Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
April 7, 2021

The House and Senate remain in recess.  The Senate will reconvene at 3:00 pm on Monday, April 12th and the House on Tuesday, April 13th, with votes at 6:30.

The Biden administration unveiled its Made in America Tax Plan to overhaul the corporate tax code this morning, offering an array of proposals that would require large corporations to pay higher taxes to help fund the White House’s infrastructure plans.  The plan would raise $2.5 trillion in revenue over 15 years by ushering in major changes for American companies, which have long embraced loopholes in the tax code that allowed them to lower or eliminate their tax liability, often by shifting most profits overseas. The plan also includes efforts to help combat climate change, proposing to replace fossil fuel subsidies with tax incentives that promote clean energy production.  Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said during a briefing with reporters on Wednesday that the plan would end a global “race to the bottom” of corporate taxation that she said has been destructive for the American economy and its workers.  The Biden administration’s plan, which was formally announced by the Treasury Department, would raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent from 21 percent. The administration would bring America’s corporate tax rate more closely in line with other advanced economies and reduce inequality. It would also remain lower than it was before the 2017 Trump tax cuts, when the rate stood at 35 percent.  The full  Made in America Tax Plan Report describes in detail President Biden’s Made in America tax plan, part of the newly announced American Jobs Plan, the stated goal of which is to make American companies and workers more competitive by eliminating incentives to offshore investment, substantially reducing profit shifting, countering tax competition on corporate rates, and providing tax preferences for clean energy production.

Of note, the plan would also repeal provisions put in place during the Trump administration that the Biden administration says have failed to curb profit shifting and corporate inversions, which involve an American company merging with a foreign firm and becoming its subsidiary, effectively moving its headquarters abroad for tax purposes. It would replace them with tougher anti-inversion rules and stronger penalties for so-called profit stripping.  It tries to crack down on large, profitable companies that pay little or no income taxes yet signal large profits to companies with their “book value.” To cut down on that disparity, companies would have to pay a minimum tax of 15 percent on book income, which businesses report to investors and which are often used to judge shareholder and executive payouts

Also this morning, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon released his annual letter to shareholders which among other things said coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic: “The U.S. economy will likely boom.” “A combination of excess savings, deficit spending, vaccinations and euphoria around the end of the pandemic.” Mr. Dimon wrote, may create a boom that “could easily run into 2023.”  On issues of tax, Mr. Dimon cited tax loopholes he thought the United States could do without: carried interest, tax breaks for racing cars, private jets and horse racing, and the land conservation tax break for golf courses.

Finally, this morning President Biden announced nominations to key roles in the Department of Interior, Department of Transportation, and Department of Veterans Affairs.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.