Archive for the ‘International Tax’ Category

The Great Tax Inversion Death Spiral

Congress and corporate America are in a dangerous and mutually destructive race: The more lawmakers threaten to ban the practice of inversions—where U.S. based multinationals merge with foreign firms to lower their tax bill– the more firms race to complete the deals while they can. The more deals, the more pressure on Congress to ban them. […]

The Tax-Shopping Backstory of the Medtronic-Covidien Inversion

How can a company headquartered in Minneapolis merge with a competitor run out of Mansfield, Massachusetts in order to pay taxes in Ireland?  It’s just another day in corporate inversion-land, where an opportunity to cut taxes is once again driving key business decisions. This time, the buyer is Minnesota-based medical device maker Medtronic Inc. Its […]

Did Multinationals Use a Foreign Earnings Tax Holiday To Burnish Their Financials Rather Than Reduce Taxes?

We’ve known for years that the 2004 repatriation tax holiday did little to boost domestic investment or create U.S. jobs, as promised by its backers. Now we are learning that many multinational corporations were not even interested in using the temporary holiday to cut their taxes. Instead, according to a new study, it may have been little more […]

Tax Chauvinism: Who Cares Where a Firm is Incorporated?

Following the recent offer by U.S drugmaker Pfizer to acquire British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, congressional Democrats are proposing new limits on the ability of U.S.-based firms to establish foreign residence as a way to cut their U.S. corporate tax bill. Even before this latest flap, the Obama Administration proposed curbs on this practice, known as an […]

Are Multinationals Getting Tired of Waiting for Corporate Tax Reform?

Is it possible that U.S.-based multinationals are getting tired of waiting for Congress to enact corporate tax reform? Seeking cash for domestic acquisitions, some of the nation’s best-known firms are starting to bring back their foreign earnings. Some are finding ways to avoid paying tax at all on that income. Others are so anxious to […]

Two Ways to Fix the Corporate Income Tax: Internationalize it or Kill It

In an important new paper, Eric Toder of the Tax Policy Center and Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute say that corporate tax reforms now being debated in Congress fall far short of solving the widespread problems with the levy. Rather than merely lowering rates and tinkering with tax rules for U.S.- based multi-national […]

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 […]

Who Should Get the Tax Revenue from Apple’s Intellectual Property?

U.S. lawmakers are not alone in their frustration over Apple’s success at avoiding corporate income taxes by shifting reported profits to other countries. News organizations in Australia report that since 2002 Apple has paid only $193 million of Australia corporate income tax on domestic revenues of $27 billion – an income tax equal to just […]

Tax Reform’s Quiet Protectionism

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp has offered a detailed and thoughtful set of proposals on international tax reform, as did former Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus in November, 2013. The proposals, however, contain a new form of subtle protectionism. They quietly aim to discourage U.S.-based multinationals from making products overseas and selling them […]

Fiscal Magic: Paying for New Highways by Cutting Corporate Taxes

Does it make sense to fund much-needed roads, bridges, and mass transit with a big tax cut for multi-national corporations? A growing number of Democrats and Republicans seem to think so. But I have my doubts. At first glance, what could be more appealing? At a time when the Highway Trust Fund is grossly underfunded–thanks […]