Skip to comments.Streaming at 12:30: PERAB Meeting on Tax Reform
Posted on 09/30/2009 3:20:46 AM PDT by Cindy
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THE BRIEFING ROOM THE BLOG
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2009 AT 5:59 AM Streaming at 12:30: PERAB Meeting on Tax Reform Posted by Austan Goolsbee
Today, the tax subgroup of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) will hold a meeting to gather ideas on tax reform. It will be the first of several such meetings. The meeting will center on tax simplification and will be live streamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
I wanted to take the opportunity to explain why we assembled this subgroup, what areas the PERAB tax reform subgroup will focus on and what it has been tasked to produce.
Tax reform is important to the President and a priority for many members of Congress. As the President said when he announced his international tax proposals in May, "It's a down payment on the larger tax reform we need to make our tax system simpler and fairer and more efficient for individuals and corporations."
The Administration wanted a report on options for tax reform from an outside group so they asked the PERAB to take on the role. The PERAB is comprised of industry and labor representatives, and academic experts and is chaired by Paul Volcker. It is made up of voices from outside the government. The tax subgroup's focus is on gathering as many ideas and options as possible and identifying the pros and cons of each option in three specific areas: Tax code simplification Enforcement Corporate tax reform The materials gathered and compiled by the tax group will be presented to the full PERAB board and discussed at a future PERAB meeting. The final report that the board puts forward in December will not be a recommendation of a specific direction in tax policy. It will present a view of the pros and cons of different options. It will be an important step in the process of studying the many ways we can reform and improve our tax code.
It will not represent the view of the administration. The PERAB is an advisory group representing a wide range of viewpoints from outside the administration and we expect the options it presents to represent a range of views and opinions on tax reform.
Everyone knows that tax reform is a complicated undertaking. In preparation for this series of public meetings, the members of the tax subgroup have spent the last several months familiarizing themselves with the options already out there, through individual conversations with experts from academia and the tax field, members of Congress and members of the Administration.
The PERAB and the administration both want the public to provide their insight, ideas and comments to help educate the group and they invite anyone to visit the webpage and submit their own ideas or comment on other proposals. We will also post the tax presentations made by the attendees following the meeting.
I look forward to providing updates on future meetings and seeing the work on various tax reform options that comes out of the PERAB in December.
Austan Goolsbee is a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board and the Council of Economic Advisers
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THE BRIEFING ROOM
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release May 4, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON INTERNATIONAL TAX POLICY REFORM
11:39 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: All right. Good morning, everybody. Hope you all had a good weekend.
Let’s begin with a simple premise: Nobody likes paying taxes, particularly in times of economic stress. But most Americans meet their responsibilities because they understand that it’s an obligation of citizenship, necessary to pay the costs of our common defense and our mutual well-being.
And yet, even as most American citizens and businesses meet these responsibilities, there are others who are shirking theirs. And many are aided and abetted by a broken tax system, written by well-connected lobbyists on behalf of well-heeled interests and individuals. It’s a tax code full of corporate loopholes that makes it perfectly legal for companies to avoid paying their fair share. It’s a tax code that makes it all too easy for a number — a small number of individuals and companies to abuse overseas tax havens to avoid paying any taxes at all. And it’s a tax code that says you should pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, India, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York.
Now, understand, one of the strengths of our economy is the global reach of our businesses. And I want to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens. This is something that I talked about again and again during the course of the campaign. The way we make our businesses competitive is not to reward American companies operating overseas with a roughly 2 percent tax rate on foreign profits; a rate that costs — that costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year. The way to make American businesses competitive is not to let some citizens and businesses dodge their responsibilities while ordinary Americans pick up the slack.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we’re doing. These problems have been highlighted by Chairmen Charlie Rangel and Max Baucus, by leaders like Senator Carl Levin and Congressman Lloyd Doggett. And now is the time to finally do something about them. And that’s why today, I’m announcing a set of proposals to crack down on illegal overseas tax evasion, close loopholes, and make it more profitable for companies to create jobs here in the United States.
For years, we’ve talked about ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and giving tax breaks to companies that create jobs here in America. That’s what our budget will finally do. We will stop letting American companies that create jobs overseas take deductions on their expenses when they do not pay any American taxes on their profits. And we will use the savings to give tax cuts to companies that are investing in research and development here at home so that we can jump start job creation, foster innovation, and enhance America’s competitiveness.
