On Thursday, the Senate approved, by a vote of 61-39, H.R 1586, providing $26 billion to states to continue funding Medicaid programs and to avoid teacher layoffs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she would bring her chamber back into session next week to approve the bill.
The bill includes revenue-raising provisions to offset the $26 billion cost, including the set of provisions that would clamp down on abuses of the foreign tax credit and which were originally part of the ill-fated "tax extenders" bill (H.R. 4213). (Some other revenue-raising provisions included in the bill are not ideal.)
The foreign tax credit ensures that a U.S. individual or corporation with income generated in a foreign country is not double-taxed on that foreign income. These taxpayers are allowed a credit against their U.S. taxes for any foreign taxes they pay on the foreign income. The problem is that many corporations have found ways to receive foreign tax credits in excess of what would be necessary to avoid double-taxation.
Predictably, business associations representing multinational corporations oppose the provisions to prevent these abuses. A previous report from CTJ addressed their arguments, one of which focused on the provisions' supposed retroactivity (which is addressed by the version of the provisions in H.R. 1586). Another of the multinational corporate community's arguments was that the practices in question are necessary to keep U.S. corporations abroad competitive with foreign companies, which seems like an admission that the foreign tax credit is being used for more than just preventing double-taxation.
In June, the Peter G. Peterson Institute (funded by, and named after, the billionaire who is ostensibly concerned with the federal budget imbalance) released a remarkable report opposing the provisions to prevent abuses of the foreign tax credit. Another CTJ report responds to the Peterson Institute's arguments.