Everything is negotiable? So says presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump of his tax plan. He told ABC News’ “This Week” that the top income tax rate would be higher than the 25 percent he’s proposed. “On my plan [the top rates are] going down. But by the time it's negotiated, they'll go up," Trump said. "Look, when I'm negotiating with the Democrats, I'm putting in a plan. I'm putting in my optimum plan… It’s not going to stay there.”
Treasury isn’t cutting Teamster pension funds… for now. The department rejected the Central States’ pension fund’s application to cut benefits for thousands of union members who are current and future retirees. Treasury said the request failed to satisfy statutory criteria for benefit suspension, but its ruling doesn’t necessarily apply to other plans' applications.
But Treasury is addressing Panama Paper-related problems. It finalized its “customer due diligence” rule requiring financial institutions to verify who owns and profits from their services. The department also wants foreign-owned companies to obtain a tax identification number from the IRS, and report ownership and transaction information.
In Greece: Another austerity vote, another protest. Protestors gathered outside parliament over the weekend as the government prepares to vote on additional austerity measures in order to secure international bailout money. Unions have already held a three-day general strike in response to tax and pension changes. Greece agreed to a third rescue package worth €86 billion ($94 billion) last year. The country could default on €3.5 billion in debt payments due in July if it cannot reach an agreement with its creditors over tax and spending reforms.
Another year, another failed budget in the US, too. Politico reports that House Republicans will give up this week on plans to pass a 2017 budget, an effort that had been a top priority of Speaker Paul Ryan. GOP hardliners would not back off their demand that the House cut $30 billion from the $1.07 trillion fiscal plan. Instead, appropriators will try to write individual spending bills—built on the original $1.07 trillion spending target. When it’s all over, look to Congress to do what it has mostly done each year for the past decade—pass some sort of continuing resolution or omnibus spending measure.
Also on the Hill this week. Tomorrow the House plans to vote on the Recovering Missing Children Act, which would allow the IRS to share taxpayer information with state and local officials to aid in the discovery of missing children. The House Ways & Means panel’s Tax Policy Subcommittee will hold a Member Day Hearing on Tax Legislation Thursday to share ideas to improve the tax code.
In case you missed them on TaxVox… Norton Francis has some thoughts on why hedge fund David Tepper is leaving New Jersey for Florida. Howard Gleckman marvels at a presidential candidate who has a plan to pay for her promises. And Tax Hound Renu Zaretsky considers the maybe-misguided love of estate tax repeal.
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