Legislative update: Congressional hearings on BEPS

U.S. congressional tax committees, BEPS hearings

The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Tax Policy today both announced hearings relating to the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project. Both hearings are scheduled for Tuesday, December 1, 2015.

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Senate Finance hearing

According to today’s release, the Senate Finance Committee’s hearing will examine the BEPS project final recommendations, and the European Union’s “state aid” investigations.  In announcing the hearing, Chairman Hatch stated:


“In today’s global economy, many nations, including the United States, are facing tax base erosion as multinational companies shift profits, activities and property from high-tax to low-tax jurisdictions. With the OECD’s BEPS project, the Obama Administration and the international community have sought to find solutions to address taxation challenges in an increasingly globalized and digital economy. And while such efforts are laudable, the recommendations contained in the OECD’s BEPS reports raise a number of serious concerns about taxpayer confidentiality and the Treasury Department’s statutory authority to implement regulations as envisioned by the project.  At the same time, the EU has launched investigations into American multinationals that have resulted in increased uncertainty and foreign tax liabilities for our businesses abroad. Given these concerns and developments, I expect a robust discussion at this hearing on what the OECD BEPS project means for U.S. taxpayers and our tax system moving forward, as well as how the EU State Aid investigations could potentially affect tax revenues paid to the U.S. Treasury.”


The witnesses at the hearing will include Robert Stack from the U.S. Treasury Department and Dorothy Coleman from the National Association of Manufacturers.

Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy hearing

According to today’s release, the hearing of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy (formerly known as the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures) will focus on the OECD BEPS project final recommendations and their effect on U.S. multinational companies.  In announcing the hearing, Rep. Boustany (R-LA), the chairman of the subcommittee, stated:


“The direction of the OECD's BEPS project final reports has sent a troubling indication of a desire to target American companies, in an unprecedented attempt to erode the U.S. tax base.  The effect on U.S. jobs and U.S.-based research and development activities will have dire consequences for our economy and for our continued ability to compete with foreign corporations.  We must take swift action to fix our broken tax code so that American companies and their employees can continue to be leaders in the global marketplace.”


Witnesses have not yet been announced.

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