A look at Tax Havens.

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Panama was highlighted so many times by Media that everyone surely googled about it 1o times! The black money trail and Governments repeated assurance of efforts to bring money back to India, makes me question what exactly the charade is all about. There exists myths about benefits of offshore tax havens, for people who have stashed money in to it and for the havens themselves.

Media (with bit of Government support, I suppose) has associated havens with unsavoury, immoral, and perhaps even illegal activities in the minds of many people. It does divert attention of the citizens from plaguing matters to some fancy clandestine account which is not reachable. Now tax havens are synonymous for shady business deals and characters of questionable nature. But in reality the façade we read are deceptive.If  the money is diverted to other countries to save taxes, then it is not illegal, it is “tax planning”/ “tax avoidance”. If income earned and accrued in India is smuggled to different accounts without paying duties it is “Tax Evasion” and those are the accounts tax sleuths should target. There is a thin line between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion which the media has beautifully ignored to share.

Tax havens are used as legal method for tax planning. In reality, Switzerland’s famous banking secrecy law of 1934 was triggered by a French tax-evasion scandal involving several wealthy elites, and Swiss secrecy wound up protecting a ton of Nazi loot. I know you won’t trust me, but there is a judgement passed by the US Supreme Court has as far back as in 1935 stated in Gregory vs. Helvering (1935), 293 US 465 that taxpayers can arrange their affairs so that they can make their taxes as low as possible. Also, the following declaration by Judge Learned Hand  will put the issue of tax heavens in proper perspective,

Over and over again courts have said  that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.”

Similar sentiments have also been expressed by the Indian Supreme Court in Union of India v. Azadi BachaoAndolan [2003] 263 ITR 706 (SC).

I do agree that the tax havens have led to income gap to increase as the vulnerable sect of people are not using this benefits and are continued to be smothered by tax authorities whereas, the elites are skirting away by hop skipping through Tax havens and Treaties.

Now you may ask what is the need for Tax Havens?

  1. Protection from lawsuits:

Thousands of law suits are filed every day. The excessive sum used to penalize the business sometimes could drive them away from business. There is a crew of ex-spouse, disgruntled employees, ex-business partners or predatory attorneys awaiting to file suit on attractive target. By takin shelter of a tax haven an individual or corporation can shift its asset base to safe country and thus become a smaller target, reducing its exposure to frivolous lawsuits

  1. Financial Privacy

Financial Privacy is a myth now. All our transactions are sniffed by Big boss sitting in trendy governmental office. Worst are the case when they are shared between corporates to extract profits (Read Indian telecoms and Credit card Companies). By moving the financial transactions to the tax havens we create a black box which no one can breach. (I wouldn’t like people know what I do with my money, even though it is buying a tooth pick!)

  1. Regulatory Advantages

No matter how many times government states that business regulations are eased, yet  the red tape exists is and business is throttled by its coil. Offshore jurisdictions are intentionally business friendly and have regulations that are straight forward, simple to understand and inexpensive to comply with.

  1. Maximisation of Income by routing investments

There are only 3 questions that need to be answered as regards maximization of income: –

(1) Where is the best return?

(2) Is the risk of investment within my comfort zone?

(3) What can I do to legally maximize my net return after tax?

P. S The article is the personal opinion of the author.

Pic Courtesy: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/money/dam/assets/151005095308-offshore-tax-havens-780×439.jpg

Screen what you eat!

jago20grahak20jagoWhat do we find pure now-a-days? Tea leaves were discovered adulterated with iron flakes to expand their weight while the silver foil used to enhance the look of desserts like ‘Burfi’ was being substituted with Aluminum Foil, which is harmful to human being. Various pulses were found to have been adulterated with non-edible colours while ‘black pepper’ was blended with ‘papaya seeds’ to more money by corrupt merchants.

“Adulteration is the term used to describe deliberate contamination of food items diluting their purity.” This is done in order to increase the profitability or to meet the rising demands. Either ways it is harmful for the gullible consumers. Food adulteration has become the order of the day and, consumer education and awareness is the need of the hour. A common mistake committed by most consumers is to blindly pick up any product without reading the label which includes the details of the batch number, expiry date, manufacturers name and address. Sometimes, it is a spurious or duplicate product and can be mistaken for a reputed brand. Remember the “Crack Jack” biscuits sold in Railway Stations whereas the real brand name “KrackJack”

                   If any person manufactures for sale, stores, imports for sale or distributes any article of food which is adulterated or misbranded, he is liable under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, 1954 to be punished with imprisonment and fined.

