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Thread: Flat tax versus progressive tax

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    Politics.ie Member ticketyboo's Avatar
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    Default Flat tax versus progressive tax

    Well, this might be interesting to explore.
    watched the latter stages of a dire VB programme last night, but my attention was piqued somewhat to the questions about the desirability, or not, of a flat tax system.
    It would be interesting to hear the views of contributors across the political spectrum on this issue. A bit of rudimentary research (Google!) suggested that the tax take could be greatly enhanced by a flat tax. Would this make it a better system than the one we have at present, where, when I try to recall politicians views on this, such as Leo Varadkar has lauded our current progressive tax system...but is this true?
    Would a flat tax system succeed in eliminating the myriad of tax reliefs that I would venture benefit the wealthier members of our society, and if such individuals do indeed benefit from the employ of smart accountants, then do we truly have a progressive tax system at all...that is, by its true definition, one where higher earners pay a greater proportion of their earnings?
    The floor is yours, ladies and gentlemen......

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Its hard to see how it would increase tax take. It has been successful in places where previously people avoided income tax - it might be a good idea in Greece, for example.

    But in Ireland, it could only lead to a drop in take.

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    What % are you proposing? What's the starting point where people begin to be taxed? Flat taxes normally sound great until you do the numbers on the impact on the poor and the mobility of taxpayers at the upper end.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ticketyboo View Post
    Well, this might be interesting to explore.
    watched the latter stages of a dire VB programme last night, but my attention was piqued somewhat to the questions about the desirability, or not, of a flat tax system.
    It would be interesting to hear the views of contributors across the political spectrum on this issue. A bit of rudimentary research (Google!) suggested that the tax take could be greatly enhanced by a flat tax. Would this make it a better system than the one we have at present, where, when I try to recall politicians views on this, such as Leo Varadkar has lauded our current progressive tax system...but is this true?
    Would a flat tax system succeed in eliminating the myriad of tax reliefs that I would venture benefit the wealthier members of our society, and if such individuals do indeed benefit from the employ of smart accountants, then do we truly have a progressive tax system at all...that is, by its true definition, one where higher earners pay a greater proportion of their earnings?
    The floor is yours, ladies and gentlemen......
    Can we first introduce some clarity.


    A "flat tax" can be progressive, so saying "flat" versus "progressive" introduce a false dichotomy.

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    Politics.ie Member ruserious's Avatar
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    Flat tax means the lifestyle of the poor is worse effected by a flat tax than a progressive tax.
    Boycott the "Irish" Sun rag.

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    Politics.ie Member ticketyboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trainwreck View Post
    Can we first introduce some clarity.


    A "flat tax" can be progressive, so saying "flat" versus "progressive" introduce a false dichotomy.
    Fair enough, but that's the terminology that is used in relation to the two, isn't it?
    It's like the abortion debate, where the terms are pro-life and pro-choice. It isn't the case that somebody who isn't in the "pro-life" camp is anti-life, but them's the labels people use, for better or worse.

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    Politics.ie Member ticketyboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    What % are you proposing? What's the starting point where people begin to be taxed? Flat taxes normally sound great until you do the numbers on the impact on the poor and the mobility of taxpayers at the upper end.
    Well, that's one of the things I'd like to see teased out.
    What precisely do you mean by the mobility of those at the upper end? Is it their ability to conduct their affairs from another jurisdiction or their ability to write off their tax liabilities by reliefs, allowances, expenses, etc?
    I'm here to be educated...that's why I asked the question.

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticketyboo View Post
    Well, that's one of the things I'd like to see teased out.
    What precisely do you mean by the mobility of those at the upper end? Is it their ability to conduct their affairs from another jurisdiction or their ability to write off their tax liabilities by reliefs, allowances, expenses, etc?
    I'm here to be educated...that's why I asked the question.
    If you ramp up the tax rate you'll see some of the top earners leaving. If you have a flat rate of say 33%, it's easier for someone on 100k to pay 33k in tax than it is for someone on 15k to pay 5. The person on 100k already pays around 33% in tax, the person on 15 is putting through much much less.

    That's why you're hearing Google/Apple bang on about wanting a "Simplified" tax code for countries. It makes it easier to cherry pick where you set up.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ticketyboo View Post
    Fair enough, but that's the terminology that is used in relation to the two, isn't it?
    It's like the abortion debate, where the terms are pro-life and pro-choice. It isn't the case that somebody who isn't in the "pro-life" camp is anti-life, but them's the labels people use, for better or worse.
    Well, no its no OK. Because you are creating a debate that will, falsely, disintegrate into "poor" versus "rich".

    For example:

    Flat tax means the lifestyle of the poor is worse effected by a flat tax than a progressive tax.

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Also: Tax reliefs exist for a reason. Single parents, home carers, third level fees, widows credit etc etc. We have those to assist people who need it.

    The people who LOVE the idea of a flat tax are guys like Herman Cain i.e Lunatic rich guys.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

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