The United States Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing on September 19, 2017, to address business tax reform goals. Chairman Orrin Hatch focused his opening remarks on the need to reduce corporate tax rates to remain competitive in the international market and to reduce the burden on the American working class. He recommended allowing businesses to deduct dividends paid as a way to offset what he interpreted as double-taxation, since investors are also taxed on dividends received. He also stressed the need to find a way to reduce the tax burden on pass-through entities such as sole proprietorships, LLCs, and partnerships.
Ranking Member Ron Wyden expressed his concerns that the majority interpretation of corporate tax rates was naïve, and that the proposed changes would only create additional loopholes for which honest taxpayers and the middle class would continue to pay. The largest corporations, he argued, currently pay far lower than the standard corporate tax rate by claiming the various deductions already available to them.
Discussions continued concerning the administrative burden of additional rate schedules and regulations, enforcement, net effect on taxpayers at various income levels, and how to ensure that positive benefits would be equitably distributed to all taxpayers.
To listen to the full discussion, click here.