National Consumer Helpline has provided indicative household tests to detect adulteration in common food items.

Click here for Basic Adulteration Tests

Please spread awareness! Jaago Grahak Jaago

Peculiar Military Words

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Military slang is a set of colloquial terms which are unique to or which originated with military personnel. Out of curiosity I googled few, and discovered a whole new facet of military vocab.

Heres few:

  • Aggression – An unprovoked attack by an enemy
  • Belligerents – Nations carrying on warfare
  • Conscription – Compulsory enrlment as soldiers or sailors
  • Casualties – Killed or wounded in battle
  • Convoy – A number of ships travelling together under escort for the sake of safety
  • Contraband – Smuggling of goods or engaging in prohibited traffic
  • Espionage – The act or practice of spying.
  • Evacuate – To remove from one place to another to avoid the destruction
  • Embargo – An order prohibiting ships to leave the ports
  • Mobilize – To make troops, ships etc ready for war service
  • Invade – To enter a country as an enemy
  • Neutral – Taking neither side in the struggle
  • Alien – A foreigner in a belligerent country
  • Intern – To keep citizens in confinement
  • Ammunition – Shells, bombs, Military stores
  • Ordnance – Heavy guns, artillery and army stores
  • Bayonet – A knife fixed at the end of the gun
  • Parole – A promise given by a prisoner not to try to escape if given temporary release
  • Puttees – Lone strips of cloth bound round the legs of a soldier from the ankle to the knee.
  • Reveille – music for awakening soldiers in the morning
  • Arsenal – A place where naval or military weapons are made or stored.
  • Volley – A shower of bullets
  • Salvo – The firings of many guns at the same time to mark an occasion
  • Cavalry – Horse soldiers
  • Infantry – Foot soldiers
  • Fusillade – A number of firearms being discharged continously
  • Reconnoiter – To make an examination or preliminary survey of enemy territory or military objective
  • Armistice – An agreement to stop fighting
  • capitulate – To surrender to an enemy on agreed terms
  • Annihilate – To reduce to nothing
  • Amnesty – A general pardon of offenders
  • Battalion – The main division of army
  • Besiege – To surround a place with the intention of capturing it
  • Recruit – A soldier recently enlisted for service
  • Furlough – A soldier’s holiday
  • Bulletin – Official reports on the progress of the war
  • Diplomacy – The art of conducting negotiations between nations
  • Garrison – A body of soldiers stationed in a fortess to defend it
  • Bandolier – With pockets for carrying ammunition
  • Conscript – A person who is forced by law to become a soldier
  • Guerilla war – An irregular warfare conducted by scattered or independent bands
  • manoeuvre – Movement of ships or troops in order to secure an advantage over the enemy
  • Commandeer – To seize for military use
  • Demobilize – To release from the army
  • Bivouac – To camp in the open air without tents or covering.

 

 

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Portmanteau Words

portmanteau-hangry

 

Portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones and their meanings are combined in a new word.

Remember Emoticon? Well our dear word is the portmanteau, coined by Emotion+ Icon!

Isn’t it amazing? I have listed portmanteau, do check!

