Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bush versus Trump tax plans

Now that the Tax Policy Center has added an analysis of Donald Trump's tax plan to its earlier analysis of Jeb Bush's plan, Kevin Drum offers the following snark:

"[Trump's plan is] bigger, more energetic, and altogether more taxerrific than Jeb Bush's weak-tea excuse for a tax plan. Bush would increase the national debt by 28 percentage points over the next decade. Trump kills it with a 39 point increase in red ink. Bush raises the federal deficit by $1 trillion in 2026. Trump goes big and increases it by $1.6 trillion. Bush's plan costs $6.8 trillion over ten years. Trump's plan clocks in at a budget-busting $9.5 trillion. And Bush reduces the tax rate of the super-rich by a meager 7.6 percent. Trump buries him by slashing tax rates for the Wall Street set by 12.5 percent."

I realize this is a "glass half-full versus half-empty" type of a thing, but I see an angle to this that's opposite to the one Drum emphasizes.  He notes: "Once again, Bush has brought a knife to a gun fight, and Trump has slapped him silly" - fair enough as campaign commentary, leaving aside the point that these tax plans are mainly for the donors and D.C. conservative leadership types, not the Republican voters, and that those target groups are nonetheless still anti-Trump.

I see the opposite point, which is that all of the Republican candidates are very similar to Trump - it's just a matter of degree.  E.g., in all the above measures, Trump has merely taken insane features of the Bush tax plan and given them a roughly 50 percent boost. This still leaves Bush's substantive tax proposals about 2/3 as insane as Trump's.

I say "insane" because the plans are so fiscally reckless.  They're not going to get the budget cuts or growth boosts that would cause them merely to express a different fiscal philosophy than the one I happen to prefer.  The effects on the super-rich admittedly require a separate and longer conversation.

In sum, to recompute the metaphor above in light of the actual numerical ratios from the TPC studies, Bush's glass of tax crazy is either 2/3 full or 1/3 empty, if we use Trump as the benchmark for a full "glass."  It's not just half-full versus half-empty.

I'm disappointed that "responsible" people on the seemingly adult right, like Martin Feldstein and Glenn Hubbard, either actually want to do the sorts of things Bush advocates, or feel bound to act as if they do. Under present circumstances, and if the Republicans win the White House in 2016, it really doesn't matter which.

Friday, December 18, 2015

American Enterprise session on OECD-BEPS

This morning I was in Washington, where I participated in an AEI panel discussion entitled "The OECD Base Erosion and Profit-Shifting Report: Should the United States Be Worried?"

You can see a video of the two-hour event here.  I come on at about minute 52 (I started a minute earlier than that, but initially my mike was off.)  And my slides, which pretty well tracked my talk (though of course I didn't just read them) are available here.

It mainly went as follows.  Grace Perez-Navarro and Thomas Neubig presented the report on behalf of the OECD. Apart from providing the backstory, details, etcetera, they say that, at least outside the U.S., there is widespread movement in favor of actually adopting the report's recommendations, reflecting multiple levels of support (e.g., from both political leaders and technical staff) in many countries.

David Ernick of Price Waterhouse then offered some U.S. practitioner or taxpayer-based skepticism - arguing, for example, that, as long as our corporate marginal tax rate is higher than the global norm elsewhere, we may not want to join the crowd (even if we would otherwise).

I said - well, my slides are short, so you can have a look for yourself - that it seems unlikely to me that U.S. policy will in fact be significantly swayed by anything about this process. This is typical of U.S. policymaking, but in addition there's been a perception here that the process is anti-U.S. multinationals.  Plus, if it did start making headway, there'd be an awful lot of money deployed to stop it (and this may be happening anyway).  So we are just going to do whatever we do, and if that involves getting tougher on U.S. or foreign multinationals, it will be for our own reasons.

