Senator Hatch and Speaker Ryan aren’t giving up on tax reform this year. The Senate Finance Committee chairman remains optimistic and is even willing to talk about a border-adjustable tax. He also seems willing to accept a short-term tax cut that adds to the deficit as long as a bill is funded over the long run. The Speaker, meanwhile, acknowledges that “full, immediate border adjustment would be too disruptive,” but won’t give up on the plan altogether.
The Kansas tax cut experiment comes to an end. Faced with big deficits and a court mandate to boost education spending, the GOP-led Kansas legislature has rolled back many of Republican Governor Sam Brownback’s signature tax cuts. TPC’s Howard Gleckman says the $1.2 billion tax increase sends an interesting message to congressional Republicans who will soon debate a Trump fiscal plan that follows Brownback’s playbook: “At least in one deep red state, the Trump formula of big tax and spending cuts is no longer the path to political success.”
The battle over the debt limit—inside the Administration. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants Congress to pass a “clean” increase in the debt limit before it leaves for its August vacation. But at a confirmation hearing yesterday, Trump’s choice to be deputy budget director, Russ Vought, said he wants to add budget reforms to a debt bill. The man who would be Vought’s immediate boss, OMB director Mick Mulvaney, has said much the same thing.
Uber seems to paying less in tax in the United Kingdom. Ride-hailing service platform Uber tries to charge less per ride than its competitors. In the UK, its competitors add the country’s 20 percent VAT to their booking fees. Uber does not, because it considers each Uber driver a small business—too small to register for the VAT. Uber in Britain accounts for a third of Uber’s European business. For now.
Germany’s tax on nuclear fuel rods: Unconstitutional. Between 2011 and 2016, nuclear power operators paid over € 6 billion in taxes, but Germany’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the tax is void. The nuclear power operators will receive refunds. Small consolation, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided that the country will abandon nuclear power by 2022.
Cruisin’ for a tax bruisin’ across the Gulf of Finland. Estonia will raise its alcohol taxes by 70 percent next month. That’s a buzz kill for the Finns who take a short ferry ride for alcoholic drinks that are half the price of those at home.
Did you win last night’s Powerball? The IRS thanks you. The lump-sump payment for the $375 million lottery winner would be around $235.4 million. Federal tax withholding would be about $58.9 million.
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