torsdag 29. oktober 2015

Gold Eagles, Customs and Doublethink

Orwellian Newspeak is the method Norwegian Customs controls  thoughts through language. Doublethink is the technique of directly controlling your actions and thereby lead your thoughts away from the matter at hand.

In my two previous postings, Gold Eagles, Customs and Newspeak and Gold Eagles,  Gold Eagles, Customs and Blackwhite I looked at Customs’ practice and ideology stating that they do not know enough to decide, but you have to do what they do not decide. I have understood it that we have to pay Value Added Tax on the gold in 50 dollars Gold Eagles since it is a commodity and not legal tender, even if it is legal tender and not a commodity in the US.

An E-mail form Customs
The next section in the letter from Customs (Tollregion Oslo og Akershus) is simple to understand if you are a linguistic genius with a master’s degree in Doublethink.

Can the coin be imported as a collector’s item?
Translated from the email: If the coin in question does not qualify to be a circulation coin (Customs has already stated that it is a commodity) as mentioned above (in their letter), we will decide if the coins can be defined as collector’s items. Many coins fall into this category and can be imported with a consultation on the taxation to 20 %.
   However, for this to take place the general rules for a coin to be defined as a collector’s item must be fulfilled in accordance with the laws and regulations on Value Added Tax § 1-3-3. (However, I can’t find this regulation in the VAT regulation book). This rule refers among others to Custom Tariff position 97.04 (Which has not been valid since 1997).

I’ll accept, but grudgingly
However, Customs statement that I only have to pay 20 % tax on the Gold Eagle if… I repeat…. If the coin is a collector’s item. To be defined as a collector’s item Customs will look at the coins’ rarity and grade. And Customs’ conclusion?
   Translated from e-mail: Gold 50 dollars American Eagle coins are marketed as a collector’s item and we will presume that the coin has a value as a collector’s item. We therefore presume that this coin can be imported with a reduced calculation basis.

A nice piece of Doublethink, for if Customs had taken a quick look at United States Mint Web pages they would presumably have seen this statement: Authorized by the Bullion Coin Act of 1985, American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins quickly became one of the world's leading gold bullion investment coins. US. Mint In other words, the producer of the American Eagle Gold Bullion Coin markets the coin as an Investment coin!

One of the criteria Customs is using for their evaluation is the rarity of the coin. A quick look at the United States Mint’s bullion sales figures for 2015 show that so far this year 542 500 one oz. gold coins are sold. Not exactly a rare coin in my eyes.

Another of the criteria Customs looks at is the grade of the coin. The American Eagle coin is sold as a grade MS-70, Perfect Uncirculated. It should not be too difficult for Customs to decide the grade of the bullion coins sold by the thousands in Norwegian shops – without Value Added Tax!

søndag 25. oktober 2015

Gold Eagles, Customs and Blackwhite

The Value Added Tax rules were once quite ridged, but time blasted holes in the taxation wall. The rules are now corrupted by multiple choices and arbitrary decision processes. What applies for the few does not apply for the many.

In the letter I received from the Norwegian Customs, concerning 50 dollars American Eagle coins, they are careful to point out that all commodities, including American Eagle coins, imported to Norway are liable to Value Added Tax § 3-29. According to the letter American Eagle coins are regarded as a general commodity.

The Wrong Commodity
BUT…. and there are always buts... Quite a few commodities are vat-free; books, newspapers, magazines, electric cars to mention a few. I quote from the letter:
   Coins and bills which are in circulation as legal tender are exempt from Value Added Tax when imported to Norway, §§ 7-1 and 3-6 letter d.
   Ok, to repeat myself, which is necessary when working with governmental Newspeak, Customs tries to convince me that 50 dollars gold American Eagle coins are not legal tender because the coins are not in circulation. In other words: Since the coins are not in circulation they are not legal tender, and therefore the gold in the coin is liable to 25 % tax.

Dollars are not Dollars
In the eyes of Norwegian Customs it does not matter that The United States Mint, Department of the Treasury declares that the coin is legal tender. Norwegian Customs tells me that they do not care what The United States Mint tells their bullion buyers in the USA. Legal tender in the US is not necessary legal tender in Norway! If you bring Gold Eagle coins into Norway, you must pay VAT! If not Customs might confiscate the gold eagles.