I also said that, if one is proceeding unilaterally, the really tough issue is to decide how one should respond to foreign-to-foreign tax planning.  This is the issue at the heart of battles over our subpart F rules, and other countries' CFC rules, over the decades.  The problem is that, from both a residence country and a source country standpoint, there are rationales both for letting such tax planning go forward, and for trying to impede it.  Read the slides to see how I would explain this.

Martin Sullivan then addressed how to model economic substance - the issue raised by the OECD's focus on "artificial" profit-shifting, and had some interesting points that, like my discussion of foreign-to-foreign tax shifting, reached the normative bottom line, perhaps less generally useful than either of us might have liked, that "it depends" and "it's hard to say."  (But at least we both try to say something about the "it" that "it depends on").  He then expressed skepticism about patent boxes, as a tax preference design, even if one wants to tax-favor domestic R&D activity.

One audience member suggested that some of the presentations, presumably including mine, were a bit too negative and pessimistic with regard to how well OECD-BEPS is actually doing. I agreed that this might be so - I'm best informed on U.S. developments, not those occurring elsewhere, and this tends to make me a pessimist.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holiday gift ideas

With apologies for the crude solicitation, this is (a) just 61,000 words long, (b) an easy airplane read or tired evening read (or beach read if you are going somewhere warm during the holidays), (c) fun, I hope, and if I do say so myself, and (d) not wholly unreasonably priced.

More on the international tax extenders

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the 10-year revenue cost of making the "active financing" exception permanent is $78 billion, whereas 5-year extension of section 954(c)(6) costs "only" $8 billion.

Obviously, the low-hanging fruit here (especially given the overall ten-year revenue cost of $680 billion on the tax side, or $830 billion for tax plus spending changes) is its showing that almost no one in Washington, and certainly not the Congressional Republicans whose majority status put them in the lead in bipartisan negotiations, actually cares in the slightest about budget deficits and public debt.  Whatever the real merits of deficit and long-term debt concerns, on which reasonable minds differ, it's clear that, in the political sector, yelling about it is purely a partisan sham to harry the other side and discourage the enactment of particular tax or spending proposals that one dislikes on other grounds.  But again, this has been too blindingly obvious for too long to count as much of a revelation.

Turning back to the international tax provisions, it's interesting to note that, even if section 954(c)(6) ends up being extended through the full 10-year period, and even assuming rising annual revenue costs, it would still presumably be less than 25% as costly as the active financing rule. I would assume that this reflects section 954(c)(6)'s redundancy, in many cases, given the general availability of tax planning that uses "hybrid entities" or "hybrid financial instruments."

I would expect a significantly higher marginal revenue cost of extending section 954(c)(6) if the Treasury addressed hybrids, including those created by its 1997 check-the-box regulations.  By the same token, the revenue effect of addressing check-the-box would be much higher absent section 954(c)(6).  But admittedly, even if both were addressed, there's a basic conceptual challenge that revenue estimators face in this area. Since both hybrids and section 954(c)(6) empower foreign-to-foreign tax planning, aiding the elimination of foreign taxes once multinationals have characterized their global profits as foreign source for U.S. tax purposes, it's tricky to determine just how much the companies' foreign taxes, as opposed to their U.S. taxes, would eventually go up in the new equilibrium.  And while I know that revenue estimators do their best with this, and may have useful data that they can draw on (especially for short-term estimating purposes), I do think there's potentially a big uncertainty here, especially once the companies have fully adjusted.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tax extenders news for international tax buffs

The House version of the tax extenders bill (the "Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015") has now been posted online.

Of note to international tax buffs, the "active financing" exception to applying subpart F to financial income earned abroad by U.S. companies' foreign subsidiaries is made permanent by section 128 of the still-just-proposed Act.

Also, section 954(c)(6), the so-called "look-through" rule that often permits U.S. companies to avoid subpart F on foreign-to-foreign tax planning, without requiring the tedium of using hybrid entities, is extended through the end of 2019, by Act section 144.

