Formal Panama “papers” make it official. Panama has formally signed an agreement with the US to combat tax evasion. It is one of 112 jurisdictions that has such a pact under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
Brady gets tax reform ready for 2017. Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady is convinced the next president will make tax reform a top priority and he wants to be ready. He told a conference hosted by The Atlantic that his panel is exploring a wide range of reform options—everything “from consumption taxes to flat taxes to cash-flow taxes." He said little about how specific the plan would be, and made no promise about when it would be ready, other than to say sometime in late summer. GOP convention-time perhaps?
Are value added taxes bad for small business? No, says TPC’s Bill Gale. He explains that new TPC research finds that “most firms ought to be able to handle the tax, especially if very small businesses are exempted from collecting the levy.”
A Senate Budget Committee witness goes rogue! The custom is for committee witnesses to show proper deference to the lawmakers. But in remarkable testimony to the Senate Budget Committee yesterday, former Hill budget staffer Stan Collender (now an exec with a Washington marketing firm) didn’t. He told them not to try to reform the budget process since they’d only make it worse, ripped the panel for refusing to let Obama Administration officials defend their latest budget, and blasted Congress for being generally dysfunctional. Unless lawmakers can find a way to work together, he added, “any budget process changes will be totally meaningless, uselessly symbolic, and a cynical hoax.” You can watch the fun here.
The IRS will change policy on employment-related ID theft. If an undocumented immigrant uses your Social Security number to get a job, the IRS will notify you, starting in January 2017. In a recent hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that the IRS did not inform victims of such identity theft. After the hearing, Koskinen changed the policy.
Have you registered for the National Tax Association symposium? The 46th annual gathering, called “Tax Policy at the Crossroads: What Direction Next?” will be presented with the American Tax Policy Institute May 12 and 13. TPC’s Len Burman will be a discussant for the May 13 panel on the economic consequences of taxing the rich. You can learn about the entire symposium here. The registration deadline is May 1.
“You could leave, but it’ll cost you.” The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says that the United Kingdom leaving the European Union equates to an additional “tax” worth a month’s income on UK workers. The UK economy has slowed in the first three months of 2016. The OECD research suggests that the UK could suffer 3 percent lower economic growth by 2020, and 5 percent lower growth by 2030. That translates into £3,200 a year per household.
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