Kroner are Kroner
So far so good? Again, not so. Now the time has come to apply the Orwellian word Blackwhite.
   This word has two mutually contradictory meanings. It means that you can claim that black is white in contradiction to the plain facts.
   So, what has BlackWhite with Customs’ statement? The 50 dollars American Eagle gold coin is not money. It is a commodity because it is not a circulation coin.
   Enter the Norwegian 1500 kroner gold coins ($ 180)! These coins were minted by The Central Bank of Norway. And, just like the American Eagle coin in the US, defined as legal tender like other Norwegian coins.
   However, the Norwegian 1500 kroner gold coin is not defined as a circulation coin by the central Bank. This 1500 kroner gold coin is NOT a commodity and therefore NOT liable to 25 % Value Added Tax if you by any chance should bring some of these coins into the kingdom.

Newspeak is Supression
As Newspeak goes, in Orwell’s book 1984, this way of explaining, or rather confusing the people, is designed and controlled by the state in order to suppress and limit free thought. In this case, a gold coin is not a coin, but a commodity. However, a gold coin is not a commodity, but a gold coin. Black is White. White is black.
   Orwell’s language is a study in where linguistics and psychology meet. An analysis of Newspeak reveals the ways in which Orwell’s fictional language can subtly take control of characters’ actions, their moods, and even their minds.

In my third blogpost on Gold Eagles. If you find this posting interesting you might also find the previous posting worth reading : Gold Eagles, Customs and Newspeak

onsdag 21. oktober 2015

Gold Eagles, Customs and Newspeak

In George Orwell’s epic book, 1984, he introduces the concepts of Doublethink and Newspeak , a way of speaking that had been devised to meet  ideological needs of the bureaucracy.

The Norwegian Customs (Tollregion Oslo og Akershus) must have learned quite a few Newspeak techniques from the book. In short, it is not possible to get clear answers form Customs. They are covering their back by throwing multiple number of tax law paragraphs in my face. Paragraphs, which are contra dictionary and therefore liable to arbitrary decisions from individual custom officers. I formulated the following question to Customs: Are American Eagle Gold Coins liable to VAT taxation if you bring them into the country?
   The answers can only be classified as Newspeak: Customs does not have enough information, in this case, to make a decisive decision whether “a 50 dollars American Eagle” coin shall answer to Value Added Tax when imported to Norway.

Not enough information?
Customs claim that they have not enough information! Fair enough? NO! Not fair enough, because they are kicking my question back at me and swamp me with Newspeak. We do not know, but maybe you can figure out whether you shall pay VAT or not? So, if the lawyers at customs are unable able to solve the riddle of the taxation labyrinth, how can they expect that I, a commoner of the kingdom, shall be able to do it? To be sincere … They don,t! Because no matter how I approach the matter at hand I hit Doublethink. The following sentence illustrate this beautifully: But we will explain our reasoning and criteria a little more for which we assume are necessary for the taxation of the single commodity at hand.

Legal Tender is a Commodity
Have another look at the sentence. Focus on the word commodity!  Customs has in the beginning of the letter already classified the American Eagle gold coin as a commodity, not as money and legal tender. This in spite of that The United States Mint claims that the American Eagle 50 dollars gold coin is legal tender.
   Legal tender is not taxable in Norway– commodities are! In short… Norwegian Customs presumably does not see American legal tender as money. However, since they do not have enough information they can not answer my simple question with a direct yes or no.
The purpose of Newspeak was to make all other modes of thought impossible.

Shall, shall not?
Nevertheless, as stated above, if you bring these coins legally into Norway you might or might not pay 25 % Value Added Tax on the value of the gold in the one ounce coin (31,105 gram) At the moment of writing 21. October 2015 the price of one ounce is US dollar 1176 or NOK 9643. In short, you have to pay 293dollar of 2410 kroner in tax IF the custom officer at the entry point decides that the coin is a commodity and not a legal tender. BlackWhite

Black is White and White is Black
My next post will penetrate deeper into the letter from Tollregion Oslo og Akershus (Customs) regarding the American Eagle 50 dollars gold coin. I find the Orwellian word BlackWhite a proper approach. This word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Orwellian applied to an opponent, it means that you can claim that black is white in contradiction to the plain facts

fredag 16. oktober 2015

Regnskogfondet og gullrike land

Regnskogfondet ble tildelt TV-Aksjonen for 2015. 18. oktober banket en bøssebærer på din dør for å tigge om penger. 

