US budget aims to raise $150 billion in taxes from overseas corporate profits

Obama wants to tax profits repatriated by US multinationals to pay for infrastructure

American president Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve a budget for the 2015 fiscal year that would overhaul the US corporate tax system

American president Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve a budget for the 2015 fiscal year that would overhaul the US corporate tax system

Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 01:00

President Barack Obama has proposed raising about $150 billion (€110 billion) from new taxes on the overseas operations of US multinationals in a move that would cover American companies in Ireland.

The president has asked Congress to approve a budget for the 2015 fiscal year that would overhaul the US corporate tax system generating one-time taxes on American company profits earned overseas that would be repatriated to pay for investments in infrastructure such as roads, bridges and transport.

A minimum tax on foreign earnings would “take away significant incentives to play the various shifting-of-profits-around-the-world game that goes on right now and hurts public trust,” said Gene Sperling, director of Mr Obama’s national economic council. Profit shifting takes away “a lot of activity that should be focused on adding value and jobs,” he said at a briefing on the budget.

The US Treasury expects to pay for about half of a $302 billion four-year infrastructure plan with taxes raised on repatriated American corporate profits.

The US president sent his $3.9 trillion budget to Congress hoping that US lawmakers would approve changes to the tax system that would stimulate investment in infrastructure and create jobs at home.

“Both Democrats and Republicans have argued that our tax code is riddled with wasteful, complicated loopholes that make it harder to invest here and encourage companies to keep profits abroad,” he said.

Computer and phone maker Apple was criticised by a US senate panel last year for avoiding billions of dollars in taxes by moving profits through Irish subsidiaries.