Tax Analysts Blog

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 00:00

Donald Trump's tax plan isn't particularly well developed, but he does make his position clear on one major international tax issue.  Trump would retain the United States' worldwide tax system while eliminating the deferral of taxes on foreign profits.  This position is at odds with many reform plans featuring a switch to territoriality, and it is very close to the preferences of Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Bernie Sanders.  All three politicians are right -- it is time for the United States to end deferral and finally level the playing field between domestic and foreign profits.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 00:00

George Voinovich, both a two-term senator and governor of Ohio, died June 12.  Voinovich was an extremely popular governor known primarily for his fiscal discipline.  Many of the remembrances of the Ohio politician have praised him for standing against his Republican allies and opposing the 2003 tax cuts proposed by George W. Bush.  Lost in some of the discussion is that Voinovich was a supporter of the far larger 2001 tax cut legislation and that other Republicans did much more to try to derail Bush's plans.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 00:00

While the Republicans have struggled to win the presidency in the last few election cycles, the party has made impressive gains elsewhere. In fact, the GOP could set a record this fall by holding more than 32 governors' mansions at the same time. There are 31 Republican governors, and the races look set up to allow the party to add two or three more on Election Day. If they do, the tax outlook in those states will change dramatically.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Monday, May 2, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Monday, March 21, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Thursday, March 10, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Monday, February 22, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 00:00

Sen. Ted Cruz finally did what the GOP establishment couldn't: He stopped Donald Trump's momentum.

Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 00:00
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 relea...
Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 00:00

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.

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 00:00
The conventional wisdom is that Congress passes messy laws and Treasury and the IRS have to use their regulatory authority to provide clarity and administrability. The recent changes to partnership audits are only the latest example of practitioners and observers crying out that provisions in legis...
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 00:00
Nothing is certain in Washington, of course, but it appears that congressional leaders are on the verge of a major deal that would at least partially relieve the annual burden of passing so-called tax extenders. A massive proposal that would permanently extend the research credit, the expanded EITC...
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 00:00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might be best known for his hawkish foreign policy, his confrontational, even alienating demeanor, and his determination to resist Iran and radical Islamist forces at all costs. But what he'd really like to be known for are his economic reforms. At least th...
Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 00:00
It might be the 10-year anniversary of President George W. Bush's President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform issuing its final report, but there is a more recent tax policy anniversary coming up. On November 10, 2010, President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (...
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 00:00
At first glance, Paul Ryan had a lot in common with his predecessor as House Ways and Means chair. Like Dave Camp, Ryan said he was very serious about moving a tax reform package. Like Camp, Ryan promised to make the tough choices for a revenue-neutral package that would make the United States more...