Administration Rolls Out New Tax-Shelter Curbs

This is quite interesting, not the least for the reason that the administration kept it under wraps. Guess they're anticipating the howls of pain from those high-rollers anticipating their tax increases!

WASHINGTON — President Obama presented a far-reaching set of proposals on Monday that are aimed at the tax benefits enjoyed by companies and wealthy individuals harboring cash in offshore accounts.

These steps, he said, would be the first in a much broader effort to fix a “broken tax system.”

Mr. Obama made the announcement in the Grand Foyer of the White House, standing alongside Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and the Internal Revenue Service commissioner, Douglas Shulman. His remarks echoed the sentiment he voiced again and again during the presidential campaign, when he pledged to crack down on "illegal overseas tax evasion."

The proposed tax overhaul, which will be fully unveiled later this week when the administration presents a more detailed budget, could help raise $210 billion in revenues over 10 years, the administration estimates.

... The president thus set up an unusually frontal clash with big business over the tax advantages enjoyed by companies with extensive overseas operations.

Large multinational companies like Microsoft, General Electric and Cisco have been bracing for such an initiative from the Obama administration. Critics of the approach say that it could lead not to the administration’s hoped-for repatriation of jobs but rather to job losses or higher prices as companies try to compensate for a greater tax burden.

The Wall Street Journal adds:

The sweep of the administration's plan took some tax experts by surprise, and foreshadows potential fights with big businesses later this year over some of their most cherished breaks, particularly as Congress looks for revenue to pay for new initiatives.

Dave N.: It will be interesting to watch Republicans figure out a way to oppose this measure without looking too blatantly in the pocket of the wealthy. No doubt we'll be hearing more cries of "fascism" or "socialism" or maybe "satanism" in the process.

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