The active financing rule's initial enactment and frequent extension have been popularly attributed to GE, at least as a key organizing player. GE presumably doesn't care about this rule any more, given their recent restructuring, but evidently it still has friends.

Extending section 954(c)(6) could certainly be viewed as in tension with the spirit of the OECD BEPS project, but it's not as if this makes it a surprise.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Three analyses of corporate inversions

Martin Sullivan has a good article in this week's Tax Notes, called "A Middle Path for Stopping Inversions.  Here is the link, but it may not work for non-subscribers.

Sullivan notes that the main issue posed by inversions such as that by Pfizer and Allergan "involves a loss of revenue, not employment .... Pfizer's operational headquarters will remain in Manhattan - just as the operational headquarters of Allergan, legally resident in Ireland, has remained in Parsippany, New Jersey."

A revenue issue arises for two reasons. Pfizer-Allergan will now find it easier to strip profits out of the United States through intra-group debt, and it will now have an easier time doing what it likes with the "trapped earnings" that it has given itself abroad, mainly through tax planning, without a taxable U.S. repatriation.

Sullivan, like me, believes that these issues are best addressed in a broader context than just anti-inversion rules.  Thus, he proposes improving our earnings-stripping rules - which, unlike our controlled foreign corporation (CFC) rules, need not be aimed disproportionately at U.S. as compared to non-U.S. companies - and enacting a one-time tax (in effect, a deemed repatriation) on the existing stock of unrepatriated earnings.

Less good, though not wholly devoid of merit, was Carl Icahn's op-ed in the New York Times yesterday. Icahn appears to have a couple of basic misunderstandings of how our international tax rules actually work.  For example, he claims that we impose "double taxation" upon U.S. companies' foreign earnings - apparently not understanding that we have a foreign tax credit. (Indeed, he expressly refers to the "foreign tax deduction.")  He also repeatedly says that the problem is our "uncompetitive" tax system, an annoying cliche that rests on assuming that U.S. multinationals face unusually high tax burdens by global standards. Researchers have tried to study this, and it is probably false. The motivation for inversions rests in their capacity to reduce the companies' tax burdens - which is distinct from the question of whether these burdens are high or low to begin with. 

Icahn does, however, note the importance of earnings-stripping. He also gives props to a bipartisan tax legislative proposal (Schumer-Portman) that would use deemed repatriation (at a reduced rate) to address trapped earnings, although he appears to misunderstand it as allowing voluntary repatriation.

I am perhaps least happy with a Business Insider op-ed by Glenn Hubbard. I don't really disagree with Hubbard's opening claim, which is that, if the deal benefits Pfizer's shareholders, there is good reason for management to want to do it. I am surprised, however, that Hubbard seems to think the main motivation for inversions is that the U.S. corporate tax rate is too high.

Now, it's true that a higher corporate rate raises the tax savings per dollar of earnings-stripping, as well as the tax charge associated with a taxable repatriation.  But for U.S. source activity that yields U.S. taxable income, the corporate tax rate, whatever it is, applies alike to U.S. and foreign multinationals. So it is not directly affected by inversions.

By all means, let's debate how low or high the U.S. corporate tax rate should be. But whether it's lowered significantly or not, let's also strengthen our earnings-stripping rules (so the rate will apply more uniformly to U.S. economic activity).  Also, Hubbard should know that it's not generally efficient to hand transitional windfalls to taxpayers, by wiping out deferred taxes that pertain to profits generated in the past.

And finally, calling the Pfizer deal (as Hubbard does) "self-help tax reform" is a bit gag-worthy.  Agreed that it's self-help, and that we should expect self-help. But preparing for greater earnings-stripping, and wiping out deferred taxes on profits that to a considerable extent may have been placed abroad, as an artificial accounting matter, through tax planning, falls somewhat short of what I would call "tax reform."