For years, we’ve talked about shutting down overseas tax havens that let companies set up operations to avoid paying taxes in America. That’s what our budget will finally do. On the campaign, I used to talk about the outrage of a building in the Cayman Islands that had over 12,000 business — businesses claim this building as their headquarters. And I’ve said before, either this is the largest building in the world or the largest tax scam in the world.
And I think the American people know which it is. It’s the kind of tax scam that we need to end. That’s why we are closing one of our biggest tax loopholes. It’s a loophole that lets subsidiaries of some of our largest companies tell the IRS that they’re paying taxes abroad, tell foreign governments that they’re paying taxes elsewhere — and avoid paying taxes anywhere. And closing this single loophole will save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars — money that can be spent on reinvesting in America — and it will restore fairness to our tax code by helping ensure that all our citizens and all our companies are paying what they should.
Now, for years, we’ve talked about stopping Americans from illegally hiding their money overseas, and getting tough with the financial institutions that let them get away with it. The Treasury Department and the IRS, under Secretary Geithner’s leadership and Commissioner Shulman’s, are already taking far-reaching steps to catch overseas tax cheats — but they need more support.
And that’s why I’m asking Congress to pass some commonsense measures. One of these measures would let the IRS know how much income Americans are generating in overseas accounts by requiring overseas banks to provide 1099s for their American clients, just like Americans have to do for their bank accounts here in this country. If financial institutions won’t cooperate with us, we will assume that they are sheltering money in tax havens, and act accordingly. And to ensure that the IRS has the tools it needs to enforce our laws, we’re seeking to hire nearly 800 more IRS agents to detect and pursue American tax evaders abroad.
So all in all, these and other reforms will save American taxpayers $210 billion over the next 10 years — savings we can use to reduce the deficit, cut taxes for American businesses that are playing by the rules, and provide meaningful relief for hardworking families. That’s what we’re doing. We’re putting a middle class tax cut in the pockets of 95 percent of working families, and we’re providing a $2,500 annual tax credit to put the dream of a college degree or advanced training within the reach for more students. We’re providing a tax credit worth up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers to help more Americans own a piece of the American Dream and to strengthen the housing market.
So the steps I am announcing today will help us deal with some of the most egregious examples of what’s wrong with our tax code and will help us strengthen some of these other efforts. It’s a down payment on the larger tax reform we need to make our tax system simpler and fairer and more efficient for individuals and corporations.
Now, it will take time to undo the damage of distorted provisions that were slipped into our tax code by lobbyists and special interests, but with the steps I’m announcing today we are beginning to crack down on Americans who are bending or breaking the rules, and we’re helping to ensure that all Americans are contributing their fair share.
In other words, we’re beginning to restore fairness and balance to our tax code. That’s what I promised I would do during the campaign, that’s what I’m committed to doing as President, and that is what I will work with members of my administration and members of Congress to accomplish in the months and years to come.
Thanks very much, guys.
11:46 A.M. EDT
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THE BRIEFING ROOM THE BLOG
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2009 AT 6:19 PM
Tax Reform Subcommittee Requests Ideas
Posted by PERAB Tax Reform Subcommittee
President Obama has asked the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) to develop options for tax reform. The members of the tax subcommittee are preparing ideas to be considered by the board and would like to give anyone a chance to have input into the process on this important issue. Anyone wanting to share ideas and opinions for consideration by the subcommittee can do so here. The deadline for submissions is October 15th, 2009.
Note: The mandate to the PERAB is NOT to recommend a new tax system. They are to consider ideas on tax simplification, better enforcement of tax law, and reforming corporate taxes and to present the pros and cons of potential tax options. They were instructed not to consider options that involve raising taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year. So be mindful of their constraints when submitting ideas.
In general, the tax subcommittee will post all comments online for others to examine and those suggestions may spur other people’s ideas. All statements, including attachments and other supporting materials, received are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. Please do not submit materials exceeding five single-spaced pages of text. If submitting via e-mail, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include a cover sheet including the submitter’s name and organization, type of organization (individual, business, government, non-profit organization, or association), submission date, and contact information.
Thank you for your help.
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