Will the Google-UK tax deal change corporate behavior? UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid says the government has closed over 40 tax loopholes but that more work needs to be done. He expects the Google deal—a settlement in which the firm will pay the UK $185 million in back taxes—will help change companies’ attitudes about taxation.
That Google deal has changed one elected official’s behavior. The United Kingdom’s Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, wants more transparency about the settlement. Without knowing exactly how the deal was reached, he says taxpayers can’t determine whether it is a success, as the government claims. McDonnell has called for publication of Google’s tax records. As a show of faith, he’s published his own, and has asked Chancellor George Osborne to do the same.
The IRS warns that tax scams are targeting the uninsured. The agency says that unscrupulous tax preparers have been telling their clients who owe a tax penalty for not carrying health insurance to pay them directly. These preparers target customers with limited English proficiency, especially undocumented immigrants. Congress, meanwhile, has been reluctant to give the IRS more authority to regulate tax preparers.
How should government spend revenue from taxing “bads?” Taxes on sugary drinks, tanning booth sessions, alcohol, or carbon emissions raise a lot of revenue. In a new paper, the Urban Institute’s Donald Marron and Brookings Institution’s Adele Morris describe four ways government can use the money: offsetting new burdens created by the tax, furthering the goal of the tax, compensating people who bear costs from the taxed activity, or funding unrelated public priorities.
This week on the Hill. Today, GOP members of the House Ways & Means committee are at a retreat to discuss the panel’s legislative agenda for the year. Tomorrow features that panel’s first hearing of the year on pro-growth policies. Also tomorrow, the House plans to try to override President Obama’s veto of their repeal of much of the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday, the House Budget Committee will review the Congressional Budget Office’s budget and economic outlook with CBO Director Keith Hall. Also Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee will consider two nominees for the U.S. Tax Court.
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- © Urban Institute, Brookings Institution, and individual authors, 2016.