Factbox: Obama seeks higher taxes on big business

WASHINGTON Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:36pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's 2013 budget proposal, released on Monday, would raise hundreds of billions of dollars from businesses through international tax reforms and by ending tax breaks for finance, energy and other sectors.

The plan includes many previous proposals from the White House that have not become law. Seen largely as a campaign document that looks ahead to Obama's re-election challenge in November, the budget has little chance of becoming law.

Below are major tax ideas Obama proposes for the corporate sector. Cost estimates are for a decade unless otherwise noted, though not all proposals have revenue estimates.

The administration will separately lay out a set of principles to revamp the overall corporate tax system in the coming days, including a proposal to lower the top 35 percent corporate rate.

GENERAL BUSINESS PROVISIONS

* BONUS DEPRECIATION - One of the few policies backed by Republicans, Obama wants to extend for one more year the 100-percent write-off of certain new capital and equipment investments for businesses of all sizes.

* NEW HIRES - Obama proposes a new 10 percent tax credit for new hiring and wage increases. Cost: $18 billion over 10 years.

* LAST IN, FIRST OUT ACCOUNTING - The plan repeals this type of accounting. Companies, especially oil and gas firms, oppose the change as it would force them to revalue their old inventory to current, higher prices. Revenue: $74 billion.

INTERNATIONAL PROVISIONS

* TIGHTENING PROFIT "DEFERRAL" - Corporations could no longer deduct interest expenses on foreign earnings with deferred income taxes. These deductions would have to be deferred, as well. Revenue: $38 billion.

* FOREIGN TAX CREDIT POOLING - Requires that foreign tax credits from dividends paid to a parent company be determined on a pooling basis, not individually. This aims to close what critics call a loophole that lets companies claim more in credits than would be paid in U.S. taxes by manipulating which foreign subsidiaries pay out dividends. Revenue: $61 billion.

* INTANGIBLE PROPERTY - Closes a tax break that allows U.S. companies to shelter profits overseas from intangible property, like royalties from a drug patent. Revenue: $23 billion.

* DEDUCTIONS FOR MOVING EXPENSES - Limits a tax break for moving expenses when a U.S. company ships operations overseas. Obama would give a tax credit of 20 percent for the expense of moving operations back to the United States. The White House said this is revenue neutral.

MANUFACTURING, OIL, OTHER

* RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDIT - Makes permanent a popular provision among both parties, an up to 20 percent tax credit that companies of all sizes enjoy for research and experimentation. Cost: $109 billion.

* OIL AND GAS SUBSIDIES - Repeals several energy industry tax subsidies, including the oil and gas well depletion allowance; the domestic manufacturing deduction on oil and gas production; expensing of intangible drilling costs. Revenue: $30 billion to $40 billion.

* CORPORATE JETS - Repeals an accelerated depreciation tax break for corporate jet owners. Revenue: $3 billion.

* BANK TAX - Obama had proposed a "financial crisis responsibility fee" on financial firms with assets exceeding $50 billion. That idea has been changed into a proposal to tax banks to help U.S. homeowners refinance. Revenue: $61 billion.

BROAD CORPORATE REFORM

* CORPORATE TAX RATE - Obama has agreed with much of the business community on one thing: the top 35 percent corporate tax rate is among the world's highest and should come down. The White House is expected to spell out principles for broad corporate reform, along with a lower rate, in the coming days.

* MINIMUM OVERSEAS PROFITS TAX - The White House said it will impose a minimum tax on overseas profits, and using the revenues to help companies investing in the United States.

BUSINESS-RELATED PROVISIONS

* CARRIED INTEREST - Obama wants to raise the tax rate paid by investment managers of private equity, venture capital and some real estate partnerships to the top income tax rate, rather than the 15 percent capital gains rate such managers now pay on much of their profits. Revenue: $13 billion.

* UPPER-INCOME PROVISIONS - Raises the top income tax rate paid by households earning $250,000 or more on capital gains from the current 15 percent to 20 percent. Revenue: $36 billion.

* DIVIDENDS - Treats dividends as ordinary income for households earning $250,000 or more. With the expiration of the President George W. Bush-era tax cuts at the end of 2012, this would increase dividend taxation starting in 2013 to a top rate of 39.6 percent. Revenue: $206 billion.

(Reporting By Kim Dixon and Patrick Temple-West; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Vicki Allen)

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Comments (7)
TomMariner wrote:
From “US based companies”. We all know the giant whooshing sound that will occur when our biggest and oldest open their headquarters in Luxembourg or Paris — or in the case of the President’s advisor on jobs, to China.

Or they’ll just grit their teeth, try to compete in the world marketplace long enough that Our President doesn’t have to attack them to get elected any more and gets sane.

Feb 13, 2012 12:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
NewsDebbie wrote:
Sounds good to me. Especially the repeal of LIFO on oil/gas.

Feb 13, 2012 12:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Coats wrote:
So in it’s absolute totality Obama is wanting to raise $500 billion in additional revenue via taxation.

This is good, but considering where we are at financially it is no where near enough and a shot in the dark.

We The People want Dr. Ron Paul because he is the only one serious about cutting the deficit down to size while addressing institutions acting in secrecy such as the Federal Reserve.

If we are wondering which of these guys is correct, then let’s conduct an experiment. Willingly split the US into 2 groups. Let Obama run one as president and then let Ron Paul run the other. We will then see one side fail miserably and the other strike success. I wonder which breads innovation: Obama and his outwardly apparent socialist agenda or Paul and his stark independence of the individual.

Feb 13, 2012 12:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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