  • Advertainment = Advertisement + entertainment
  • Advertorial = Advertisement+editorial
  • Affluenza = Affluence +Influenza
  • Because = By + cause
  • Bionic = Biology + electronic
  • Bit = Binary + digit
  • Blog = Web+ log
  • Brunch = breakfast + Lunch
  • Camcorder = Camera + Recorder
  • Cellophane = Cellulose + diaphane
  • Chillaxing = Chilling + Relaxing
  • Chingilish = Chinese + English
  • Cineplex = Cinema + Complex
  • Diabesity = Diabetes + Obesity
  • Dumbfound = Dumb + Comfound
  • Econocrat = Economist + Bureaucrat
  • Edutainment = Education + Entertainment
  • Email = Electronic + Mail
  • Fantabulous = Fantastic + Fabulous
  • Fanzine = Fan + Magazine
  • Fortnight = Fourteen + Nights
  • Franglish = French + English
  • Freeware = Free + Software
  • Gainsay = against + Say
  • Globish = Global + English
  • Glitz = Glamour + Ritz
  • Hassle = Haggle + Tussle
  • Hinglish = Hindi + English
  • Informercial = Information + Communication
  • Infotainment = Information + Entertainment
  • Intercom = Internal + Communication
  • Internet = International + Network
  • Knowledgebase = Knowledge + Database
  • Lox = liquid + Oxygen
  • Moblog = Mobile +weblog
  • Modem = Modulator + Demodulator
  • Motel = Motor + Hotel
  • Motorcade = Motor + Cavalcade
  • Multiplex = Multiple + Complex
  • Netiquette = Internet + Etiquette
  • Seascape = Sea + Landscape
  • Sitcom = Situation + Comedy
  • Smaze = Smoke + haze
  • Smog = Smoke + fog
  • Soundscape = Sound + Landscape
  • Stagflation = Stagnation + Inflation
  • Telegenic = Television + Photogenic
  •  Telex = Teleprinter +Communication
  • Travelogue = Travel + Monologue
  • Tween = Teen + Between
  • Webinar = Web + Seminar
  • WiFi = Wireless + Fidelity
  • Zonkey = Zebra + donkey

 

I hope you find this article interesting. Do like and comment… Eager to hear from you guys!

 

P.S Image Courtesy: http://media02.hongkiat.com/portmanteaus/portmanteau-hangry.jpg

 

Syllogism

Syllogism
Syllogism is a kind of logical argument that applies deductive reasoning to arrive at conclusion based on two or more propositions that are asserted or assumed to be true.

Example :

  1. All roses are flowers
  2. All flowers are beautiful
  3. All roses are beautiful

Clearly the proposition 1 and 2 are the premises and the proposition 3, which follows from the first two propositions is called the conclusion.

Term : In logic, a term is a word or a combination of words, which by itself can be used as a subject or predicate of a proposition.

Syllogism is concerned with three types:

  1. Major Term: It is the predicate of the conclusion and is denoted by P (“Predicate”)
  2. Minor Term : It is the subject of the conclusion and is denoted by S (“Subject”)
  3. Middle Term : It is the term common to both the premises and is denoted by M (“Middle”)

In the above example, beautiful is predicate of the conclusion  and roses are the subject of the conclusion; flowers are the common term for both premises hence it is the Middle.

 

Major and Minor Premises:

Of the two premises, the Major Premise is that in which the middle term is the subject and the Minor Premise is that in which the middle term is the predicate.

Rules for deriving the conclusion from two given premises

1. The conclusion does not contain the middle term.

2. No term can be distributed in the conclusion unless it is distributed in the premise.

3. The middle term (M) should be distributed at least once in the premises. Other wise the conclusion cannot follow.

For the middle term to be distributed in a premise,

  1.  M must be the subject if premise is an A proposition
  2. M must be subject or predicate if premise is an E proposition
  3. M must be predicate if premise is an O proposition.

Note that in I proposition, which distributes neither the subject nor the predicate, the middle term cannot be distributed.

Ex. Statements : 1. All fans are watches   2. Some watches are pink

Conclusion : 1. All watches are fans    2. Some fans are pink

In the premise, the middle term is not distributed in the first premise which is an A proposition as if does not form its subject. Also, it is not distributed in the second premise which is an I proposition. Since the middle term is not distributed even once in the premises, so no conclusion follows.

4. No conclusion follows :

  • if both the premises are particular
  • if both the premises are negative
  • if the major premise is particular and minor premise is negative

5. If the middle term is distributed twice, the conclusion cannot be universal.

6. If one premise is negative, the conclusion must be negative.

7. If one premise is particular, the conclusion must be particular.

8. If both the premises are affirmative, the conclusion must be affirmative.

9. If both the premises are universal, the conclusion must be affirmative.

 

Logical Deduction

The phenomenon of deriving a conclusion from a single proposition or a set of given propositions, is known as logical deduction. The given proposition are also referred to as the premises.

