Final Word from Thursday, November 11, 2004





A cute ad on German TV shows Czech customs agents inspecting a Volvo at the border. They're pretending to look for contraband but are actually admiring the car, as if there were no Volvos in the CR. There are, of course, but it's true that luxury-car sales have slid by a third due to an ill-advised law for capping write-downs on company cars. After the the finance ministry finally realized the cap was causing VAT receipts to fall, it agreed to raise it, but it's making a similar mistake with the social-security cap. It's not listening to experts who say a cap at income of around Kč 60,000 would maximize revenue. It wants instead to set the cap so high (Kč 100,000) that it won't have much effect. The ministry's priority should be to lure people into the social-security system who are shielding income with sophisticated tax structures - and even through purchases of luxury cars. advertisement commercial

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