Tax Analysts Blog

Jun 21, 2016
Comments (2)

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.

Jun 20, 2016
Comments (2)

Establishment Republican leaders, having consulted their textbooks for the definition of racism and concluded that it encompasses their improbable standard-bearer Donald Trump’s cringe-worthy attacks on the Mexican-American federal judge presiding over the Trump University trial, have moved on to try to further mainstream their presumptive nominee’s candidacy by pressuring him to release his tax returns. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who a month ago said Trump would “have to make that decision himself,” now feels emboldened enough to declare, “For the last 30 or 40 years, every candidate for president has released their tax returns, and I think Donald Trump should as well.”

Jun 15, 2016
Comments (1)

On the streets of many major cities, you can often find small groups of people huddled around a card table while a charming young man quickly explains the game he is about to play to separate some unsuspecting suckers from their money. Called the shell game, the venture involves a wager in which the sucker must pick under which of three walnut shells a small pea is sitting. A variant, three-card monte, involves the same con, but with playing cards instead of shells.

Jun 15, 2016
Comments (4)

The Oklahoma Supreme Court recently approved a ballot measure (779) that will, if approved by voters, increase the state sales tax by 1 percent. The new revenue would be earmarked to fund $5,000 pay raises for Oklahoma teachers and provide support for the state's colleges and universities. The question before the court was whether the proponents had gathered the requisite number of signatures; the court said yes. But the tax issue is much more interesting.

Jun 14, 2016
Comments (1)

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.

Jun 9, 2016

Donald Trump is a big fan of tariffs. He’s made them a cornerstone of his get-tough trade policy, suggesting (among other things) a 45 percent import duty on Chinese goods and a 35 percent tariff on cars manufactured in Mexico. And as Time magazine recently observed, he’s not the least bit concerned about the potential fallout. “Who the hell cares about a trade war?” he said last month.

Jun 8, 2016
Comments (3)

Certain tenets  of tax policy are so thoroughly ingrained in our thinking that to question them seems almost sacrilegious. Among these is the doctrine that corporate income should be taxed once and only once. Typically that singular occurrence of corporate tax is imposed by the country with the strongest jurisdictional claim over the relevant corporate entity (residence-based taxation) or the economic activity that gave rise to the income (source-based taxation). It naturally follows that double taxation is an abomination that must be eliminated at all costs. This reflexive aversion to double taxation heavily influences our nation’s tax laws. It also features prominently in the international norms set by multilateral bodies such as the OECD.

Jun 7, 2016

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.

Jun 7, 2016

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this, and it won’t be the last. Part and parcel of maintaining a transparent tax system is having a press that can report on important issues and the actions of the government. Reporters can’t do that without sources willing to speak on the record and without access to events where government officials are speaking.

Jun 1, 2016

In case you missed it, U.S.-based Terex Corp. has substantially altered its proposed merger with Finland’s Konecranes PLC. The original all-stock deal would have resulted in current Terex shareholders acquiring roughly 60 percent of the newly formed firm, which would have been based overseas. Instead, the two companies are now eyeing a much smaller cash and stock transaction that would be limited to an acquisition of two of Konecranes’ business units. Terex’s explanation for the change of plans is straightforward: The anticipated tax benefits are no longer available.