There are two inferential processes of deduction:

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I. Immediate Deductive Inference

Here conclusion is deduced from one of the given propositions, by any of the three ways – Conversion, Obversion and Contraposition.

(1) Conversion:

In this inference, the subject term and the predicate term is interchanged i.e the Subject term of the premise becomes the predicate term of the conclusion and the predicate term of the premise become the Subject term of the conclusion.

The given proposition is called convertend and the conclusion drawn from it is called converse.

Table of Valid Conversions:

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Note: in a conversion the quality remains the same and the quantity may change.

(2) Obversion

In obversion, we change the quality of the proposition and replace the predicate terms by its complement.

The given proposition is called Obvertend and the conclusion drawn from it is called Obverse.

Table of Valid Obversions:

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(3) Contrapositions

To obtain the contrapositive of a statement, we first replace the subject and predicate terms in the proposition  and then exchange both these terms with their complements. Relatively simpler one!

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Note: The valid converse, obverse or contrapositive of a given proposition always logically follows from the proposition.

II. Mediate Deductive Inference (Syllogism)

First introduced by Aristotle, a Syllogism is a deductive argument in which conclusion has to be drawn from two propositions referred to as the premises.

Complete details of which is given in the next post.Click Here

An important point to remember:

While deriving logical conclusions, always remember that the following conclusions hold:

  1. The converse of each of the given premises
  2. The conclusions that directly follows from the given premises in accordance with the rules of syllogism
  3. The converse of the derived conclusions.

 

Hope you like the article. Please share and like as this motivates me to carry on!

 

Logic

Logic is the science of thought as expressed in language. This means that the questions on logic are to be solved as per the information given without any concern of the formal validity or truth of the statements i.e. conclusion should follow directly from the statements given. Without this unique characteristics, the Logic test becomes an instrument of teaching the candidates to follow the rules and work as per the instructions without an error.

In Logic, any categorical statement is termed as the Proposition

A Proposition (or a categorical statement) is a statement that asserts that either a part of, or the whole of, one set of objects – the set identified by the subject term in the sentence expressing that statement – either is included in, or is excluded from, another set – the set is identified by the predicate term in that sentence.

The standard form of a proposition is:

Quantifier + Subject + Copula + Predicate

Thus the proposition consists of four parts:

1. Quantifier : The word “All” , “No” and “Some” are called Quantifiers because they specify a quantity. “All” and “No” are Universal Quantifiers as they refer to every object in a certain set, while the quantifier “Some” is a particular quantifier as it refers to at least one existing object in a certain set.

2. Subject (“S”) : The subject is that about which something is said.

3. Predicate (“P”) : It is the part of the proposition denoting that which is affirmed or denied about the subject.

4. Copula : The Copula is that part of the proposition which denotes the relation between the subject and the predicate.

Example : All Jokers are men.

Here : All -> Quantifier ; Jokers -> Subject ; Are-> Copula  ; Men -> Predicate

Four Fold Classification of the Proposition

Propositions are classified in to four types

Universal Affirmative Proposition (denoted by  “A”)

It distributes only the subject i.e. the predicate is not interchangeable with the subject while maintaining the validity of the proposition.

e.g. All cats are mammals.

This is proposition A since we cannot say “All mammals are cats.”

Universal Negative Proposition (denoted by  “E”)

It distributes both the subject and the predicate i.e. an entire class of predicate term is denied to the entire class of the subject term, as in the proposition.

e.g  No girl is beautiful.

Particular Affirmative Proposition (denoted by  “I”)

It distributes neither the subject nor the predicate.

e.g Some men are foolish.

Here the subject term “Men” is used not for all but only for some and similarly the predicate term “foolish” is affirmed for a part of subject class. So both are undistributed.

Particular Negative Proposition (denoted by  “O”)

It distributes only the predicate.

e.g Some animals are not domestic.

Here the subject term “animals” is used only for a part of its class and hence is undistributed while the predicate “wild” is denied in entirety to the subject term and hence is distributed.

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Learning about classification helps to make logical deduction in the Competitive exams. How to deduce is explained in the next post. Do check.