In comments on January 28, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said that the European Commission’s latest efforts to implement recommendations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project will make it even harder for U.S. companies to compete in the global marketplace. This is a serious concern for manufacturers and an issue the NAM has raised numerous times with the media, the administration and Capitol Hill. Read More
Late last month, the NAM sent a letter to Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, endorsing legislation (H.R. 4297) he recently introduced. The aptly named Bad Exchange Prevention (BEPS) Act addresses some of manufacturers’ concerns with the recommendations in the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project spearheaded by the G-20 and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal op-ed by Douglas Holtz-Eakin at American Action Forum raises some of the same concerns we’ve been hearing from our members about the BEPS recommendations from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development aimed at curbing tax avoidance and international profit shifting.
As promised, Treasury yesterday released proposed regulations to implement new country by country reporting requirements included in recommendations on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) approved this fall by the G-20 and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
While the requirement to file country by country reports (CbCRs) on a company’s global financial and tax data impose an additional administrative burden on companies, the proposed guidance makes clear that the reports will be submitted by Treasury to foreign countries under bilateral treaties and information exchange agreements with protections to ensure confidentiality, consistency and appropriate use of the information by foreign countries. The proposed guidance—which covers who has to file the reports and what information is required—also reiterates Treasury’s position that it will suspend the information exchange if a country fails to abide by these conditions.
Today, the Senate Finance Committee met to discuss the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) project on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), a set of proposals on international tax policy approved earlier this fall that will place U.S. companies at a competitive disadvantage globally. Testifying with me today was Robert Stack, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs at the Treasury Department, and Michael Danilack, Principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Read More
This weekend, leaders at the G-20 endorsed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) recommendations that were released in October. The NAM continues to be concerned about the negative impact these proposals, if implemented, could have on manufacturers in the United States. Read More
While many of us were enjoying a little R&R in the waning days of August, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) were focused on BEPS— the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project.
In an August 27th letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the Chairmen questioned Treasury’s ability to impose some new tax reporting requirements on U.S. multinational companies, reiterating a request made earlier this summer that Treasury provide them with a memo outlining their legal authority to collect country by country (CbC) information from U.S. companies with global operations. Read More
In a letter yesterday to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) reminded Secretary Lew of the critical need for the Treasury Department to “remain engaged with Congress” on their participation in the on-going Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Chairmen made clear that “[r]egardless of what Treasury agrees to as part of the BEPS project,” it’s Congress’ job to craft U.S. tax policy. Read More
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) this afternoon sent a strongly worded letter to IRS Commission John Koskinen asking him to “immediately halt” the practice of using private attorneys to carry out taxpayer examinations including taking sworn testimony from taxpayers. In May of 2014, the IRS retained the global litigation firm of Quinn Emanuel on a $2.2 million contract to assist in the income tax audit and investigation of a corporate taxpayer, including the conduct of sworn interviews. Shortly after retaining the firm, Treasury and IRS issued a temporary regulation allowing third party contractors to take compulsory, sworn testimony in connection with an IRS investigation. According to the IRS, the temporary regulation—issued without a notice and comment period—represented a “clarification” of existing law.
The Finance Committee Chairman doesn’t agree with the IRS’ assessment, noting that the temporary regulation represents “an unprecedented expansion of the role of outside contractors in the examination process.” Moreover, according to Senator Hatch, the IRS’ hiring of a private law firm to conduct a taxpayer exam: appears to violate federal law and the express will of Congress; removes taxpayer protections by allowing the performance of inherently governmental functions by private contractors; and calls into question the IRS’s use of its limited resources.
Manufacturers were glad to see House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Chair Peter Roskam (R-IL) today raise serious concerns at a hearing about the IRS’ use of outside law firms to question witnesses under oath in on-going audits and litigation. In conjunction with a hearing on the 2015 tax filing season, the Subcommittee issued a report, “Doing Less with Less: The IRS’s Spending Decisions Harm Taxpayers,” which outlines a number of instances of IRS’ wasteful spending, all at the expense of American taxpayers. One of the worse cases described in the report is IRS’ decision to hire a team of high-priced attorneys to help out with an on-going case, at a cost of $2.1 million. Read More