Loren Ponds Comments on Difficulty of Enacting SHIELD in Bloomberg Tax

"Biden Offshore Tax Plan Leaves Too Much Undecided, Critics Say"

Bloomberg Tax

06.16.2021

Tax Member Loren Ponds discussed President Biden's plan to crack down on offshore corporate profit-shifting which is too closely tied to outside factors like the fate of an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)-led effort to overhaul global tax rules. The administration is touting its Stopping Harmful Inversions and Ending Low-Tax Developments (SHIELD) proposal, which would deny tax deductions to companies that try to dodge U.S. tax bills by moving their profits to tax-haven countries. SHIELD would prevent the U.S. tax base from eroding and push other countries into taking a similarly tough stance, according to Treasury officials. But SHIELD leaves too much up to factors that aren't in its control or that remain unknown, like the fate of discussions at the OECD. SHIELD would use a planned global minimum tax rate as a key benchmark to help determine whether a profit-shifting company must pay more in U.S. taxes. The Group of Seven nations, including the U.S., have agreed on a global rate of "at least 15 percent," but final agreement and implementation are still uncertain and could be years away. That is making it hard for companies to understand what shape SHIELD could take as legislation and later as regulations. "Trying to enact rules into domestic legislation at the same time they're being enacted on the international stage, that's a much heavier lift," Ponds said.