Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Investeeringute tulumaksuvabastus

Praegune valitsus on üheks oma oluliseks tegevuseks pidanud eraisikute investeeringute tulumaksuvabastust sarnaselt ettevõttega. Täna on nii, et kui ostad aktsiaid või teed muid investeeringuid firma kaudu, siis maksustad tulu alles siis, kui selle firmast välja võtad. Kui aga teed tehinguid eraisikuna, siis pead tulumaksu maksma igal aastal kui aktsiaid kasumiga müüd (sõltumata sellest, kas ostad selle raha eest uusi aktsiaid või kulutad raha ära).
Sellise ebavõrdsuse pidi lõpetama valitsuses heakskiidu saanud seaduseelnõu. Paraku aga selgub, et seaduse koostajad on suutnud ikkagi teha piisavalt palju erandeid, nii et seadus muutub sisuliselt mõttetuks. Nimelt kehtib antud tulumaksu edasi lükkamine ainult Euroopa Majanduspiirkonna investeeringutele. Ehk kui tahan käituda vastutustundliku investorina ja investeerida oma portfelli ka muu maailma aktsiatesse ja fondidesse (nt. USA turud), siis pean ikkagi iga tehingu pealt tulumaksu maksma. Päris imelik on aga Rahandusministeeriumi selgitus:
"Tere!

Investeerimisobjektide geograafilise ulatuse selgituseks märgin, et maksusoodustus on antud kõrgema usaldusväärsusega investeerimisobjektidele pidades silmas keskmise investori vajadusi ning investeerimisalaseid teadmisi. Euroopa Majanduspiirkonna lepinguriikide reguleeritud turgudel (vastav nimekiri turgudest on avalik) kaubeldavad väärtpaberid on reeglina usaldusväärsemad, kui 3. riikide turgudel kaubeldavad väärtpaberid. Samuti kasutatakse üldjuhul 3. riikide turgudelt väärtpaberite ostmiseks mitmeid vahendajaid, mis samuti muudab maksuhalduri töö keerukamaks ning kulukamaks. Infovahetuskohustuse puudumise tõttu ei pruugi sageli maksusoodustuse kasutamise õigsuse kontroll 3. riikide korral võimalik olla.

Lugupidamisega
Margus Täht
Rahandusministeerium
Maksupoliitika osakonna peaspetsialist "
Seega, kuna rahandusministeeriumi arvates ei ole USA väärtpaberid piisavalt usaldusväärsed ja maksuhaldur ei suuda nendega tehtud tehinguid kontrollida (kuidas siis kontrollitakse nende maksustamist täna?), siis kõik aktiivsemad investeerijad/kauplejad, keda plaanitav seadus kõige rohkem mõjutama peaks, peavad ikkagi looma eraldi ettevõtte, et oma investeeringuid maksueffektiivselt manageerida. Ehk jälle on kulutatud mõttetu hulk administratiivset energiat mõttetu seaduse loomiseks ja veel rohkem kulutatakse seda tulevikus sisuliselt ebavajalike firmade tegemiseks, nende raamatupidamiseks ja muuks aruandluseks.
Tegemist oli pea-aegu ainsa mõisltiku ideega, mis Reformierakonnalt viimase paari aasta jooksul tulnud. Nüüd on siis seegi ära rikutud.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Climate change opportunities

Whether you think that climate deal signed in Bali is a success for the fight against climate warming or a failed opportunity to specify the future steps, it is definitely positive that there is at least some sense of consensus now between the key players in the World. We share one climate on the planet so it is quite futile to tackle its problems one country at a time.
I do not entirely agree that the US has been doing nothing to fight the climate change so far. In addition to various schemes on state level (in California and the north-east), there is now America's Climate Security Act discussed in Congress (and sponsored by a Republican) and also the presidential candidates are promoting their own ideas how to reduce the emission of green-house gases (read more here). On company level Americans are probably even more active than Europeans to suggest different environmental initiatives.
I just read an article by Bjorn Lomborg - probably the most pragmatic environmental thinker i've read. He points out that while the world is worried about expected 2.6C increase of average temperature over next hundred years, most urban areas in the world have experienced much more dramatic temperature hikes during past few decades. For example Beijing is roughly 10C hotter than nearby countryside during daytime and during summer Tokyo can be even 12.5C hotter than surrounding areas. Interestingly cities have coped with these changes quite well. Thanks to better health-care and technology, there are now less heat-related deaths than previously.
But cities also offer a good way of tackling the climate change. As one of the reasons why cities are so hot, is the dark tarmac and building materials that absorb a lot of heat. So an obvious remedy would be to pain the cities white. It turns out that it is not as pointless suggestion that it sounds:
Re-roofing most of Los Angeles’s five million homes in lighter colors, painting a quarter of the roads and planting 11 million trees would have a one-time cost of about $1 billion. Each year after that, this would lower air conditioning costs by about $170 million and provide $360 million in smog-reduction benefits. And it would lower LA temperatures by about 3°C – or about the temperature increase envisioned for the rest of this century.

Compare that to the $180 billion cost of implementing the Kyoto Protocol, which will have virtually no effect.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Inflation in Russia

Yesterday's Danske Bank flash comment reported that inflation in Russia in November was 1,2% m/m, which was signifcantly higher than most analysts expected. Danske Bank now forecasts that the CPI in 2007 will be high 12,1% y/y (gvmt target is 8,0%).
The main driver of the inflation has been food prices (1,9% growth in November). Although Putin froze the prices of main food items in November, it is hard to predict how much effect it will have on inflation in total and will it result in shortages of some food items.
Clearly, inflation is a key worry for Putin approaching the presidential elections in March 2008. As we've seen in many other autocratic countries, people are often ready to rise up against their (beloved) leader, if the prices grow out of control and people feel betrayed. It has also been one of Putin's main messages that only "adjusted Russian-style democracy" can provide rising living standards for its people. So stakes are high for Putin.
Danske Bank forecasts that inflation will grow to 14% by the beginning of summer, which will surely be felt by many poor and middle class citizens. So inflation may play a strong card against Putin('s favorite) in upcoming elections or maybe even sooner.