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Friday, February 01, 2008

Yushchenko on Death and Taxes

There are some jokes when they say — the Frenchmen, the entrepreneurs say — first, I love my tax inspector, and then I love women. All over the world they say — and especially in the West — that I’m certain of two things as long as live in this world: number one, I will die; number two, I will always pay taxes.

Is this one of those Gérard Depardieu jokes? I don’t know about Benita Ferrero-Waldner, but sharing this joke with Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton doesn’t seem to be a good idea. In contrast, the last one indeed sounds like a joke to some folks here in Ukraine.

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Anonymous said...

Sigh. Death and taxes.

As with PM Tymo's speech wherein she mentioned 'natural monopoly', I am heartened by the content of the speeches because this means that those who were educated in Soviet era are being currently educated in how most of the real world functions economically esp. the Western world.

Yes, the film "A Taxing Woman" should be dubbed and freely available in Ukraine. I would also reccommend "Yojimbo" but for slightly different reasons and "A Taxing Woman's Return" is already practiced in Ukraine (schemes to avoid paying taxes.) The director of these films died under mysterious circumstances (murder made to look like suicide.) Cinema was being by the director to expose the realities of corruption and crimes of citizens and the yakuza in Japanese business and society.

Check out for more about the movies and director Itami.

btw Japan's individual taxation rate is from 5 to 40%, corporate tax 30%. Denmark has the highest in the world with the rate starting at 42% and going up to 68%, corp. tax 32%. Ukraine's taxation rate is 13% flat tax.


Orest said...

I would dearly love to know how much Yushchenko personally pays in taxes.

But I already know the answer to that. Nothing!!!!

Anonymous said...

T - btw did you catch Inter's program "Svoboda"? I don't know how they can do this program with a Russian speaking interviewer but I LOVE MY GAL - Iryna Herashenko! She rocks ! She actually put Boyko in his place and the nerve twiching in his jaw was a sight for sore eyes :)


PS Though on the other hand the sheer tension of animosity in the room from PoR towards PM Tymoshenko and her gas attack on intermediaries and kicking over the traces regarding the state of how UA is being bled dry in subsidizing the transport of Russian gas to Europe via low transit rates, has really riled up PoR. What exactly is their stake in all this? The industrialzed East having to pay more for gas?

Anonymous said...

"I don’t know about Benita Ferrero-Waldner, but sharing this joke with Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice or Hillary Clinton doesn’t seem to be a good idea."

Actually it is a great joke for Americans - Death and taxes is a universal in the US across all socio-economic and ethnic boundaries.


Taras said...

Luida, I was watching that part, too!:)

Herashchenko took turns with Zhvania, who put Boiko, a friend of Firtash, up against the wall and beat the gas out of him. The bottom line: Ukraine buys Turkmen gas from Russia, not from Turkmenistan.

Don’t get me wrong. It was “first, I love my tax inspector, and then I love women” that prompted me to write this post. To me, this joke appears to have sexist overtones when translated into some Western cultures outside Europe. The President’s public relations consultants should go the extra mile to keep him out of trouble on both sides of the Atlantic.

Back to the gas issue, I still haven’t figured out what’s what in the current game. As much as I want RosUkrEnergo out and energy efficiency in, I strongly object to partnering with the likes of Bakai.

Thanks for the movie tips!:) Here’s a small Wiki article on A Taxing Woman.


I’m not his tax inspector, so I can’t be sure. But I, too, would dearly love to know it.

In a democracy, the public has a right to know whether the President's tax returns correspond to his or her lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Herashenko also beat the stuffing out of Boyko regarding that industries and companies consume the most in terms of gas (not homes and consumers) and that the businesses are the least efficient, most wasteful and for that all the Ukrainian people pay. And she brought up the state of the Ukrainian system (inefficient, wasteful, not up to date etc.) and for him to fall back on that the state of the system is better than in Russia as a defense? Sad. In boxing terms - had him up against the ropes and then Zhvania would step for the Knock out punch and since he spoke Russian and she in perfect Ukrainian it was a great team and the numbers went to their side. I was cheering. Kyrylenko brought up a great point as well that why is it that Ukraine re-negotiates every year while Europe has contracts for blocks of years and can plan their economies (expenditures) ahead of time.

And no I don't understand the gas issue right now but it seems that what PM Tymoshenko is tugging at is going to affect company's bottom line --- they might have to pay more for gas, so profits down and less money in their pockets. But I don't know. Can't figure it out. Yushchenko went after her because there was no inclusion of increasing energy efficiency in her Cabinet decisions (so what gives????)

Overall looking at what I have glimpsed of, what she wants to do - it is a spending spree of massive proportions and my ques. is whether Ukraine has that kind of money??? So yes, she is pushing to privatize alot and because of the perceived political situation the major buyers will be Russian owned firms, Ukrainian super wealthy and very few Western firms (if any.)


PS Lutsenko gets to "hit" Chervonetsky again for the prosecutor general's investigation as a re-creation of what happened that day???

Anonymous said...

uncovering hidden incomes and recovering unpaid taxes ...

Some of the schemes shown in the film are real life schemes for ex. two sets of receipts at a restaurant one sets which gets rung up, while the other does not and in a cash business where one self reports income this type of scheme is very common.

Another is a family who run a store which is incorporated but they take food off the shelves and use it for their own meals but don't list it as sales. This is theft but not seen as such.

Another is a complicated one involving a fake debt and a construction company - hiding wealth while another is the creation of a dummy corporation (kinda like the way RosUkrEnergo) was created and the money is moved around.

Even one where a guy who has a winning lottery ticket approaches a crime boss to sell it for cash and less than open value which would enable the boss to launder money in a very open manner.

The big scheme is the two sets of accounting books - one for tax purposes and the other set is real so how do they figure out that reported income is lower than real income? By auditing the laundry company and seeing the volume of sheets and towels that the hotels use and it shows the true number of guests on a regular basis and in a cash business a systematic fraud like this pays off big esp. when it adds up month after month.

Financial shenanigans are an art and a science. And where ever people pay taxes there is fraud.


Taras said...

Fraudulent accounting practices flourished under Kuchma. Following 9/11, Ukraine came under fire from the FATF for several years.

Btw, have you read this?

Blogger said...

Anywhere you go, people cheat on taxes. In Canada, big corporations and small businesses are the most frequent offenders for tax fraud.

Srebrenica Genocide Blog Editor

Taras said...

Same here, Daniel, with big corporations on top of the list.