De innsamlede pengene skal kanskje gå til bevaring av verdens gjenværende regnskoger. En god tanke! En riktig tanke! Hvis det ikke hadde vært for at regnskoglandene allerede har store mengder gull liggende som død kapital i bankhvelv. (Sannsynligvis i hvelvene til Federal Reserve Bank of New York). Gull disse landene kunne ha solgt. Steindød kapital disse landene kunne brukt til å bevare regnskogene for framtidige generasjoner. Grådigheten til politikerne i regnskoglandene overstiger vår villeste fantasi. Hva betyr vel noen hundre tusen nedhuggede fotballbaner av regnskog hvis det kan finansiere et privat jetfly.

207 milliarder i banken
Ifølge World Gold Council september oversikt sitter Bolivia på 42.5 tonn til en verdi av 12915172000 kroner (13 milliarder), Brazil har 67.2 tonn til en verdi av 20421166080 kroner (20,5 milliarder), Ecuador 11.8 tonn til en verdi av 3585859520 kroner (3,6 milliarder), Indonesia 78.1 tonn til en verdi av 23733527840 kroner (23,7 milliarder), Malaysia 35.8 tonn til en verdi av 10879133120 kroner (10,9 milliarder), Papua New Guinea 2.0 til en verdi av 607772800 kroner (0,6 milliarder), Peru 34.7 tonn til en verdi av 10544858080 kroner (10,5 milliarder), Venezuela har fantastiske 367.6 tonn til en verdi av fantastiske 111708640640 (111,7 milliarder) og Bolivia 42.5 tonn til en verdi av 12915172000 kroner. (12,9 milliarder). Til sammen disponerer disse landene; 207,4 milliarder kroner.

Hvorfor bruke av egne penger?
Men hvorfor bruke egne penger når man kan få enda flere penger fra blåøyde nordmenn? Landet som hvert år gir bort 32 milliarder kroner til utviklingshjelp som ikke fungerer. Hver eneste borger av Norge tvinges til å sløse bort over 6000 kroner i 2015. (320 milliarder over 10 år.)

onsdag 14. oktober 2015

Your Weight in Gold

Ounces, Troy Ounces, oz., karat and carat, gram and kilo, tonn and tonnes.

All fields of knowledge have their special words and expressions to simplify communication. An investor in gold and silver or precious metal coin collector will know that a troy ounce is 31,103 grams and that it is internationally accepted as a weight unit for precious metals alongside the more modern weight units of gram and kilo.
   What they probably don’t know is that the old fashion weight unit troy ounce is a 14. century French word from the city of Troyes. The people of this city used this weight unit at the market place. One kilo of silver or gold is equivalent to 32.15 troy ounces or1000 grams.

Karat or Carat
Another unit of interest is Karat. Carat is the unit of choice in the diamond trade, but the unit is also used to describe the purity (fitness) of gold. Karat measure the parts by 24. Usually we talk about 14, 18, 22 and 24 Karat.
   A 24 Karat bangle are pure gold 999, but almost is not precise enough for gold investors. They prefer parts of 1000. Pure gold is 1000/1000, but in real life you can’t get gold without some kind of impurities in it.
   Modern gold and silver coins are 999/1000 or 999.9/1000 pure. It is possible to buy coins with five nines stamped on them (999,99), (The Royal Canadian Mint – Call of the Wild series), but ultra-pure gold is way very expensive to refine.

Norwegian Scrap Gold
In Norway, 14 Karat or 585/1000 is the name of the game. You have to pay through you nose, both to the profitgreedy goldsmith and 25 percent Value Added Tax to the taxhungry government. Advice: Don’t buy gold jewelry in Norway unless you are willing to pay for the design.

tirsdag 13. oktober 2015

Miniature Gold and Silver coins

In times of old, when money was scarce and difficult to get hold on, my first meeting with a very small coin was the Norwegian 1 øre. I 1957 I had to have 70 of these to buy a small glass- bottle of Coca Cola. I still remember the pained look on the cashiers face when my grubby hands dropped 70 of these painstakingly collected coins on the his immaculate clean desk. (100 øre = 1 NOK= $ 0,12).

