The voices of Tax Policy Center's researchers and staff
Treasury speaks on business tax reform at TPC. Tune in this morning. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will address business tax reform and will be followed by a panel discussion on corporate inversions, a US tax avoidance strategy. The panel includes Sally Katzen of the NYU School of Law, TPC’s Steven Rosenthal, John Samuels of General Electric, and Stephen Shay of the Harvard Law School. The program begins at 8:45: Watch it live here.
New York’s Senator Schumer has a plan for inversions. Bloomberg reports that the Senate’s number 3 Democrat would curtail “earnings stripping” by applying future interest-deduction limits to companies that inverted after April 17, 1994. Schumer would reduce the amount of deductible interest to 25 percent of US taxable income from 50 percent, and would further require inverted companies to obtain IRS approval for transactions between different parts of the same company for 10 years. Congressional Republicans are generally opposed to retroactive curbs.
There’s leveling the playing field, and there’s playing a different game altogether. IKEA, the privately held, flat-pack furniture manufacturing behemoth founded in 1943, is a charity, and has been since 1982. That means that in Australia, the firm paid just AU$7.7 million in income tax on revenues of AU$666 million and operating profit of AU$92 million. Meanwhile, publicly listed Australian furniture retailer Nick Scali had profits of AU$20 million, and paid AU$6 million in corporate taxes.
US corporate income taxes: Repeal or mend? The US corporate income tax code has high statutory rates but offers plenty of ways for tax planners to minimize them. Its complexity also gives policy wonks plenty to chew on. TPC’s Howard Gleckman considers reform options presented by TPC’s Eric Toder and Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute, another backed by Harvard’s Greg Mankiw, and still another by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Jared Bernstein. Let’s hope their ideas someday lead to a serious debate among policymakers.
The house always wins, but whose house is it? Nevada’s legislature has to approve the deal, but the state is betting the house on one electric car manufacturer. Tesla plans to build its new gigafactory in the state in exchange for a $1.25 billion tax break over the next 20 years. The subsidy is the biggest Nevada has ever seen and is one of the largest in the country. It would allow Tesla to operate in Nevada tax free for 10 years and enjoy a low tax bill for 10 years after that. The state’s economic development office projects the Tesla plant could generate indirect tax revenues as high as $1.9 billion over two decades. Talk about betting on the come.
Economic growth: does it change with income taxes? TPC’s Bill Gale and the Andrew Samwick of Dartmouth’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Center will share findings from their new paper tomorrow at 12:30 at TPC. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Chye-Ching Huang and the Tax Foundation’s William McBride will comment on the paper. You can register here or tune in to the live webcast.
Individual income tax revenues will rise but not enough to fix the deficit. TPC’s Bob Williams reviews Congressional Budget Office projections that show federal revenues will rise thanks almost entirely to individual income tax collections, but not enough to offset increased spending. TPC’s Bill Gale reminds readers that the debt-to-GDP ratio is remarkably high at 74 percent, and is expected to climb over the next decade.
On the Hill this week: On Thursday, September 10, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will testify before the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the propriety and availability of tax credits for healthcare premiums.
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Posts and comments are solely the opinion of the author and not that of the Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute, or Brookings Institution.