GOP senator requests hearing on international tax issues

GOP senator requests hearing on international tax issues
© Lauren Victoria Burke

Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerThis week: Barr back in hot seat over Mueller report Trump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary MORE (R-Nev.) is asking the Senate Finance Committee to hold a hearing on international tax issues, such as the Treasury Department's proposed rules aimed at curbing offshore tax deals and the European Union's investigations of U.S. companies.

"I believe it is critical the Senate Finance Committee has the opportunity to discuss these issues and the ramifications of these issues in a hearing," Heller, a member of the committee, said in a letter sent this week to Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom MORE (R-Utah).

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Treasury's proposed rules and the EU's ruling that Apple owes Ireland $14.5 billion in back taxes have drawn criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Treasury's proposal, aimed at limiting the tax benefits of offshore tax deals known as "inversions," would recharacterize some interparty debt as equity. Lawmakers and business groups have expressed concerns about the proposal, because it would affect business transactions that have nothing to do with inversions.

Heller said that without major changes, the proposed rules "would inflict unnecessary costs on American businesses both large and small, domestic and international."

The EU's executive arm, the European Commission, found that Ireland gave Apple illegal "state aid" that gave the tech company an advantage over other businesses. The Commission is expected to issue rulings that affect other U.S. multinational companies in the coming months.

A hearing on Treasury's proposal and the state aid investigations would help the Finance Committee to "address our outdated tax code and hold the Administration and the EU Commission accountable for their recent rules and regulations," Heller told Hatch.

Heller also reiterated a request he made earlier this year for committee members to work on international tax reform. While he acknowledged that there are time constraints this year, Heller urged the committee to "work together and create a 21st Century international tax code that works for our American businesses."

A spokeswoman for Hatch said that the senator "always appreciates hearing from his colleagues."

“He, like Senator Heller, has expressed concern over the proposed [debt-equity] regulations and is continuing to work with Committee members, on both sides of the aisle, to see how this issue should best be addressed,” she said.

In July, Hatch organized a Joint Committee on Taxation meeting during which Treasury officials met with lawmakers about the proposed rules, and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint MORE also met with Finance Committee members about the proposal.