Treasury issues new BEAT rules. The Treasury and IRS issued 193 pages of new guidance on how multinational corporations should handle the BEAT—the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse minimum tax included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Here it is, for your reading enjoyment.
CBO releases revenue and spending cut options. As if that’s not enough holiday reading, the Congressional Budget Office released its always-popular Options for Reducing the Deficit, including dozens of ways to raise taxes. Post-TCJA, many of the 10-year revenue estimates look very different than they did under the old law.
Shut-down drama continues. Senate Appropriations Committee chair Richard Shelby says “there’s lots of possibilities” to avoid a government shutdown when funding expires in about a week. It’s just that Congress and President Trump haven’t figured out which one will work. There could be short-term bills that last till December 26, or January 3, or into February. Texas Republican John Cornyn added, “There is no discernible plan. None that's been disclosed. Everybody is looking to [President Trump] about what he wants do. So far, it's not clear.”
House Democrats propose a non-profit donor disclosure measure, likely in vain. Yesterday, one day after the Senate approved a comparable measure, House Democrats offered a resolution that would overturn IRS guidance reducing donor disclosure requirements for some tax-exempt groups. There won’t be a House vote on the measure this year, and the President would likely veto it in any event.
A Florida senator takes a page out of a different playbook. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted yesterday, sounding a bit like a Senate Democrat: “When corporation uses profits for stock buy back it’s deciding that returning capital to shareholders is better for business than investing in their products or workers. Tax code encourages this. No surprise we have work life that is unstable & low paying.” The “tax code,” of course, is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Senator Rubio voted “yes” on that bill.
Food for thought about a glass—or tax—to raise. Vox’s German Lopez argues that a higher tax on alcohol is “a simple policy change that won’t significantly affect a huge amount of people (particularly those who drink more responsibly), but will save thousands of lives every year in the US.” He notes that alcohol’s annual death toll in the US surpasses mortality from guns, cars, drug overdoses, or HIV/AIDS.
More food for thought about all tax policy. The Tax Policy Center has updated its online briefing book. TPC’s Frank Sammartino notes that it’s TPC’s most popular product, containing detailed, easy-to-understand information on the current tax system. TPC has fully updated it to include the changes made by the TCJA. The briefing book also explains concepts used in tax, budget, and economic policy. TPC staff wrote it with the public and the press, students and government staffers in mind. If you want to be well-informed about current tax and budget matters—and who doesn’t?—this resource is for you.
If you’d like to tell us about a new research paper or have any comments about the Daily Deduction, TPC’s summary of the day’s tax news, write Renu Zaretsky at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sign up here to receive the Daily Deduction as an email newsletter every weekday morning (Mondays only when Congress is in recess) at 8:00 am.
Posts and comments are solely the opinion of the author and not that of the Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute, or Brookings Institution.
- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.