In addition to the aggressive actions by some foreign countries to levy more taxes on U.S. taxpayers before a consensus has been reached, the process established by the O.E.C.D. raises serious questions about the ability of the United States to fully participate in the negotiations.
Ultimately, we believe that the best way for the United States to address the potential problem of B.E.P.S. is to enact comprehensive tax reforms that lower the corporate rate to a more internationally competitive level and modernize the badly outdated and uncompetitive U.S. international tax structure.
So say Representative Dave Camp (R) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R), two leading Republican voices in Congress, on the O.E.C.D.’s B.E.P.S. project.
Does this somewhat direct expression of skepticism represent nothing more than U.S. political party politicking or a unified U.S. government position that in fact might be one supported by U.S. multinational corporations? The thought of the two political parties, the Administration and U.S. industry agreeing on a major political/economic issue presents an interesting, if unlikely, scenario. This article will explore that scenario.
OVERVIEW OF B.E.P.S./WHY B.E.P.S.?/WHY NOW?
Base erosion and profit shifting (“B.E.P.S.”) refers to tax planning strategies that exploit gaps and mismatches in tax rules in order to make profits “disappear” for tax purposes or to shift profits to locations where there is little or no real activity and the taxes are low. This results in little or no overall corporate tax being paid.