The Tax Policy Blog

June 18, 2015

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), a candidate for president, recently announced his plan to reform the U.S. tax code. His proposal, the “Flat and Fair Tax,” would move to a 14.5 percent tax rate on all types of income with a sizable deduction and exemption, eliminate the corporate tax to create a 14.5 percent business transfer tax paid by businesses on profits and wages, introduce full expensing for investments...

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June 18, 2015

In Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, the Trojan princess Cassandra counsels that “there is no avoidance in delay.” In Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) and his allies are preparing to test that proposition.

Two years ago, Dayton secured the passage of a $2.1 billion tax increase. During this year’s regular session, Republican lawmakers, seizing upon a $1.8 billion surplus,...

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June 18, 2015

Pam Olson is the U.S. Deputy Tax Leader and Washington National Tax Services Practice Leader at PwC.

Ms. Olson is one of the foremost experts on U.S. domestic and international tax policy. She is a frequent speaker on tax and federal budget matters and has testified before Congress on multiple occasions.

Previously, Ms. Olson served as Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department...

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June 17, 2015

Over the past few days, several news sources have called attention to the rising cost of prescription drugs in the United States. Yesterday, USA Today reported that the nominal cost of prescription drugs rose 13% in 2014, the largest percentage increase for over a decade. This morning, CNBC noted that 73% of Americans believe that medication costs too much...

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June 17, 2015

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) has taken an important step toward making good on his election-year promise to reduce taxes by $1 billion in his second term by signing HB 33A into law, though the...

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June 17, 2015

The European Union (EU) reaffirmed its commitment to corporate tax reform today, announcing that it intends to foster an environment of fair and transparent taxation by enacting a harmonized tax regime that eliminates regulatory arbitrage, simplifying the administrative process, and improving coordination among the member states. The harmonized tax regime, known as the Common...

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June 17, 2015

The political tides in Poland have been shifting away from the ruling party, the pro-business Civic Platform (OP), to the opposition, the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party. The defeat of the ruling party’s ally in the presidential elections last month and...

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June 17, 2015

Australia is in the grips of a long running debate over the tax treatment of "negative gearing”. Negative gearing is a situation when one borrows money to invest and the return on that investment is less than the borrowing and other costs. In Australia, your loss from negatively geared property for a given year is deductible.

Imagine you borrow money from a bank to buy a property, which you then rent out to tenants. In the early years of your investment, the holding cost on the...

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June 17, 2015

I wrote last week about the European Commission’s (E.C.) investigation into multiple member states’ tax treatment of multinational corporations. This probe has expanded to include all member states’ tax rulings, with Estonia and Poland possibly facing legal action in the European Court of Justice if they do not respond to an injunction ordering them to release detailed records of their tax rulings within...

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June 17, 2015

UPDATE: Updating this morning's alert on the House Judiciary Committee markup of three key state tax bills, the committee passed all three to the full House for consideration. The Mobile Workforce bill was approved on a bipartisan 23 to 4 vote, with Reps. Conyers (D-MI), Nadler (D-NY), Chu (D-CA), and Jeffries (D-NY) voting no. Rejected amendments included to reduce the 30 day threshold to 14 days (Nadler, failed 7 to 21), to add income...

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June 16, 2015

This week, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush formally announced his presidential bid in Miami. One number that caught a lot of attention was “four percent:” the goal for economic growth that he would hope to reach if he were elected president.

This is an ambitious number, much higher than what economists are expecting from the next decade; the latest CBO baseline puts the long-term...

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June 16, 2015

We have a new report up on a recent bill proposed in the North Carolina Senate that would continue to build on the state’s successful 2013 tax reform. From the report:

In recent months, the North Carolina House has responded to calls from Governor Pat McCrory to renew tax incentive programs with a bill that allocates $45 million to Job Development Investment...

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June 15, 2015

The IGM Forum, a University of Chicago project that surveys academic economists on issues, last month found that economists broadly agree that real median income numbers understate real growth in standards of living.

In short, it’s difficult to measure how production in an economy changes over time. As technology makes new products available, the output of the country changes...

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June 15, 2015

Last week, Spanish Princess Cristina de Borbon was stripped of her title as the Duchess of Palma de Mallorca as she awaits trial amid tax fraud charges. The princess and her husband are accused of using a sports charity to embezzle 6 million euros ($6.75 million) during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. This scandal is one of many reasons former Spanish King Juan Carlos...

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June 15, 2015

A Swiss ballot initiative proposing a federal inheritance tax was roundly rejected yesterday, with 71 percent of voters opposing the measure. The proposed inheritance tax, which is a type of tax similar to the U.S. federal estate tax, would have imposed a 20 percent tax on all estates left directly to children.

Switzerland ranks highly on the Tax Foundation’s 2014 International Tax...

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