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And Finally...

And Finally...
17 Jan 2013
The continuation of the global financial crisis and the threat of a triple dip recession for Europe has again led rise to number of strange and somewhat bizarre taxes across the world. Here's what we've discovered in 2012:
  • Nutella Tax - The French senate imposed a new amendment to triple the tax on palm and other vegetable oils found in food products such as Nutella. France alone consumes 26 per cent of the world's Nutella and it is hoped that the tax will encourage better eating habits, however the Government has faced heavy opposition to the amendment.

  • Sin Tax - In December 2012 President Aquino of the Philippines, signed for the creation of a 'sin tax' on cigarettes and alcohol, as a plan to boost the country's finances. The new taxes aim to raise P33 billion ($800 million) this year alone, with the taxes increasing gradually until 2017.

  • Admission Taxes - Spain faced internal criticism from its cultural industry for increasing the tax on admission tickets to cultural activities from 8 percent to 21 percent on September 1 2012. The increase makes Spain one of Europe's only countries not to apply a reduced tax on tickets for cultural events.

  • Marijuana Tax - Voters in Colorado and Washington state legalized the recreational use of marijuana in November 2012. Both states will allow adults over age 21 to buy up to an ounce of marijuana from heavily-taxed state-run drug dispensaries. While marijuana is already legal in other US States, Washington and Colorado are now the only states to legalize use of the drug without a prescription. Estimates show marijuana taxes could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year, but the sales won't start until state officials make rules to govern the legal marijuana industry.

  • Yacht Tax - In May 2011, Italy approved a tax to be applied to all Italian owned yachts sailing in Italian waters. An amendment to an existing law has also been introduced to reduce tax costs for superyatch owners, both Italian and foreign. It is hoped the tax will raise needed revenues whilst not deterring the super rich from visiting the country.

  • Granny Tax - In the UK, a so called 'Granny Tax' was announced in the March 2012 budget. The Government revealed that it would taking away the 'age-related allowance' tax break for pensioners, in a move that is expected to cost savers ?285 a year. The removal of the century -old tax break came under fierce criticism with opposition parties labelling it a 'Tax against Grannies'.

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Taxand's Take

With an economic backdrop that threatens to worsen in the next year, bizarre taxation looks set to increase. Governments looking to balance countries' income through increased tax revenues and attractiveness for multinational investment, continue to seek innovative ways to generate revenue. In short, strange taxes look like they will keep appearing!