In advance of yesterday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing on tax reform, the Joint Committee on Taxation released its own comprehensive report on destination-based taxation and border adjustments. The report gives an overview of the current state of U.S. international taxation and then delves into the economics of border adjustments, including a summary of the academic literature on associated exchange rate (or other wage or price) adjustments such that exporters would not be advantaged and importers would not be disadvantaged (defined as “trade neutrality,” which we’ve previously explored here and here). Although the JCT ultimately does not take a view on whether the proposed destination-based cash flow tax would achieve this “trade neutrality,” the report does suggest that any currency adjustments would not happen quickly or, perhaps, evenly among importers and exporters, citing empirical studies that conclude that changes in consumer prices affected by exchange rate adjustments happen asymmetrically. Continue Reading
President Trump and Congress have recently undertaken measures to preserve the ability of tax-exempt organizations to engage in limited forms of political speech, and efforts in Congress may signal a willingness to provide further relief to tax-exempt organizations.
The Presidential Executive Order. On May 4, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order entitled “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” that directs the executive branch “to vigorously enforce Federal law’s robust protections for religious freedom.” The executive order further instructs the Treasury Department, to the extent permitted by law, not to “take any adverse action against any individual, house of worship, or other religious organization” that discusses moral or political issues from a religious perspective, but only where such speech has not ordinarily been treated by the Treasury Department as the endorsement of or opposition to political candidates. Continue Reading
Late Sunday night Congress reached a budget deal that will keep the Federal government funded through the end of the fiscal year in September. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the package today or tomorrow (the House vote is scheduled for this afternoon) to ready it for President Trump’s signature before the end of the day on Friday to avert a government shutdown. The bill totals 1,600 pages (you can read the whole thing here.)
Here is a summary of the tax-related items:
- The bill allocates a total amount of $11.2 billion to the IRS to fund various activities and operations.