Retailers back corporate tax overhaul suggestion in president's budget

“American companies face the second-highest corporate tax rates in the world, and virtually everyone agrees that the time has come to do something about it," he said. 

President Obama said in the $3.8 trillion budget proposal that he wants to begin work immediately on corporate tax reform that would "close loopholes, lower the overall rate, encourage investment here at home, simplify taxes for America’s small businesses and not add a dime to the deficit.”

In October, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) floated a proposal to lower the top rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and would switch the United States to a territorial system of taxing offshore profits, in which corporations would find 95 percent of their foreign earnings exempted from American taxation.

NRF opposes the elimination of "last-in, first-out" and "lower of cost or market accounting methods."

The group says the rules "should not be changed outside the context of comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates and examines what the appropriate measures should be for accounting for inventories."

The retail industry already pays one of the highest effective tax rates of any segment of the economy, and the elimination of the rules would amount to a substantial tax increase and exacerbate the inequities in the current tax code that causes some industries to pay the full 35 percent rate while others have effective rates half as much.

NRF is also a member of the RATE Coalition, an industry group pushing for corporate tax reform that eliminates tax expenditures in favor of a lower rate.