There could be billions of reasons Wal-Mart’s prices are so low. A report from Americans for Tax Fairness finds that Wal-Mart stashed $76 billion in overseas income in 78 branches and subsidiaries in 15 low-tax jurisdictions. Such foreign units have helped the multinational corporation reduce its income tax by $3.5 billion over the past six years, the report says. Wal-Mart’s preferred jurisdiction is Luxembourg, where controversial tax deals with multinational tech companies like Amazon and Google are under European Union scrutiny.
Meanwhile, the EU has a “tax haven blacklist,” and Luxembourg isn’t on it. The EU Commission just shared a list of 30 countries that aren’t doing enough to curb tax avoidance. They cover five continents, and half are in the Americas. EU tax official Pierre Moscovici wants the countries to adopt "agreed international standards" to fight against tax evasion.
A tax credit plan from Hillary Clinton. She would give businesses a $1,500 tax credit for hiring and training apprentices. The idea is similar to a bill introduced in the Senate; its backers say the measure could create 400,000 US jobs.
The IRS budget takes another hit, even TIGTA says ongoing funding cuts are hurting. The House Appropriations Committee approved an $838 million cut for the agency, even as the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reports that past budget reductions hurt the agency’s ability to do its job.
On the Hill: Still no highway funding plan. The Senate Finance Committee holds its hearing today on the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Members of the House Ways & Means Committee appeared deeply divided over a long-term funding solution for the trust fund at its hearing yesterday.
Tune in today if you can… The IRS and Tax Policy Center hold their research conference on improving tax administration through research-driven efficiencies today. You can view the webcast starting at 9:00 am—that’s when IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will make opening remarks.
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