OK-SAFE, Inc. – Since two of the six state questions scheduled to be on Oklahoma’s November 6, 2012 ballot deal with taxes, (SQ 758 and SQ 766 deal with ad valorem tax), it might be good to get a feel for what is being discussed in D.C. on the issue of corporate tax avoidance issue.
Link to September 20, 2012 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations meeting on Corporate Offshore Profit Shifting:
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) chairs the hearing; Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appears as (co-chair?). Coburn’s initial comments include the statement that tax avoidance is not illegal, that this problem has been incentivized by government policies. He further comments that the committees report is about the symptoms, not the disease, and that the tax code needs to be revamped. Sen. Levin contended that some corporations are taking advantage of loop holes that are not actually allowed.
Univ. of Michigan Professor of Law Reuven Avi-Yonah provides testimony that touches on the issue of intangibles. Avi-Yonah’s testimony begins at roughly minute marker 45:00.
From the C-SPAN description:
Thursday, September 20, 2012
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations holds a hearing on multinational corporations shifting profits into offshore subsidiaries to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
The hearing examined how these activities are affected by the Internal Revenue Code and other related regulations.
Witnesses include representatives from the Internal Revenue Service, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, multinational corporations and an accounting firm.
Sen. Levin questioned Bill Sample, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Worldwide Tax on a company that Microsoft owns in Bermuda that has no employees and claims $3 billion in income. Sample separately conceded that it was in Microsoft’s interest to reduce their tax burden and that holding assets in a foreign country serves to reduce the company’s U.S. tax burden.
Sen. Levin (D-MI) will chair the hearing.”
End of C-SPAN description.