United States: Tax Policy Update - October 13, 2015


The number of House Republicans who want to be speaker and can actually secure the necessary 218 votes as of today.

After Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's dramatic exit from the race last week, the House GOP conference is taking the week-long Columbus Day recess to do a bit of soul searching and reflect on the future of a party left in disarray due to fractious infighting. Despite his reluctance to consider a bid for the chamber's top post, Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan is under pressure to step up and lead the GOP out of the wilderness. Ryan is said to be huddling with staff to consider his options. Meanwhile, the following Republicans are eyeing the speakership: Reps. Dan Webster, Jason Chaffetz, Lynn Westermoreland, Steve Scalise, Jeff Miller, John Kline, Michael Conaway, Tom Price, Tom Cole, Jeb Hensarling, and Darrell Issa are said to be considering a run. Should Ryan run and successfully secure the post, the fate of tax reform would be left in the hands of a new Ways and Means chairman — we suspect Reps. Peter Roskam, Kevin Brady, and Pat Tiberi would be the most likely choices.


Das Auto. Das Tax Credits? In light of Volkswagen's emissions-rigging scandal, Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-WA) are looking into whether the German automaker has misled the U.S. government in its certifications of fuel-efficient vehicles. Under Internal Revenue Code Section 30B, consumers that have purchased a certified vehicle could claim the alternative motor vehicle tax credit. The pair of lawmakers sent...

Sen. Lankford: Phase out Wind Production Tax Credit. Renewable energy tax credits would be completely eliminated by 2026 under a bill ( S.2158) introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-OK). Back in July, the Senate Finance Committee approved the Tax Relief Extension Act of 2015, a two-year extenders package that includes the PTC. Arguing that the wind industry has become self-sustaining economically, Lankford believes that taxpayers no longer need to subsidize the industry, pointing out that...

Hillary Clinton Wants New Tax on High-Frequency Trading: Ahead of the first Democratic presidential debate tonight, Hillary Clinton released her plan to reform the financial services industry by reining in excessive risk-taking and what she sees as irresponsible behavior on Wall Street. Clinton's Wall Street reform plan aims to protect Dodd-Frank from Republicans seeking to chip away the regulatory framework established in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Of note, Clinton said she would impose a tax on "harmful"...


Multinationals Express Apprehension over EU Tax Data Sharing Deal: EU finance ministers recently agreed to a directive requiring the exchange of details of cross-border tax rulings and transfer pricing agreements every six months from 2012 onwards, effective January 2017. The data sharing directive is part of the EU's effort to curb tax planning following a recent expose on how tax rulings allow multinational corporations to reduce their tax bill in some member states, such as Ireland and Luxembourg.

Specifically, EU member states must exchange the following...

IRS, Treasury Swap Applicability Date for Embedded-Loan Rule: The IRS issued an amendment delaying the start date to 2017 for temporary regulation T.D. 9719, which relates to the embedded loan rule for swaps with non-periodic payments. Under T.D. 9719, for tax purposes, a notional principal contract with non-periodic payments must be treated as two transactions: a loan and an on-market, level payment swap, regardless of whether the payments are "significant." Previously, the proposed regulations indicated that this rule would be applicable to all payments starting on Nov. 4, 2015. However, earlier this week, the IRS indicated that the start date will be pushed to the later of Jan. 1, 2017, or six months after the publication of the final regulations. The delayed effective date will be a bonus...

OECD Releases Final Reports on BEPS, U.S. Reacts: On Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a set of final reports on its 15 point action plan to address Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The 2015 reports were presented to and endorsed by the G20 finance ministers at a meeting in Lima, Peru, Oct. 8, 2015. The BEPS package is now awaiting final approval from G20 leaders, who will gather in Antalya, Turkey on Nov. 15 and 16 to decide whether to endorse the package of recommendations.

As the OECD works to secure final endorsement from the G20, there are two big questions for policymakers, lawmakers, and tax directors to consider...


Relevant Congressional Activity

**House and Senate in recess until the week of Oct. 19.

Other Activity

Monday, 10/12

12th Annual Boardroom Summit
The Annual Boardroom Summit provides the best value in director education. Assembling 400+ board members, C-level officers, and general counsel from public companies across the nation, the program presents an excellent opportunity to network with an exclusive mix of directors and executives from the nation's top companies in a wide range of industries. SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar is the keynote speaker.

Cato Institute
Cato holds a discussion on "Will the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Live Up to Its Promise?" Panelists include Celeste Drake, AFL-CIO, Marjorie Chorlins, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others. Read more here.

Wednesday, 10/14

Global Tax Reporting Symposium 2015
SIFMA hosts the symposium, Oct. 14-15, to provide in-depth perspective on financial services reporting and withholding in today's global market place. Participants will discuss FATCA, OECD's CRS, and Section 871(m) of the Internal Revenue Code.

KPMG hosts a webcast on "A Global View on BEPS" to discuss the latest updates and implications for tax leaders. Read more here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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