Thursday, November 19, 2015

Follow-up: Elizabeth Warren on Wet Kisses and Tax Avoidance

Hmmm, I may have misread the headline.
From the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire:

Elizabeth Warren Calls Corporate-Profits Proposals a ‘Wet Kiss’ to Tax Avoiders 
President Barack Obama’s plan to change how U.S. multinational companies are taxed is a “giant wet kiss” to tax-avoiding corporations, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said Wednesday.

Ms. Warren took aim at the bipartisan consensus on corporate tax policy that emerged over the past few years, warning that lighter taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign income would disadvantage small businesses and reward the largest corporations for their offshore tax avoidance.

“Lobbyists and lawyers are excited about the prospect of tax reform,” said Ms. Warren during a speech at the National Press Club. “Tax nerds are abuzz. But when I look at the details, I see the same rigged game – a game where Congress hands out billions in benefits to well-connected corporations.”
She said any proposed discounted tax rate on offshore profits “is a giant wet kiss for the tax dodgers who have already parked $2.1 trillion overseas.”

Ms. Warren’s entry into the international corporate tax policy debate signals just how fragile the bipartisan agreement on the issue is and shows some of the challenges facing advocates for lower corporate tax rates and new international tax rules.

Under current law, U.S. companies owe the full 35% tax rate on income around the world. They get foreign tax credits for payments to other governments and only pay the residual U.S. tax if and when they bring the money home. That system creates incentives for U.S. companies to chase low tax rates around the world and leave their profits offshore.

To big-business groups and Republicans, the answer is clear: Shift to a tax system like those in other countries with a lower rate and fewer restrictions on repatriating foreign profits. Those policies, they say, would reduce the incentives for companies to consider so-called inversions — transactions that put a company’s tax address outside the U.S. and have become more popular in recent years....MORE
HT: Alphaville''s Further Reading post.

And as promised in yesterday's "Elizabeth Warren Delivers Major Speech Today On International Corporate Tax Reform" here is the "as prepared" (rather than "as delivered" transcript of yesterday's speech: