Friday, October 14, 2011

USA: Repatriation Tax Holiday

WASHINGTON -- Even as protesters fed up with corporate power are occupying Wall Street, Congress is rushing to oblige it.

In an iconic example of how Congress puts big-money interests above others, bipartisan momentum is growing on Capitol Hill for a repatriation tax holiday -- a huge, temporary reduction in the tax rate on money brought back to the U.S. from offshore tax havens. Critics say the repatriation tax holiday is a multi-billion-dollar tax giveaway to the world's biggest multinational companies, with nothing in it for domestic businesses or ordinary Americans.

"I'm not sure it gets any starker than that," said Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) last week introduced a bill to lower the repatriation tax rate from 35 percent to under 9 percent for one year.

A similar bill has already been introduced in the House. Republican leaders have expressed enthusiasm for the idea, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has indicated that he could support it as part of broader jobs legislation. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been actively lobbying fellow Democrats to support the holiday as part of a deal that would use the short-term boost in tax receipts to fund a job-creating infrastructure bank.

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