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Markets and the Hill Briefing Discusses Tax Code Implications

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MATH Briefing 1st Quarter 2016: The Center for Financial Markets and Policy at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, in partnership with the Milken Institute, hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on corporate tax reform, “A 21st Century Tax Code: Implications for American Jobs and the Economy,” on March 23, 2016, as part of the center’s Markets and the Hill (MATH) Briefing Series. More than 50 U.S. companies have reincorporated in low-tax countries since 1982, including 20 since 2012. Most archive this “tax inversions” by merging with a much smaller foreign company. Among the reasons frequently cited is the high corporate tax rate in Unites States (among the highest in the OECD countries). Scholars and policymakers agree that a tax refom is long overdue. It has been almost 30 years since the last major overhaul of the nation’s tax code. The global economy and international financial system have been transformed in the interceding years. While news of multinational inversions and corporate mergers often provokes a discussion of international tax reform here in Washington, other nations are moving forward with their own initiatives. The OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting project, known as BEPS, is advancing policies that are not widely considered to be in the best interests of the United States. Consequently, a consensus is emerging that the U.S. needs a tax code tailored to the realities of the 21st century to compete in the global economy.  This briefing provided a lively discussion which featured point of view from US manufacturing industry as well as from practicing professionals. The panel was moderated by Jason Fichtner, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and adjunct professor of public policy at Georgetown University.

Panelists included:

  • Dorothy Coleman, vice president of tax and domestic economic policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
  • Cathy Koch, the tax policy leader at Ernst & Young
  • Raymond Wiacek, partner at Jones Day, where his practice involves the tax and business aspects of financial and international transactions