Law professor: Treasury Department is 'gutting' Trump tax legislation

Tim O'Donnell

President Trump's signature legislation so far has been his administration's overhaul of the federal tax law in 2017. But despite slashing taxes for major U.S. companies to keep them in the country, those corporations weren't satisfied, The New York Times reports.

In efforts to drive their taxes even lower, lobbyists from several companies across a wide range of industries reportedly pelted the Treasury Department with meetings, eventually forcing their hand and winning exemptions for taxes that would have required them to pay more.

Those lobbying victories mean the federal government reportedly could collect far less in tax revenue than had been previously projected. For example, one tax aimed at foreign corporations with major operations in the U.S. was predicted by Congress to reel in around $150 billion in revenue, but thanks to exemptions for international banks negotiated by lobbyists, officials at the Joint Committee on Taxation think the tax revenue could be reduced by up to $50 billion.

"[The Treasury Department] is gutting the new law," said Bret Wells, a tax law professor at the University of Houston. "It is largely the top 1 percent that will disproportionately benefit — the wealthiest people in the world."

Even with the concessions, some companies are still urging the Treasury Department to keep hacking away at the law, suggesting they may up and leave otherwise, the Times reports. Read more at The New York Times.

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