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

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