A last try to shield financial records. President Trump has asked the US Supreme Court to shield his financial records from the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The House panel subpoenaed Mazars USA for the records, not President Trump himself. This is the second time Trump has asked the high court to reverse appellate courts and keep his financial documents under wraps. The Supreme Court will decide as soon as next week whether to hear another Trump tax appeal--on whether Manhattan prosecutors can obtain eight years of his financial records and tax returns for a grand jury investigation.
A low-tax country, thanks to the TCJA. In its new report, the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) finds the United States had the group’s fourth lowest tax-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio at 24.3 percent in 2018. Only Ireland, Chile, and Mexico had lower tax burdens. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was largely responsible. Separately, the report found that tax revenues reached a plateau among member nations, raising questions about their economic health.
The sole right to tax US-based multinationals. Trump’s latest theory of international taxation, in response to a French digital tax on US tech companies and others: “They’re our companies, they’re American companies. If anyone is going to take advantage of the American companies, it’s going to be us.” TPC’s Howard Gleckman unpacks Trump’s apparent loss of interest in the more territorial tax system established by the TCJA. Trump threatened a new round of tariffs to get France to back down. Concludes Howard: “Maybe Trump thinks he can use tariffs to bludgeon France into unilaterally abandoning its digital tax and discourage other countries from adopting their own… he’s almost surely wrong.”
A suspension of countries’ digital taxes. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin followed Trump complaints. He wrote to the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD) expressing “serious concerns” with some of the group’s efforts to set global corporate tax rules. The proposals to which Mnuchin now objects are built on ideas in the TCJA. Mnuchin says France and other European countries should suspend their new digital taxes while nations work toward a global corporate tax rule agreement.
A tariff reduction before Phase One. The Chinese government is demanding the US cut its tariffs before Phase One of a trade deal with the US. Since September 1, the US has imposed 15 percent tariffs on $125 billion in some Chinese goods, and 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion in other industrial and consumer goods. The US is reluctant to remove tariffs ahead of Phase One, since the initial deal does not address intellectual property and technology transfer. On December 15, the US plans to impose additional tariffs on $156 million in Chinese goods like smartphones and toys.
$1.6 billion from Fiat Chrysler. The Italian government demands $1.6 billion in unpaid taxes from the automaker. The country’s tax authority says that Fiat Chrysler understated the value of Chrysler when the company headquarters relocated to the Netherlands in 2014. Italy imposes a one-time tax based on capital gains upon such a corporate move. Fiat Chrysler disputes the Italian government’s assessment.
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