If I may deliberately (and egregiously) mix my metaphors, Hubbard's op-ed barks up the wrong tree regarding inversions because he has other fish to fry.  When you have a position, it's tempting to use everything out there as evidence in its favor, but inversions operate mainly at different margins than that posed by the choice of domestic U.S. corporate tax rate.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Upcoming DC appearance

This Friday (December 18), I'll be appearing in DC at a morning session at the American Enterprise Institute, entitled "The OECD Base Erosion and Profit-Shifting Report: Should the United States Be Worried?"

Others speaking at the session will include Alan Viard and Aparna Mathur of AEI, Thomas Neubig and Grace Perez-Navarro on behalf of the OECD, David Ernick from Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and Martin Sullivan from Tax Analysts.

I'll post my slides after the session (probably on Friday afternoon, assuming smooth travels back to NYC, or else next Monday).

Ear candy

Ultimate Painting often sounds like a mix between the Velvet Underground's ballads album and Paul McCartney's white album period, as played by the Feelies. But this one is perhaps a bit Hollies-ish, albeit in a good way.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hillary Clinton's plan to address inversions

Hillary Clinton has released, through her campaign website, a plan to address corporate inversions, such as the Pfizer-Allergan deal.

In addition to limiting tax-effective inversions to deals in which the foreign "acquirer" is actually larger than the domestic "target" - thereby addressing "minnow swallows whale" deals that potentially can work (if not too extreme) under current law - the plan would also address the U.S. tax benefits that companies anticipate when they plan inversions, along lines similar to those that I have advocated, such as here.

First, the proposal would require companies that invert to pay an "exit tax" on their previously accumulated, but as yet untaxed, foreign earnings.  The logic here is that, in principle, these taxes have merely been deferred, pending the occurrence of a taxable U.S. repatriation of the funds. However, inversion can make it far easier to avoid ever engaging in a taxable repatriation. Thus, in a way it's like skipping town to avoid repaying one's loans from the local bank. The exit tax would take the form of a deemed repatriation, thus eliminating this pointless incentive to "skip town" just because one has tax-planned one's way into having very high reported foreign earnings.

Second, the proposal would address "earnings stripping," which typically becomes a lot easier when a U.S. company expatriates. The classic, most straightforward earnings-stripping device is to borrow money from, and thus pay deductible interest to, foreign affiliates within one's own global corporate group. But under the U.S. rules, if a U.S. company pays interest to a foreign subsidiary, the effect of the U.S. interest deduction is offset by the company's having to pay current U.S. tax on the subsidiary's receipt of the interest income. Inversion permits U.S. companies to borrow from foreign affiliates that are not their subsidiaries (e,g., their new corporate parents), and thus that are not subject to the offsetting inclusion. Addressing this tax planning device, as the plan would do (although I have not yet seen the details) could further reduce U.S. companies' tax incentives to invert.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Not that anyone cares any more about the Jeb Bush tax plan as such, but ...

According to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, the Jeb Bush tax cut "plan" would yield a static revenue loss of $6.8 trillion over ten years. However, refining the estimate to include feedback effects and annual interest costs raises, rather than lowers, the projected effect on national debt - to $8.1 trillion over 10 years and $22 trillion over twenty years. This reflects that, absent very large spending cuts that have not been specified by the Bush campaign, there would both be huge interest costs from the higher annual deficits, and fiscal drag from the increased public debt overhang. This would apparently outweigh, in the estimate, the dynamic effects of lowering current-year tax burdens on work and saving.

Obviously, who cares about the Bush tax plan as such as this point. It's not as if the poor guy actually has any sort of a chance to win any elected office higher than dogcatcher.  But given that all other Republican candidates are essentially offering larger versions of the same thing, this is indirectly relevant. It suggests that, if a Republican wins the presidential 2016 election (and retains control of both the House and Senate, as one would expect), there will be a high likelihood of the U.S. budget's going down the path of Kansas, or perhaps even Greece.

