... Read more →


If you believe cryptocurrency has democratized financial services and leveled the financial playing field, then have we got a deal for you. And by deal, we mean scam. That's a major finding of recently released U.S. Department of Treasury report, which also wants regulators to take more action against crypto fraud and scammers. The report, Crypto-Assets: Implications for Consumers, Investors, and Businesses, is in response to President Joe Biden's March 9 Executive Order 14067, which, directed Treasury (among other agencies) to examine ways to "ensure responsible development of digital assets." That's going to take a multi-agency effort, according to Treasury,... Read more →


Photo by Jill Burrow We freaked out a bit earlier this summer when we learned a neighbor whose backyard abuts ours was putting in a pool. The good news for us is that it's not a full-sized lap pool. It's one of the area's popular plunge pools, close to their house, with lots of space between it and our property line (and house). And the smaller size meant we didn't have to suffer through a prolonged construction. Despite our property proximity, we're mainly "hi, there" neighbors. Age and family differences — they're younger and have pre-school children — mean we... Read more →


Some come to the Cayman Islands for the beauty of Seven Mile Beach and other natural recreational areas. Others enjoy the Caribbean locale for financial and tax reasons. For more than a decade, wealthy U.S. tax evaders have taken advantage of a gaping tax law loophole that allows them to stash billions in foreign bank accounts, according to a recently released congressional report. Even though the 2010 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires them to report any non-U.S. accounts and pay taxes on all income earned, too many non-taxpayers are using what the Senate Finance Committee report describes as... Read more →


Photo by Zaji Kanamajina on Unsplash Here in the United States, sin taxes were the lone revenue bright spot for many states, at least early during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's a different story in Japan. Alcohol consumption among younger Japanese already had been dropping pre-COVID, in part due to a national plan launched in the 1990s to reduce alcohol-related health and societal problems. When COVID spread across the globe, drinking in Japan, especially among younger people, dropped even more. The result is that current liquor tax collection in Japan has plummeted. Japan's liquor tax revenue... Read more →


Barclays Bank building in Madrid (Photo by M.Peinado from Alcalá de Henares, España - 001782 - Madrid, CC BY 2.0) It's not a crime to put your money into legitimate foreign financial institutions. However, if the amount meets a certain threshold, you are required to report that money to the U.S. government. When U.S. taxpayers ignore this process, officially known as filing of a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBAR, they can face costly consequences. That's the case in the FBAR collection complaint filed Aug. 15 by federal officials seeking judgment against the defendant who, per the... Read more →


UPDATE, Sept. 27, 2022: A Spanish judge on today approved a trial for Colombian pop singer Shakira on charges of tax fraud. The date for the trial has yet to be set. Shakira and Spanish singing star Alejandro Sanz in 2008 met Spain's then-king Juan Carlos I. Today, Shakira's interactions with Spanish tax officials are not so friendly. (Photo by Movimiento ALAS - Flickr: ALAS_CUMBRE_64, CC BY 2.0) The rich and famous are different from you and me. But when it comes to taxes, sometimes they're the same. That's the case where they face the legal ramifications of some questionable... Read more →


HMRC warns United Kingdom citizens that tax avoidance is when people bend the rules of the tax system to try to pay less than they owe. The tax agency has created a guide to help spot tax avoidance schemes. Regardless of where we live, people essentially are the same, especially when it comes to taxes. Some of us tend to push the tax envelope, perhaps too much. That's what United Kingdom tax officials think. And they've had enough, especially in these difficult times. Tracking down tax cheats: Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the UK's version of our Internal Revenue... Read more →


Rail travel could save you some European Union automotive fuel taxes, maybe enough for a nice meal in the train's dining car a la the one Willem Dafoe's character enjoyed (or not, judging by his expression) in the 2017 film version of Murder on the Orient Express. (Photo courtesy 20th Century Fox) When I think of European travel, I immediately envision a train. OK, maybe I've watched Murder on the Orient Express (multiple versions) or Before Sunrise or A Little Romance or various Wes Anderson movies too many times. Still, for an American, particularly one who's lived most her life... Read more →


You thought you'd get a break from taxes when summer arrived, didn't you? Sorry. June, the first month of summer, also includes tax deadlines for some taxpayers. If you're a U.S. taxpayer who is living and working abroad, including members of the Armed Forces posted overseas, June 15 is your Tax Day. You must file your 2021 tax return by then. June 15 also is the due date for the second estimated tax payment of 2022. This applies to folks who make money that isn't subject to withholding tax. And some folks in Puerto Rico who suffered through major flooding... Read more →


Photo by Mateusz Dach Every new year starts with optimism about what can be accomplished, even (or perhaps especially) in the tax world. Then comes summer, and expectations dim. That's especially true on the federal law-making level in an election year. Democrats have adjusted their hoped-for pre-Memorial Day deadline to move a slimmed-down budget reconciliation bill that would implement higher taxes on the wealthy, combat climate change, and lower the cost of prescription drugs. The same stop sign has been flashed internationally, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's global tax plan meeting resistance abroad and at home. But there is some... Read more →


Crypto currency aficionados thought the worse thing happening to their holdings lately was the crashing market prices. Sorry. There's more. Tax investigators say they've discovered a possible $1 billion Ponzi scheme focusing on the crypto market. More than 50 potential crypto tax offences have been uncovered by international tax inspectors, according to reports out of a recent London conference of leaders of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) countries. The J5 was created to fight transnational tax crime through increased enforcement collaboration. The participating tax agencies — the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), France's... Read more →


The biggest nutritional problem the hubby and I have is deciding what to cook for dinner, and then who's going to cook it. Sometime we just opt for what we call foraging, with each of us finding something to eat that night on our own. We are lucky. Our meal hunts are easy, confined to our well-stocked kitchen. However, an estimated 800 million worldwide face food insecurity. That includes an estimated 38 million people, 12 million of whom are children, in the United States, according to 2019 data from the Department of Agriculture. As we celebrate today's 52nd Earth Day,... Read more →