No tax bill, no government shutdown this week. The House canceled the week’s votes as the nation and capital mourn the passing of former President George H. W. Bush. House Ways & Means Chair Kevin Brady will not bring his 300-page tax bill to the floor this week. Congressional leaders and the White House agreed to fund the government for another two weeks, averting a partial government shut-down this weekend. However, there is no movement towards resolving the impasse between President Trump and Congress over funding for his border wall. Thus, the budget crisis is likely to resume in mid-December.
Tariff tussles ease, maybe. President Trump asserted that China agreed to cut auto tariffs, but officials in China have not confirmed that. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), soon to be chair of the Senate Finance Committee, says he’d be willing to back bipartisan legislation to give the Pentagon a bigger role in determining whether tariffs can be authorized by asserting a national security threat. Trump used this claim to impose trade sanctions on Canada, a nation not normally considered a threat to US security.
TPC has a new interactive tool that shows EITC benefits in states and communities. TPC’s Richard Auxier explains that the Tax Policy Center has created a new EITC Interactive Database that makes it easy to access information about the EITC for specific geographic and political locations. The database replaces a version previously maintained by the Brookings Institution.
New for Netflix: A look at its British division. The streaming content provider’s UK subsidiary reported a profit of $1.44 million in 2017, but the Times of London calculates that Netflix generates around £863 million ($1.1 billion) in sales to British users every year. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is investigating. The HMRC actively investigates around half of the UK’s largest companies at any given time.
In Sri Lanka, sugar tax woes. In an effort to gain popular support, newly appointed prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (previously accused of human rights abuses) has proposed cutting the income tax and has ordered a 40 percent reduction in the tax on sugary drinks. Health officials immediately objected to the move, saying that the tax had been reducing sugar consumption.
Holiday shoppers beware. The IRS and Security Summit partners warn taxpayers to take extra steps to protect their tax and financial data from identity thieves. The holidays offer cybercriminals a chance to steal financial account information, Social Security numbers, credit card information, and other sensitive data to help them file fraudulent tax returns.
Congress will cease work for the remainder of the week in memory of former President George H. W. Bush. The Daily Deduction will publish again on Monday, December 10.
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