A G-7 Deal on a Global Minimum Tax for Companies Faces Hurdles

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-g-7-deal-on-a-global-minimum-tax-for-companies-faces-hurdles-11623016756

Excerpt:

An agreement by wealthy countries to impose minimum taxes on multinational companies faces a rocky path to implementation, with many governments likely to wait to see what others, especially a divided U.S. Congress, will do.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen hailed the deal, reached by finance ministers of the Group of Seven leading rich nations over the weekend in London, calling it a return to multilateralism and a sign countries can tighten the tax net on profitable firms to fund their governments.

…..

In countries with parliamentary systems, governments can quickly deliver on pledges, turning them into local laws and regulations. In the U.S., however, a slim Democratic majority in the House, an evenly split Senate, antitax Republicans and procedural hurdles complicate passage.

…..

Buy-in will also have to come from a broader group of 135 countries in what is known as the Inclusive Framework. Some countries with very low tax rates — such as Ireland, with a 12.5% charge on profit — are reluctant to sign up. The U.S. has proposed tax changes that would penalize companies from countries that don’t impose the minimum taxes.

Author(s): Richard Rubin, Paul Hannon, Sam Schechner

Publication Date: 6 June 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

Biden Softens Tax Plan Aimed at Profitable Companies That Pay Little

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-softens-tax-proposal-aimed-at-profitable-companies-that-pay-little-11617809422?mod=djemwhatsnews

Excerpt:

A 15% minimum tax on large, profitable corporations that is part of President Biden’s infrastructure proposal would affect far fewer companies than the version he campaigned on, according to details the Treasury Department released Wednesday.

The tax — aimed at companies that report large profits to investors but low tax payments — would apply only to companies with income exceeding $2 billion, up from the $100 million threshold that Mr. Biden pushed during the campaign.

The Biden plan would now also let companies subject to the tax get the benefit of tax credits for research, renewable energy and low-income housing, a recognition that the campaign-trail version could have undercut the president’s preference to encourage companies to invest in those areas.

The result is that just 180 companies would meet the income threshold and just 45 would pay the tax, according to administration estimates that assume the rest of the administration’s plan gets implemented. Nearly 1,100 U.S.-listed companies would meet the $100 million threshold, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Many of them would still face sharply higher tax bills from the rest of the Biden proposals, which raise rates on domestic and foreign income.

Author(s): Richard Rubin, Kate Davidson

Publication Date: 7 April 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

Senate Democrats Push for Capital-Gains Tax at Death With $1 Million Exemption

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/senate-democrats-push-for-capital-gains-tax-at-death-with-1-million-exemption-11617046200?mod=djemwhatsnews

Excerpt:

Progressive Senate Democrats suggested that their new plan to tax unrealized capital gains at death should come with a $1 million per-person exemption, setting that line 10 times higher than an earlier Obama administration proposal and shielding a larger swath of upper income households.

discussion draft released Monday by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) and others marks a first attempt to put details on an idea that President Biden endorsed during last year’s campaign. Capital-gains taxation is likely to spur significant debate in coming months as Democrats look to raise money from high-income households to pay for Mr. Biden’s proposed spending on infrastructure and social programs.

Under current law, someone who dies with appreciated assets—including homes, businesses and stocks in taxable accounts—doesn’t have to pay capital-gains taxes on that increase. Instead, the heirs have to pay capital-gains taxes only after they sell and only on gains after the original owner’s death. That “stepped-up basis” is a longstanding feature of the tax code, but it has come under increasing attacks from Democrats who see wealthy people’s profits escaping the income tax.

Author(s): Richard Rubin, Andrew Duehren

Publication Date: 29 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal