Window envisioned for overhaul of federal tax code
WASHINGTON — The Senate's chief tax law writer on Tuesday vowed to work on overhauling the federal tax code by August 2015, citing a move by Medtronic Inc. to shift its tax home base to Ireland as a spur to congressional action.
Sen. Ron Wyden, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he wants to cut the corporate income tax rate to 24 percent from 35 percent, chiefly by eliminating loopholes. Wyden has advocated this proposal for years. Multinational companies have been clamoring for a tax cut.
The Oregon Democrat said there will be an opening for tax reform between now and Congress' August 2015 break. After that, lawmakers will be consumed by 2016 presidential election-campaign politics, he said.
“There is a prime 15-month window from now until the August recess of 2015,” he said at a Wall Street Journal conference.
“We do need to go after some of these loopholes,” Wyden said. “You go in there, clean those out, and use the money to hold down the rates.”
Congress has not thoroughly recrafted the loophole-riddled tax code since 1986.
Republican Sen. Dan Coats has worked closely with Wyden. A spokeswoman for Coats said he “is in discussions with Senator Wyden about updating and improving their proposal.”
Tax reform efforts in both the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate stalled this year amid deep disagreement over tax and spending policies.
Efforts to rewrite the tax code may not gain traction next year, either, said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.
“Possibility next year? I don't rank the possibility that high,” Van Hollen told reporters at an event.
But some lawmakers have refocused on this daunting project because of a flurry of deals by major U.S. multinationals to move their tax domiciles offshore.
Medical device maker Medtronic announced it has agreed to buy Dublin-based Covidien Plc for $42.9 billion. As part of the deal, known as an “inversion,” Medtronic would shift its tax home base to Ireland from Minnesota.
The Medtronic-Covidien transaction was the latest in a batch of proposed inversion deals. Two earlier ones, pursued by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc and advertising company Omnicom Group Inc., failed for non-tax-related reasons.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama’s federal judge pick for Georgia can’t win, Leahy says
- Man’s apartment searched again in disappearance of University of Virginia student
- More than 700 babies exposed to tuberculosis in Texas
- ‘Ambitious’ emissions cuts to be sought
- ‘Lion King’ breaks box office record
- Public ignores president’s Reagan-inspired rally cry
- 3 missing Afghan soldiers captured at border with Canada
- U.S. bombs rain down in Syria against ISIS
- Obama defends work of Secret Service
- White House breach ‘a cry out for help,’ alleged intruder’s ex-wife says
- 32 structures destroyed in California’s King wildfire