The tampon tax has become an on-going discussing topic. Support to repeal this tax has increased in the last years, with activists arguing that menstrual hygiene products should be classified as tax-exempt necessities, alongside other items such as food, tap water and medicine. This issue pertains to gender equality, affordability and women’s health. While the large majority of the countries around the world still tax menstrual hygiene products as non-essential goods, some countries are starting to lift or reduce the tax. In 2004, Kenya became a trailblazer when it was the first country in the world to repeal the tampon tax. Listen to this podcast to learn more on the topic, by discovering both sides of the argument, and understanding the implications following an amendment of the tax.
CUM-EX DEALS – Tax Avoidance or Tax Evasion?
Cum-Ex deals – the biggest tax scandal in the history of Germany – refer to very complex financial transactions that involved exploiting a legal loophole in order to enable several organizations to claim the same capital gains tax refund. It is estimated that this has resulted in a loss of several billion euros for the German state. Judiciary is now suppossed to determine whether these deals have been illegal. This podcast deals with the questions what challenges the state now faces and what the implications of this scandal for the political system in Germany are.
Wars and Other Crises as Enablers of “Temporary” Taxation
The history of tax is also one of conflict, danger and upheaval.The purpose of the state has always been to protect the population from internal and external dangers. And that is from where it derives its legitimacy. Now it is in the nature of things that wars and other crises devour enormous financial resources that have to be borne by the general public. In such moments, rulers often get creative and temporarily introduce new measures to meet the costs arising from war or the fight against epidemics. In many cases, however, these new forms of taxation remain in place and are not, after all, of such a provisional nature as once claimed. In this piece, I will discuss the longevity of provisional taxation and use the Swiss direct federal tax, which has its origins in the military tax of the First World War, as an illustration.
The Window Tax – indirect taxes, tax avoidance, and architecture
Many homes with bricked up windows represent integral icons in British towns and cities. Why so? In this podcast, we dive back into history to discover the Window Tax, that was in effect for more than 150 years up until 1851. We shall explore why such a tax came about; what its intended and unintended consequences were, and what role it had in revenue collection for the Crown, alongside other indirect taxes. Finally, we shall take a look at how tax avoidance behavior has left a permanent and observable mark on architecture across the world. This is a story of incredible ingenuity on the part of Englishmen in asserting their liberties against parliament by exploiting loopholes in legislation to free themselves from the burdens of taxation.