Monday, December 07, 2015

2016 NYU Tax Policy Colloquium schedule, this time with titles

While I posted our speaker schedule the other day, I didn't have paper titles (which in some cases are tentative). So here goes again, showing the current state of the play:

(All sessions meet on Tuesdays from 4-5:50 pm in Vanderbilt 208, NYU Law School)

1.  January 19 – Eric Talley, Columbia Law School. “Corporate Inversions and the Unbundling of Regulatory Competition.”
2.  January 26Michael Simkovic, Seton Hall Law School. “The Knowledge Tax.”
3.  February 2 - Lucy Martin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Political Science. "The Structure of American Income Tax Policy Preferences."
4.  February 9 – Donald Marron, Urban Institute. “Should Governments Tax Unhealthy Foods and Drinks?"
5.  February 23 – Reuven Avi-Yonah, University of Michigan Law School. “Evaluating BEPS.”
6.  March 1 – Kevin Markle, University of Iowa Business School.  “Income Shifting Incentives and Implicit Taxes.”
7.  March 8 – Theodore Seto, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. “The Nonfalsifiability of Welfarism: Some Implications of Preference-Shifting for Optimal Tax Theory”
8.  March 22 – James Kwak, University of Connecticut School of Law. “Reducing Inequality With a Retrospective Tax on Capital.”
9.  March 29 – Miranda Stewart, Australian National University. “Transnational Tax Law: Reality or Fiction, Future or Now?"

10.  April 5 – Richard Prisinzano, U.S. Treasury Department, and Danny Yagan, University of California at Berkeley Economics Department. "Partnerships in the United States: Who Owns Them and How Much Tax Do They Pay?"
11.  April 12 – Lily Kahng, Seattle University School of Law.  “Who Owns Human Capital?”
12.  April 19 – James Alm, Tulane Economics Department, and Jay Soled, Rutgers Business School.  “Whither the Tax Gap?”
13.  April 26 – Jane Gravelle, Congressional Research Service.  “Policy Options to Address Corporate Profit Shifting:  Carrots or Sticks?”
14.  May 3 – Monica Prasad, Northwestern University Department of Sociology. “The Popular Origins of Neoliberalism in the Reagan Tax Cut of 1981.”

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Literary struggles

Now that I have taught my last classes of what has been a very taxing (so to speak) semester, in terms of demands on my time for both teaching prep and travel, I have finally, after months away from it, been able to return to working on my still tentative but definitely intended book-in-progress, "Enviers, Rentiers, and Arrivistes: What Literature Can Tell Us About High-End Inequality."

This project was originally inspired by the idea of wanting to do a better and more interesting job of looking at literature, in relation to evaluating high-end inequality, than Thomas Piketty does in Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

This is not meant as a shot at Piketty - it was clever of him to use illustrations from Austen and Balzac to illustrate his concerns about high-end inequality, and it helped him to attract attention that he deserved on other grounds. But just saying that those books illustrate the evils of a rentier society opened my eyes to the possibility of doing more with literature - especially since Balzac in particular is not just about a rentier society, but is centered on arrivistes who are trying to crash the heights of such a society, taking advantage of the fact that things are growing socially and economically more fluid.

Then I had the idea that Wodehouse, whose work I absolutely love, beautifully illustrates the "Great Easing" - the period when rentiers were at their low ebb, relatively speaking, hence making it plausible for Bertie Wooster, the aimless rentier par excellence, to be a mocked and comic, albeit not quite beleaguered, figure. (Unless the threat of being frowned at by your aunt and excluded from chef Anatole's splendid dinners meets the threshold for being beleaguered).

