It is difficult to find a small enough violin to play for Mr. Stack and the United States Treasury. https://t.co/Sm3VUcRJaQ
— Allison Christians (@taxpolblog) May 16, 2016
by Julie Martin
The first tweet I saw this morning was the one above. Really liked the “small-enough-violin” image and curious enough to read it (even though I saw “BEPS” in the first paragraph).
At any rate, I laughed so hard the tears were running down my face. The irony, hypocrisy and completely delusional state of mind of the U.S. and it’s representatives such as Stack, is beyond comprehension.
I think we’ve found it!
(NB: MNE= Multi-National Entity)
The best ones/excerpts:
Countries participating in the OECD/G20 base erosion profit shifting (BEPS) project sought to rewrite international tax rules for the digital economy and for intellectual property to increase their tax take at the expense of the United States, said Robert Stack, Treasury deputy assistant secretary (International Tax Affairs), May 13, at a National Tax Association conference in Washington.
— Patricia Moon (@nobledreamer16) May 16, 2016
According to Stack, during the BEPS negotiations countries were “more than happy to go after US multinationals who are US taxpayers because, after all, they don’t vote in those countries so [they are] a sitting target.”
“Wow, sounds an awful lot like why Treasury applies rotten US tax law to expats and gets away with it. No real vote = “sitting target.” How well WE understand that, MythsteR. Stack.”
The US is “one of the few countries that seems to have a vibrant digital economy,” consequently, the BEPS work in that area “had more of a flavor of people seeking to increase their revenue regardless of the principles that might be applied,” the US Treasury official said.
“BWWWWWWAAAAAAAHHAAAAAAAA! Seriously, are you kidding me?”
One of the extraordinary ways the United States did itself harm was to let this deferred income sit offshore and for every other country to think ‘by golly that must be mine,’ the US is not taxing it,’” he said.
“Born in the USA? “What’s yours is mine.” WE get first dibs on your tax-deferred accounts, capital gains from selling your house and we’ll tax/penalize the daylights out of you for buying “foreign” mutual funds. “Um, and your kids, we’ll take your kids too.”
Stack also said he found it personally frustrating that the US tax community does not seem to want tax certainty.
“Doh? Why would the tax compliance industry want tax certainty? As it stands now, the current IRC is so convoluted nobody understands it, all at the taxpayers’ expense. Why mess up a good thing?”
Stack also said that one of the “core drivers” of the BEPS project was the belief that if countries undertook collective action to agree to international tax rules, countries would not go their own way and enact laws inconstant with the international agreements.
“Did you say you had finally signed on to CRS MythsteR. Stack? So that means you’ll be dumping FATCA, right?”
2 percent of all profit shifting by US MNEs goes to seven tax haven locations: Caymans, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Bermuda, Ireland, and Singapore. US MNEs pay an effective tax rate less than 5 percent in each of these jurisdictions,
“USA – USA – USA“-
“The raw fact of the matter MythsteR. Stack, is that You Can’t Handle the Truth. You ARE Col. Jesup. You really BELIEVE the barrage of exceptionalist rationale that you spout off so self-righteously.”
“Oh, and BTW MythsterR. Stack, Cry me a River”…..