Here’s the President’s Framework for Business Tax Reform

At 23 pages, it's nearly readable! But it's still wonky tax stuff so it's not exactly breezy. Via the TaxProf here are the five elements (and the whole document is below):

I. Eliminate dozens of tax loopholes and subsidies, broaden the base and cut the corporate tax rate to spur growth in America: The Framework would eliminate dozens of different tax expenditures and  fundamentally reform the business tax base to reduce distortions that hurt productivity and growth. It would reinvest these savings to lower the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, putting the United States in line with major competitor countries and encouraging greater investment in America. 
 
II. Strengthen American manufacturing and innovation: The Framework would refocus the manufacturing deduction and use the savings to reduce the effective rate on manufacturing to no more than 25  percent, while encouraging greater research and development and the production of clean energy.
 
III. Strengthen the international tax system, including establishing a new minimum tax on foreign earnings, to encourage domestic investment: Our tax system should not give companies an incentive to locate production overseas or engage in accounting games to shift profits abroad, eroding the U.S. tax base. Introducing a minimum tax on foreign earnings would help address these problems and discourage a global race to the bottom in tax rates.
 
IV. Simplify and cut taxes for America’s small businesses: Tax reform should make tax filing simpler for small businesses and entrepreneurs so that they can focus on growing their businesses rather than filling out tax returns.
 
V. Restore fiscal responsibility and not add a dime to the deficit: Business tax reform should be fully paid for and lead to greater fiscal responsibility than our current business tax system by either eliminating or making permanent and fully paying for temporary tax provisions now in the tax code.
This is all well and good but it's filled with all kinds of buzzy buzzwords that politicians like to use. There are a few details that are worth pointing out. The framework proposes:
  • The elimination of LIFO.
  • The elimination of subsidies for oil and gas production.
  • Taxing carried interest as ordinary income.
  • Eliminate special depreciation rules for corporate jets.
  • Increase expense limit of certain investments to $1 million.
  • Allow cash method of accounting for businesses with gross receipts up to $10 million.
  • Double the deduction of start-up costs to $10,000.

Many people have already pointed out that any reform (including corporate) in election year is virtually impossible and the plan obviously has its critics but they've got to start somewhere. This is sorta like rocket science.

President's Business Tax Plan

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