But here are two problems I encountered with this project. Well, three, if we count its being outside my usual comfort zone and having really no close models to draw on (while other people have of course done other interesting things with literature, none that I've seen is quite the same as what I want to do).  One is that I thought it would just be fun, both for me and hopefully for readers. But in a project of this scope, there has to more than that - there has to be clear purpose and direction, which I found myself needing to look for, and to keep on developing and revising, on the fly. It's turning out to have at least a 2 to 1 hard-to-fun ratio, at least in the still-early stages.

Second, I've been struggling with what I call the "Hegel problem." This refers to an I think famous quote about Hegel's work, to the effect that you can't understand the whole until you understand all of the parts, and you can't understand the parts until you understand the whole.

My version of this problem is that it's hard for me to figure out what I want to do with each literary work that I examine, until I know my general approach. But it's hard for me to figure out my general approach, until I've thought about particular literary works in close derail.

To change the metaphor, it's hard to get the chicken without the egg, and the egg without the chicken. But I think (or hope) that I'm getting closer.

Most recently I've been reading scholarly literature about Jane Austen, after initially thinking that I could write about Pride and Prejudice based just on my own reactions and resources. I'm finding this helpful, even though what I'm on about here is NOT to try to add to the body of Jane Austen literature (although this is a subject on which I have now developed some views). I had thought I could write the Jane Austen chapter straight up, then just one more (on Stendhal's The Red and the Black), and then I'd write a more general earlier chapter on just what I am aiming to get from the literary works that I examine. But I think now that I have to write that earlier chapter first, leaving it to be enriched and filled out as my work on later chapters causes me to understand it better.

In short, it seems like the right approach will have to be a back-and-forth mixture of incremental with iterative.  Feasible, I hope, but certainly not easy (and leading to fluctuating confidence levels about the project).

I'd also really like to test the market for getting this book published in a decent placement. This is a project with both upside and downside. It could come closer to mass market than my work usually does. Or it could be hard to publish because I can't pitch it as being wholly within my core expertise. I'm hoping literary critics will like it, but I'm certainly not expecting (or wanting) them to view it as being actually on their turf. And while the thing to do, at some point well before I'm finished, is to look for an agent or publisher, I think that is best put off until I have written not only the first 3 chapters, setting forth my aims and methods, etc., but also at least two chapters on particular literary works. Which requires greater progress on the incremental versus iterative front first.

The book I want to work on next, after this one, should be a lot easier so long as the publisher is interested. I want to update my book, Fixing U.S. International Taxation, to reflect subsequent developments plus how my own thinking has changed or at least clarified. But even if I didn't want to write the literature book first I would want to wait at least 2-3 years before undertaking this, given the continuing pace of international tax policy developments.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Foreign tax credits to the rescue?

Michael Graetz had an op-ed in Friday's Wall Street Journal decrying, on due process of law grounds,  recent European Commission challenges to tax planning by U.S. companies such as McDonald's, Starbucks, Amazon, and Apple.

The issue is the companies' cozy transfer pricing agreements with friendly and accommodating EU countries - Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Ireland - that helped the companies greatly lower their overall EU tax bills. The European Commission views these agreements as involving illegal state aid, and is threatening the companies with large penalties that Graetz views as in tension with the rule of law, given the lack of prior notice that this might happen.

Graetz does not dispute that the EC is almost surely right in viewing the challenged transfer pricing agreements as substantively ridiculous, shifting reported profits to low-tax countries where there is neither significant economic activity nor value creation.  He expresses concern, shared by the U.S. Treasury, that the E.C. is particularly targeting U.S. companies, in keeping with European self-interest and political sentiment.

But here, as he notes, is the bright side, from the companies' standpoint:

"Ironically, if the EU labels these assessments as underpaid back income taxes, instead of fines, the companies' payments may be used to offset their U.S. income taxes dollar-for-dollar, and American taxpayers would ultimately pay the bill."

He is referring, of course, to foreign tax credits, which, when claimed immediately and in full, can make U.S. companies wholly indifferent to whether their foreign tax liabilities (up to the foreign tax credit limit) are low or high. The companies only cared about their EU tax liabilities because, given deferral, they did not anticipate claiming U.S. FTCs at any particular time.