Small is still important
Small coins are nothing new. Neither in denomination or size. The most famous miniature coins are the 2000 – 2500 old ancient Greek miniature coins. These coins, with the highly detailed motifs were made with different metals, such as gold, silver and bronze can be placed on the nail of your little finger. Ancient Greek Coin

Minature goes Gold
Modern miniature coins are mostly made of gold. That is because the production costs are basically the same, no matter what kind of metals they are made of. One of the smallest coins on the market are the 1 gram, 50 cents Canadian Leaf. Another smallish coin is the 1/20 ounce (1, 55 grams), 5 dollars, Year of the Goat Australian Gold Lunar from Perth Mint. Thickness 1,4 mm. Diameter 14, 8 mm, Purity 999,9.
   The price for the goat coin is at the time of writing 13th October in the Year of Our Lord 2015, NOK 666,- or $ US$ 79

torsdag 8. oktober 2015

The European Gold Cartel

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Who will watch the watchers?”

The European Central Bank and 24 other European central banks have taken total control over the gold trade. Quote: Press Release from The World Gold Council: “The European Central Bank (ECB) reasserts the crucial commitment of CBGA signatories (24 European central banks) to continue the coordination of gold transactions in order to avoid market disturbances.”

The EU-Commission is fighting all kind of cartels with heavy fines, but fail to do something with the cartels within the EU-central bank system. This in spite of the following fancywords.

“The EU Single Market for Goods consists of 500 million consumers and 21 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Trade within the internal market is essential for the growth of enterprises and inward investment. The European Commission’s main goal is to ensure the free movement of goods within the market, and to set high safety standards for consumers and the protection of the environment.” - European Commission

fredag 2. oktober 2015

Merverdiavgift på American Eagle gullmynter

Moms på amerikanske gullmynter
Ved spørsmål til tollvesenet om American Eagle 50 dollar gullmynter får jeg følgende svar:

Vi beklager at svaret tok litt lenger lang tid enn vanlig. Vi fant ut at akkurat dette måtte forelegges for vår regelavdeling før vi kunne avgi svar.
   I merverdiavgiftshåndboken står det følgende til § 3-18: «Med gyldig betalingsmiddel menes at det kan benyttes til å betale for en vare eller tjeneste». Derfor sier vi at under denne definisjonen gjelder mynter som kan brukes som betalingsmiddel uten at de først må veksles inn i en bank.
   Konklusjon er derfor at American Eagle 50 dollar gullmynter ikke er gyldig betalingsmiddel på lik linje med vanlig valuta.
   Disse myntene må sees på som en vanlig vare. Ved innførsel går man etter den alminnelige omsetningsverdien i utlandet, ikke myntens pålydende, og beregner 25 prosent MVA av dette.
   De vil imidlertid kunne komme innenfor verdigrensen i reisendebestemmelsene, det vil si at man som privatperson kan innføre varer for inntil NOK 3000/NOK 6000 per person uten at avgifter må betales. Mer informasjon finnes her: Handel i utlandet
   Utførsel: Vi finner ikke noen unntaksbestemmelser i forskrift som omhandler melde  og fremleggelsesplikten (tollforskriften § 3-1-15) ved utførsel av en vare. Vanlig valuta og andre gyldige betalingsmidler (under tilsvarende NOK 25000) som vi som reisende tar med oss ut til personlig bruk er omfattet av unntaksbestemmelsen som nevnes i tollforskriften § 3-1-15 bokstav d, som omhandler reisegods til personlig bruk: Lovdata
   Men siden disse myntene defineres som ordinære varer blir svaret at man må deklarere disse på vei ut; dersom verdien overstiger NOK 5000. Noen avgiftsmessige konsekvenser ved utførsel i form av MVA eller andre avgifter er det likevel ikke.

Med vennlig hilsen
Tollregion Oslo og Akershus
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