Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) today sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew that outlines their concerns regarding the inclusion on the IRS / Treasury Department’s Priority Guidance Plan of a project to issue regulations relating to country-by-country (CbC) reporting requirements.
The chairmen of the congressional tax writing committees called on Secretary Lew to respond to their earlier request (June 2015) for information on the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project being developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
As reported in a joint release from the Finance and Ways and Means committees, today’s letter from the tax writing committee chairs states, in part:
…we are not convinced that Treasury has the authority to require CbC reporting by certain U.S. companies (including sharing the information with foreign governments). In addition, the benefits to the U.S. government, businesses, and workers from providing sensitive information in the CbC reports (and, just as importantly, the master file document) is unclear, at best. To that end, a request has been made of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to analyze, among other things, tradeoffs surrounding BEPS recommendations, including CbC reporting and associated possible effects, including costs and risks for U.S. businesses and their workers and effects on the U.S. economy, including employment, investment, and federal revenue.
Rather than expend additional administrative resources on the CbC regulatory project, we encourage Treasury to focus in the near term on preparing and providing the legal memorandum and other documentation requested in our June 9 letter to you. In addition, we ask that Treasury officials consider the results of the GAO analysis of the BEPS project and recommendations before moving forward with any CbC-related guidance.
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