Australia's 2016 election is underway. On July 2 voters will determine whether to change prime ministers for the fifth time since 2010 or to return Malcolm Turnbull's Liberal government to a full term. Because of a radical Labor proposal on negative gearing and the Liberals pushing for a major corporate tax cut, tax policy is likely to play a major (if not deciding) role in the race.
Tax Analysts Blog
Well, that didn't take long. After hinting for months that his positions are more fluid than they sometimes appear (and telling The New York Times that he was "flexible"), Donald Trump didn't waste any time beginning his pivot for a general election matchup with Hillary Clinton.
There is growing pressure around the world for major changes to corporate tax policy. The OECD's base erosion and profit-shifting project, and the pressures that drove the G-20 to push for action in the first place, is forcing governments to reexamine everything from transfer pricing to tax enforcement. But in the United States, the BEPS project seems to have only motivated lawmakers to moan about foreign countries targeting U.S. multinationals, leading to calls for the United States to address its high corporate tax rate.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., might be a polarizing figure, but she is correct about at least one issue: pre-filled tax returns. Warren introduced legislation April 14 that would require the IRS to fill out tax returns for taxpayers with relatively simple tax situations. This would, of course, deal a major blow to the so-called Free File Alliance, which is primarily led by Intuit (the maker of TurboTax), H&R Block, and Jackson Hewitt.
In September 2014 Treasury took its first stab at stopping the wave of inversions that some argued were stripping the U.S. corporate base. It issued a finely turned notice targeting the ability of companies to use cash in foreign subsidiaries without paying U.S. tax. Inversions continued. In November 2015 another notice came out, but that same month Pfizer and Allergan announced the largest inversion in U.S. history, a $160 billion deal that incensed some lawmakers.
The weird power sharing situation between London and Edinburgh was on display last week when the United Kingdom's Conservative government announced that it would push forward with tax and spending cuts. Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, said she wouldn't accept the Conservatives' tax changes and would instead seek to protect spending on education and elder care.
Mitt Romney is in the news a lot for a man not running for president. The 2012 GOP nominee and former Massachusetts governor has attempted to make himself the face of the #NeverTrump movement.
The prospect of the United Kingdom pulling out of the European Union is now much more than theoretical. Having cut his deal with the European Union, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the long-promised referendum on leaving the EU would be held on June 23. A British exit from Europe would have major repercussions on trade and immigration policy, but its effect on tax would be much more significant if there were a Labour government.
There isn't much new in President Obama's final budget proposal. The budget features 115 tax provisions from last year's plan, and many of the 30 new provisions are simple tweaks to old proposals (mostly having to do with the extenders package passed by Congress). There is, however, one new tax that has generated quite a bit of interest, at least as a talking point. Obama has proposed a $10 tax (or fee administered like a tax) on barrels of oil, ostensibly to pay for infrastructure and climate change needs.
Sen. Ted Cruz finally did what the GOP establishment couldn't: He stopped Donald Trump's momentum.
The federal budget deficit will increase for the first time since President Obama's first year in office, and many in Washington are trying to cause a panic about it. The deficit will grow from $439 billion last year to $544 billion next year, according to a Congressional Budget Office report released Tuesday. The primary reason is the extenders compromise passed in December, but those who are feigning anger either don't understand how extenders have worked for decades or are purposely crying wolf.