Tax reform is not just something we deal with in the United States. Countries all around the world are also facing tax changes within their own borders. Some might seem a little crazy, while others are taking advantage of technology and other new advancements. In this blog, we’ll look at a couple interesting international tax situations.
According to a CNN conversation with Ugandan lawmakers, the Ugandan government recently imposed taxes on social media to raise money for their country and avoid Western donor aid. This change was made due to the belief that as more Ugandans utilize social media, it could become a significant source of revenue for the country. Social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter will now cost Ugandans 200 shillings ($0.05) per day to use them. The idea behind this new law is that the tax money generated will be able to change the economy. You can read more on the situation here.
In several European countries including Sweden, you must have your child’s name approved by the country’s national tax agency in an allotted period of time once they are born. Failing to do so will result in a tax penalty. For instance in Sweden, parents must submit the proposed name of a child within three months of birth. The timeline for some countries is just a few months, while others can be done within 5 years of that child’s birth.
In Australia, if you run a small business and own a dog that keeps that business safe, you may be able to write some of those expenses off! It runs under the same principle as cattle dogs for farmers. You can classify that animal as a working animal. Now you cannot write off a family pet and there is no such thing as a guard cat! But you can deduct the expenses involved in completing guard dog training. If the dog is continuously used during business hours for security purposes then it would be considered a “plant” and the ongoing maintenance costs (i.e. food, vet, insurance expenses) would be a legitimate business deduction.
Canada is looking out for those struggling musicians and media groups! The country is now taxing blank CDs due to the fact they are often used to steal copyrighted media content and patented property- according to the Canadian government at least. The Private Copying Tariff is a 29-cent surcharge on every CD sold by a Canadian retailer. This tax is to protect the rights of these musicians and artists. The collections go to the Toronto Based non-profit organization, Canadian Private Copying Collective (CPCC).