So far as I can tell, structuring the assessments to qualify as foreign tax-creditable shouldn't be all that hard. After all, Luxembourg and Netherlands are being told: By failing to collect enough income taxes, you offered improper state aid. Rebating the state aid means that you collect those underpaid income taxes after all. So why wouldn't it be creditable, if structured intelligently?

Here's what I would guess might happen next. The companies will immediately use the foreign tax credits, by repatriating just enough foreign earnings to generate the requisite amount of pre-credit U.S. tax liability. So the U.S. Treasury gets no actual tax revenue.

Now, at this point the companies still aren't entirely happy. After all, they presumably would have preferred to pay no further EU taxes and keep the earnings abroad.  Then they wouldn't have incurred a pre-credit U.S. tax liability that needed to be offset by using the FTCs. But from their standpoint, at least the burden of paying those extra EU taxes has been partly offset by the benefit of tax-free repatriation.

Is Graetz entirely correct in saying that, in this scenario, "American taxpayers would ultimately pay the bill?" Formally, yes - but substantively, perhaps no.

Suppose we take as given the repatriations that I am hypothesizing.  Then, by claiming foreign tax credits for the EU penalties, the companies save an equal amount of U.S. taxes, thereby (it seems) shifting the cost from themselves to American taxpayers.

But again, suppose the repatriations only occurred due to the creation of the foreign tax credit claims. Then the U.S. taxes that the credits offset wouldn't otherwise have been imposed. So American taxpayers merely fail to gain revenue, rather than losing it.

Does this take too short-term a view?  After all, suppose that the occurrence of a taxable repatriation at some point was inevitable. Then the companies are getting to wipe out, in the year of the repatriation, U.S. tax liabilities that they otherwise would have incurred in the future.

But why should one think that future taxable repatriations are inevitable?  After all, Congress may at some point enact another tax holiday, or "permanently" lower the repatriation tax rate, or partly/wholly forgive the deferred liabilities in the course of shifting to a territorial system.

Here are the main conclusions I draw:

1) Substantively, the companies still lose despite getting the foreign tax credits (assuming that they do indeed get them). The loss equals the extra EU taxes paid minus the value to them of getting to repatriate without incurring further (U.S.) tax liabilities.

2) U.S. taxpayers lose insofar as the companies would otherwise have had greater taxable repatriations at some point in the future - but the extent to which this is so is quite unclear.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

2016 NYU Tax Policy Colloquium

The time is now drawing near(er) - January 19, or just under 7 weeks away - when I'll be co-leading my/the twenty-first NYU Tax Policy Colloquium.  My co-convenor will be Chris Sanchirico of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  The following is our speaker list; I'll update it at some point soon with tentative paper titles or topics.

(All sessions meet on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 5:50 pm in Vanderbilt 208, NYU Law School)

1.  January 19 – Eric Talley, Columbia Law School.
2.  January 26Michael Simkovic, Seton Hall Law School.
3.  February 2 - Lucy Martin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Political Science.
4.  February 9 – Donald Marron, Urban Institute.
5.  February 23 – Reuven Avi-Yonah, University of Michigan Law School.
6.  March 1 – Kevin Markle, University of Iowa Business School.
7.  March 8 – Theodore Seto, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.
8.  March 22 – James Kwak, University of Connecticut School of Law.
9.  March 29 – Miranda Stewart, Australian National University.

10.  April 5 – Richard Prisinzano, U.S. Treasury Department, and Danny Yagan, University of California at Berkeley Economics Department.
11.  April 12 – Lily Kahng, Seattle University School of Law.
12.  April 19 – James Alm, Tulane Economics Department.
13.  April 26 – Jane Gravelle, Congressional Research Service.
14.  May 3 – Monica Prasad, Northwestern University Department of Sociology.