Hillary Clinton has another tax idea. Tomorrow the Democratic presidential candidate will share her plan for a corporate “exit tax.” The levy would penalize companies that shift their legal address from the United States to a lower-tax jurisdiction. TPC’s Steve Rosenthal suggested a similar exit tax on deferred earnings of corporations that depart the US.
Six GOP senators would make it easier for the IRS to fire people for misconduct. The IRS Accountability Act of 2015 would give the commissioner new authority to fire employees in senior executive positions engaged in misconduct such as threatening to audit someone for personal gain, falsifying or destroying records or failing to file timely tax returns. The bill’s sponsors are senators Richard Burr, Mike Enzi, Chuck Grassley, Dean Heller, Johnny Isakson, and Tim Scott.
The AICPA doesn’t want the IRS to regulate its members. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants urges the House Ways & Means Committee to oppose the Tax Return Preparer Competency Act. Under the law, professional tax return preparers would have to submit to background checks and take examinations and continuing-education classes.
The US is a low-tax country? Yes, it is, in a way. The Wall Street Journal’s Richard Rubin highlights (paywall) some new data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They show that US federal, state and local tax revenues comprised 26 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2014. But the average share among OECD nations was 34.4 percent. Denmark’s tax revenues absorb about half of its GDP. Tax revenues in the United Kingdom exceed 30 percent of its GDP.
The US Supreme Court weighs in on a tax dispute, sort of. In 1991, an inventor named Gilbert Hyatt moved from California to Nevada. Then he collected $40 million in patent fees for an invention. California’s Franchise Tax Board disputed the timing of Hyatt’s relocation and tried to collect back taxes. Hyatt sued and a Nevada state court jury awarded him damages. California says Nevada didn’t have the right to do that, and urges the Supreme Court to overturn its precedent that allows a state to be sued in the courts of another state. The High Court’s decision should come in June.
“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” Some of us are counting down ‘til Congress passes a budget resolution or tax extender package (House Speaker Paul Ryan says maybe next week). But others of us are counting down to the release of the third Star Wars trilogy (ten more days!). For those in the latter camp, Bloomberg BNA’s Syd Gernstein explains why we have disputed tax policy to thank for the entire galactic epic. Who knew?
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