The U.S. Department of the Treasury has helped American companies secure billions of dollars in additional tax breaks on top of the massive tax cuts they received under the 2017 tax bill, according to a report from the New York Times.
Specifically, lobbyists working on behalf of large U.S. multinational corporations made sure to exploit certain provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by pressuring officials at the Treasury Department who were eager to assist in maximizing the tax benefits received by those companies:
“But big companies wanted more — and, not long after the bill became law in December 2017, the Trump administration began transforming the tax package into a greater windfall for the world’s largest corporations and their shareholders. The tax bills of many big companies have ended up even smaller than what was anticipated when the president signed the bill.”
The result of the willing compliance from Treasury can be measured in the billions over the next decade:
“One consequence is that the federal government may collect hundreds of billions of dollars less over the coming decade than previously projected. The budget deficit has jumped more than 50 percent since Mr. Trump took office and is expected to top $1 trillion in 2020, partly as a result of the tax law.”
So intense was the lobbying effort by U.S. companies that employees at the Treasury Department had “little time to do their jobs” because they were stuck in meetings to discuss how the tax windfall could be increased.
One key provision of the 2017 bill was to tax corporations that had claimed part of their profits had been earned outside the United States and were therefore immune to U.S. taxes. The list of companies that immediately moved to weaken that element of the legislation includes “Anheuser-Busch, Credit Suisse, General Electric, United Technologies, Barclays, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, UBS, IBM, Kraft Heinz, Kimberly-Clark, News Corporation, Chubb, ConocoPhillips, HSBC and the American International Group.”
When all was said and done, the tax penalty for foreign earnings was all but eliminated, resulting in billions of additional tax savings by corporate America:
“Companies were effectively let off the hook for tens if not hundreds of billions of taxes that they would have been required to pay.”
Two years after the tax bill became law, corporations are continuing to bilk the government out of tax revenues, all with the assistance of Trump’s Treasury Department:
“Companies continue to shift hundreds of billions of dollars to overseas tax havens, ensuring that huge sums of corporate profits remain out of reach of the United States government.”
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