Thursday, December 22, 2016

Four Ways to Balance the Budget and Boost the Economy by Taxing Foreigners

Donald Trump’s election creates, for the first time in decades, the potential for major tax reform. On the campaign trail, President-elect Trump proposed several overhauls of the tax system. But the contours of any tax rewrite will be determined by Congress, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently criticized Trump’s plans at a news conference and said “My preference on tax reform is that it be revenue neutral.”
How can Congress cut taxes for Americans without knocking a huge hole in the Federal budget deficit? The best approach is to tax foreigners in order to prevent the harm they are doing to this country. Congress could enact the following four proposals that would raise U.S. tax revenue by taxing foreigners.
1. Close the Foreign Savings Tax Loophole
In 1984 Congress passed the foreign savings tax loophole, which eliminated the 30% withholding tax on interest earned by foreign savers in the United States. The removal of the withholding tax concluded a process that had been going on for decades through tax treaties that prevented the United States from taxing interest earned by foreigners in return for other countries not taxing the interest income earned by rich Americans abroad.

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