Mod kif tqis kemm hu kbir il-piż tat-taxxi f’pajjiż hu billi tara xi spazju “jittieħed” mit-taxxi fl-ekonomiji: id-daqs tagħhom bħala proporzjon tal-Prodott Gross Domestiku. Imbagħad tista’ tqabblu ma’ ta’ pajjiżi oħra. Statistika maħruġa mill-Eurostat għamlet hekk għall-pajjiżi tal-Unjoni Ewropea sas-sena 2017.

F’pajjiżna f’dik is-sena, it-taxxi laħhqu 33.4 fil-mija tad-daqs tal-ekonomija – anqas sew mill-medja tal-Unjoni Ewropea kollha kemm hi: 40.2 fil-mija. Il-pajjiż bl-anqas persentaġġ kien l-Irlanda (23.5 fil-mija) u dak bl-ogħla Franza (48.4 fil-mija).

Mhux ta’ b’xejn li Franza dejjem tisħaq fuq il-ħtieġa li fl-Unjoni jkun hemm “armonizzazzjoni” tat-taxxi. Sadattant, Malta tiġi fit-tmien post ta’ dawk bl-anqas “piż”.

L-Eurostat turi wkoll kif tqassmu dawn il-persentaġġi skont l-għejun ta’ taxxa: fuq produzzjoni u importazzjoni; fuq dħul ta’ persuni u profitti ta’ kumpaniji; u f’kontribuzzjonijiet soċjali netti.

F’Malta l-aqwa dħul jiġi minn taxxi fuq id-dħul ta’ persuni u profitti : 14.1 fil-mija tal-PGD. F’dan ninsabu qrib ħafna tar-Renju Unit u l-Italja, 14.2 u 14.5 fil-mija rispettivament.

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TAXXA FUQ ID-DIĠITALI

Is-servizzi diġitali jinsabu kullimkien u ma jinsabu mkien. Il-kumpaniji l-kbar tal-Internet – Google, Amazon, Facebook u Apple – huma f’pożizzjoni li jammanipulaw l-ispejjeż u l-profitti tagħhom. Jistgħu juru kemm qalgħu fejn jaqblilhom – ġeneralment fejn jintaxxawhom mill-anqas jew xejn. L-għajta kontrihom bħala GAFA, kif inhuma magħrufa, ilha tinstema’.

Ftit ilu l-gvern Franċiż ħareġ bl-idea li biex tal-GAFA jinġabu taħt kontroll, jibdew jiġu ċċarġjati taxxa ta’ 3 fil-mija fuq kull xi jbigħu fejn ibigħuh. Personalment naraha idea tajba.

Biss, bl-introduzzjoni tagħha jiġu affettwati prinċipji oħra ta’ tmexxija fl-Unjoni Ewropea, li Malta ma jaqblilhiex tiċħad: fuq kollox, li t-tassazzjoni tibqa’ responsabbiltà sovrana tal-pajjiżi membri. Imma hemm oħrajn ukoll.

Għalkemm dubjuża għall-bidu, il-Kummissjoni Ewropea “ikkonvertiet” u saret favur taxxa fuq id-diġitali. Pajjiżi membri baqgħu xettiċi. Fosthom il-Ġermanja.

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BERTOLUCCI

Ma niftakarx eżatt fejn rajtu l-ewwel – jekk hux fiċ-ċinema ta’ San Remo il-Ħamrun li kienu janimaw Peter Serracino Inglott u Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici jew hux f’xi sala ċkejkna tal-films li kienu jiżgħudu Pariġi fis-snin sittin tas-seklu l-ieħor.

Il-film “Prima della Revoluzione” baqa’ f’moħħi dak li jorbot isem Bertolucci mal-aqwa taċ-ċinema Ewropew.

“L-Aħħar Tango f’Pariġi” kien sensazzjonali imma ftit aktar minn hekk. “Il Conformista” għadilli tal-aqwa kalibru ma żammx l-impatt f’moħħi ta’ “Revoluzione”, li rajt għal darba wara l-oħra.

Aktar u aktar għax ir-rabta tal-film mar-rumanz ta’ Stendhal “Il-Monasterju ta’ Parma”, li Bertolucci nnifsu saħaq fuqha, sibtha affaxxinanti.

Mewtu ġimgħa u nofs ilu qanqlet ħafna tifkiriet. Kien artist eċċezzjonali.

English Version – The taxes we pay

One way to assess how big the drag of taxes can be in a country’s economy is by considering the space that they “take”: namely, their volume as a proportion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Then one could compare the result to the outturn in other countries. Statistics published by Eurostat did so for EU countries up to 2017.

That year in Malta, taxes reached 33.4 per cent of GDP – well below the average of the EU as a whole: 40.2 per cent. The country having the lowest percentage was Ireland (23.5), the highest France (48.4).

No wonder that France has always insisted on the need for some “harmonisation” of taxes within the EU. Meanwhile, Malta is in eight place of those countries that carry the least tax “burdens”.

Eurostat data also show how different revenue sources account by way of these tax percentages of GDP, in terms of: taxes on production and imports; taxes on the income of individuals and corporation profits; plus net social contributions.

In Malta, the government’s largest revenues come from taxes on individual incomes and corporation profits, which account for 14.1 percent of GDP. In this we come quite close to the outturn of the UK and Italy, which stand at 14.2 and 14.5 respectively,

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Digital taxation

Digital services are located everywhere and nowhere. The big internet companies – Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple – find themselves in a position from which they can easily manipulate costs and profits. They show profits where it suits them to do so – usually where they get taxed least or not at all. The claims against the manoeuverings of GAFA (as they’re known) have been hanging for quite a while.

Some time ago, the French government came out with the suggestion that in order to keep control tabs on the GAFA, they should be taxed at 3 per cent of their sales wherever these take place. Personally I think it’s a good idea.

However if it gets implemented, other principles that determine how the EU is managed would be affected. These concern issues over which Malta has claims that it would not be in the national interest to rub off. Among them, a crucial point refers to the need to keep taxation as a sovereign responsibility of member states. But there are also other issues.

Initially distrustful of the idea, the European Commission became a convert and started backing a digital tax. Member states have remained sceptical… Germany included.

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Bertolucci

I just cannot remember where I first saw it – whether at the San Remo cinema shows organised in Hamrun by Peter Serracino Inglott and Karmenu Mifusd Bonnici, or in one of the small film halls that were scattered around Paris in the 1960s.

“Prima della Revoluzione” was the film that in my mind tied the name of Bernardo Bertolucci to the heights of European cinema.

“Last Tango in Paris” was truly a sensation but hardly more than that. “Il Conformista” was extemely high calibre but yet, it did not stay in one’s remembarance like “Revoluzione” did. I saw it time after time. Not least because there was a fascinating vital link between the film and Stendhal’s novel “The Charterhouse of Parma” – as Bertolucci would take pains to emphasize.

His death some ten days ago, triggered lots of memories. He was an exceptional artist.