Maybe lawsuits and unpaid bills are the reason Donald Trump won’t release his tax returns. A USA TODAY analysis finds Trump’s businesses have been involved in at least 100 lawsuits and other disputes related to back taxes. The presumptive GOP nominee’s businesses have fought such battles nearly every year since the late 1980s. New York State has demanded payment of more than $13,000 in late or unpaid taxes just since June 2015—when Trump declared his candidacy for president.
Wyden’s derivative tax plan: On the right track. TPC’s Steve Rosenthal likes the top Finance Committee Democrat’s plan to require that contracts be marked-to-market and that investors pay tax on any gains, whether or not they sell the securities in a given year. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that Wyden’s plan could bring in $16 billion over ten years. Steve thinks Wyden’s plan for valuing the contracts still needs work.
On the Hill next week. In addition to the Senate Finance Committee hearing on debt-versus-equity concerns in corporate tax integration, the House Small Business Committee plans two hearings on tax issues for the sharing economy. The House Judiciary Committee will also hold a hearing to examine alleged misconduct by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
Ways & Means Tax Policy Subcommittee Chair still wants an “innovation box” in international tax reform. Representative Charles Boustany, Jr., has not put aside his effort, reports Tax Analysts. The “innovation box” would lower taxes on profits tied to US patents and intellectual property. Speaker Paul Ryan expects a broad tax reform blueprint by the end of June. It will “determine the direction” of the innovation box, Boustany said.
If not the soda, then the can? The Philadelphia City Council considered council member Blondell Reynolds Brown's plan to impose a 15 cent tax on all beverages over 7 ounces (excluding baby formula, milk and alcohol). The "container tax" would ostensibly place a lower tax burden on consumers than Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposed 3-cent-per-ounce sugary beverage tax. His administration argues that the container tax would affect more products and be more expensive for consumers.
Profit shifting: The European Union draws a line the sand. The EU’s regulatory body clarified its rules on transfer pricing within a firm. It will require market-priced transactions between a multinational’s business units. Thus, a business unit in a high-tax jurisdiction would no longer be able to buy intellectual property rights at an inflated price from a unit in a low-tax country in order to lower the firm’s overall tax burden. Apple and Starbucks, among others, have been accused of doing this.
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