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New Policies Initiated by the Treasury Department this Week

The Treasury Department initiated new policies this week. In 2016, Barack Obama’s Treasury Department issued a rule to crack down on corporations that shift their headquarters overseas to avoid American taxes. After Trump won the presidential election, many tax experts predicted he would roll back the rule—which specifically targeted corporate inversions, a kind of merger in which companies are “taken over” by smaller firms headquartered in low-tax countries like Ireland. But this week, Treasury released a report that announced that it wasn’t going to repeal the anti-inversion rule after all. But the White House does plan to scrap a set of other Obama rules many designed to crack down on tax avoidance schemes as outlined in that report. One yet-to-be-finalized regulation, which Treasury now intends to withdraw, was intended to stop families from undervaluing their businesses to avoid the estate tax. Another rule relates to the definition of a political subdivision. The report itself does not actually change policy; Treasury will still have to go through a full rule-making process to modify or repeal any regulations. But it’s clear what direction Treasury intends to go.

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