The Great Tax Debate: US And Worldwide

JANUARY 2018 |VOL. 32 NO. 1

Good timing is sometimes just a coincidence. When we started discussing a cover story on taxes and corporates with reporter Laurence Neville a few months ago, we could not imagine how topical the issue would be now.

The US just passed a tax reform plan that seems to be opposed by 60% of the electorate. Many accountants and corporate executives spent the last few weeks trying to understand the evolving plan, anticipate consequences and plan preventive moves. Many foreign companies in the US are reconsidering their fiscal status there, and some have put on hold any expansion plans.

Our cover story is not specifically on this tax plan and its many consequences for US corporations and taxpayers. There is no doubt that the compromise reached by the Republican-majority Congress reflects an agenda of fostering tax competition between the US and other countries. The cut in corporate taxes is clearly part of an effort to increase the competitive advantage of American companies, despite a clear risk of countermeasures by other countries.

It’s no coincidence that figuring out how to quash tax avoidance and find methods for fairly taxing the digital economy is a global issue. No single reform will solve the problem; certainly no unilateral move by a single country will, either. The solution has to be the result of global cooperation and coordination of tax policies. This month, we report on progress in this area.

Besides the focus on taxation, this issue of the magazine presents our annual foreign exchange awards for financial institutions and corporate entities, a study of technology innovations in transanction banking, and reports on Austria and Algeria.

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Andrea Fiano | Editor