Tomorrow on the Hill. The Senate is in recess until April 4, but the Tax Policy Subcommittee of the House Ways & Means panel will hold the first in a planned series of hearings to share ideas for fundamental tax reform. Tuesday’s hearing will focus on cash-flow and consumption-based approaches to taxation.
The hearings set the stage for 2017. Harold Hancock, majority tax counsel to the House Ways & Means Committee, says panel chair Kevin Brady and Speaker Paul Ryan see 2017 as the window for reform, reports Tax Analysts reports (paywall). Hancock also said committee members remain interested in some details of former Ways & Means chair Dave Camp’s tax reform draft.
Bernie Sanders would like Treasury to block the Pfizer deal. The Vermont senator (and Democratic presidential hopeful) wrote Secretary Jack Lew urging him to block Pfizer’s proposed merger with Ireland-based Allergan to deter other companies from attempting their own tax-driven inversions. Sanders says, “Preventing the inversion planned by just one company, Pfizer, could produce more deficit-reduction than the [spending] cuts [GOP colleagues] are demanding.”
Hope for Greece? The European Commission continues to work with Greece to help the beleaguered nation and win new loans and debt relief. EC officials say they’ve made “significant progress” on income tax reform and “important progress” on key aspects of pension reform.
A new tax caused a strike in India—did a veiled promise end it? The nation is the second largest gold consumer in the world and last month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced an excise tax of 1 percent on gold jewelry produced and sold in India. Jewelers went on strike on March 2 to protest, but re-opened their shops by March 20 after the government hinted that jewelers could voluntarily report sales without on-site verification.
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