There is something very wrong with our priorities as a nation when our elected officials fast- track tax relief for Olympic athletes – many of whom are well-paid professional athletes – and place funding for a serious threat to public health on the back burner. Congress should be ashamed of itself.
Tax Analysts Blog
Apple is a major part of why the United States is the world's leading innovator on new technologies, particularly those involving telecommunications and computers. The company has over 66,000 domestic employees, and a large percentage of its customers are here -- at least 40 percent, according to its latest annual report. But Apple also aggressively avoids paying taxes in high-tax jurisdictions, particularly the United States. And Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent statements are misleading about why.
That Donald Trump revised his tax reform plan came as no surprise. His campaign had been hinting for several weeks that a partial rewrite was in the works. The presumed objectives of the revision were threefold, and it’s useful to keep these goals in mind when evaluating the details of his plan.
Most Americans are still waiting for Donald Trump to release his tax returns. But he’s not the only one dragging his feet. Hillary Clinton, who has generally been very forthcoming with her tax disclosures, hasn’t divulged her 2015 return, either.
It is generally well accepted that the founders of the United States wanted a federalist system of government. That is, they wanted the national government to concern itself with issues that affect the entire country and the numerous subnational governments to take care of more local issues. The powers granted to the federal government are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. Article I, section 8 specifically provides that “Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the Unites States.”
In April, while many people were celebrating the arrival of spring, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists disclosed the existence of 11.5 million private documents it had obtained from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. In disclosing the Panama Papers, the consortium exposed to the public the secret world of financial dealings that the wealthy, the powerful, and the criminal underworld use to hide money from, and evade taxes owed to, governments worldwide.
Given that it’s a presidential election year, much of the discussion among tax policy experts will focus on the candidates’ appetites for federal tax reform. But what often gets lost in that discussion is how changes at the federal level might affect the states. The reason for this is that most states in some way conform to the Internal Revenue Code.
People often ask me the same question: When will Congress get serious about fundamental tax reform? My response is predictable You’ll know that we’re making genuine progress when lawmakers get over their knee-jerk opposition to discussing a broad-based federal consumption tax.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has taken a lot of heat for proposing a tax plan that would cost at least $12 trillion over 10 years if enacted. In response to that criticism, Trump and his advisers have implied that a new, less costly plan is in the works. But Trump isn't the only candidate in the race who seems unconcerned about adding to the deficit.
Hillary Clinton, having finished in first place in a Democratic primary race with only one Democrat in it, was duly anointed by the party as its standard-bearer at its convention in Philadelphia on July 26. Her nominally independent and avowedly democratic socialist primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, who had previously declared that the country was “sick and tired” of news coverage of her use of a personal email server for receiving and sending classified documents, is apparently now resolved to also deflect attention from hacked emails showing that the top brass of the party to which he doesn’t belong actively encouraged efforts to deny him its nomination. With both email scandals thus firmly behind her, Clinton’s return to the White House seems inevitable—this time as the power on rather than behind the throne.