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U.S. senator eyes bill to halt corporate tax “inversion”

May 9, 2014

By Patrick Temple-West

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic Senator Carl Levin on Thursday said he plans to introduce legislation soon to prevent corporate inversions, an increasingly-popular transaction that involves U.S. companies reincorporating overseas to avoid U.S. taxes.

Levin, a long-time advocate for closing corporate tax loopholes, said he is talking with other senators about potential legislation.

“It’s become increasingly clear that a loophole in our tax laws allowing these inversions threatens to devastate federal tax receipts. We have to close that loophole,” said Levin in a statement.

Levin is the chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has held hearings to shed light on U.S. companies’ legal efforts to avoid U.S. taxes.

A recent bid from drug-maker Pfizer Inc to acquire AstraZeneca Plc, renewed attention on corporate inversions. The potential deal would allow U.S.-based Pfizer to re-domicile in Britain to take advantage of a significantly lower corporate tax rate there.

In April, days after the potential Pfizer deal was made public, the Obama administration said it was seeking ways to curb inversions.

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