Author Archive

A Repatriation Tax Holiday for US Multinationals? Four Contagious Illusions

U.S.-based multinationals hold $2.1 trillion in foreign cash and insist that the only way they can feasibly bring that money back home is if Congress grants them a tax holiday—an idea that even President Obama now appears to support. But the argument they (and the President) are making for a holiday is based on a […]

As American as Apple Inc.

Are large U.S. multinationals largely U.S. owned? To hear some of the arguments for retaining or enhancing the tax benefits that these companies enjoy, you’d think this was a given. Think again. Quirks in the tax laws essentially provide large U.S. multinationals like Apple, Google, and Cisco with a kind of turbo-charged Individual Retirement Account […]

“Stateless Income” Versus “Statefully Taxless Income”

Ireland is playing the world like a Celtic harp, and perhaps the world deserves it. The US and other European nations have been complaining for some time about Ireland’s impish behavior in international tax. Ireland, it is said, has specifically designed its tax system to help facilitate tax avoidance by massive multinational enterprises (MNEs) such […]

“Common Sense” Aside, What Do We Really Know About Capital Income Taxes and Growth?

If you’re discussing tax policy with someone who asserts that his or her point is “just common sense,” this could indicate one of two things: Either no deep thought is required—as the person would have you believe. Or no deep thought has been applied. The “common sense” notion that capital income taxes hinder growth seems […]

Camp’s Investment Tax Plan: Implications for Lower Rates on Capital Gains?

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) has proposed requiring most derivatives investors to pay tax on their annual returns even if they don’t realize their gains by selling their securities. This proposal, which requires investors to mark-to-market the value of financial derivatives, has ramifications far beyond the heady world of high-tech finance. […]

New Ways to Think About a Tax on Public Companies

Suppose someone proposed a special tax on businesses that make their ownership shares publicly available in affordable, easy-to-sell units. Such an idea would probably generate a lot of push-back. Efficiency advocates might complain that it taxed the very attributes that make equity markets efficient. Progressivity advocates might object on the grounds that it taxed those […]