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Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to Battle Tax Inversion Perversion

Jacob Lew

With more companies relocating to countries like Ireland to escape higher corporate taxes in the U.S., Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has stated that the government might find ways to stem the tide of home-grown businesses going expatriate. The issue is not just the perceived unfair tax breaks these corporations receive, but that domestic job growth is being exported.

Secretary Lew said the Obama Administration would make a decision “in the very near future.” He said that it is Congress’ responsibility to address the issue, but isn’t confident the legislative body will act quickly enough.

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The recent controversy over Burger King eloping with Canadian Tim Hortons for tax advantages highlights the issue. Secretary Lew added that the Administration is “clear-eyed about the possibility that Congress will not act and may not move as quickly as necessary to respond to the growing wave of tax inversions.” Therefore, the Treasury is finding ways to make these deals “less appealing.” Among them are tax rules that might limit the benefits of moving overseas.

Speaker of the House, John Boehner, wondered whether the Treasury Department has the authority to make such moves. Secretary Lew said, “Any action we take will have a strong legal and policy basis.”



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