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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon announced Monday night that Intel, an American multinational corporation and technology company, will invest $10.9 billion in the company’s Israeli operations, making this one of the largest infusions of foreign money into the Israeli economy. It is estimated that when this plan is realized, the company’s investment in its Israeli operations since it was founded in 1974 will reach $50 billion.

In conjunction with the announcement of their future investment in Israel, Intel released a statement saying that its exports from Israel in 2018 totaled $3.9 billion, an increase of $300 million from 2017, in addition to local procurement of materials and services – primarily in the periphery – worth $1.7 billion.

Intel currently employs 11,700 workers in its Israeli operations. An additional 1,100 work at its Jerusalem-based Mobileye subsidiary which it acquired in 2017 for $15.3 billion. The purchase of Mobileye was the largest sale of an Israeli company to date

Israel’s exports of computer chips to China soared last year. Chinese companies bought more semiconductors from the American multinational corporation and technology company Intel, manufactured at their plant in the Israeli southern city of Kiryat Gat, than from any other one entity. An official at the Israel Export Institute revealed new data, in which “semiconductor exports to China jumped 80 percent last year, amounting to 2.6 billion dollars” – with Intel Israel accounting for at least 80 percent of those sales.

As a result of the anticipated growth, Intel announced the 2017 investment of 5 billion dollars in its Kiryat Gat plant. The plant’s export increased from 3.6 billion dollars’ worth-of-goods in 2017 to 3.9 billion dollars’ worth in 2018.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) radically changed the international tax system. It slashed taxes on corporate income, both domestic and foreign. It encouraged U.S. multinational corporations to shift jobs, profits, and tangible property abroad, and keep intangibles home. This report describes the new international tax system—and its many gaps—and also provides a road map for how to fix these gaps and surveys recent legislative approaches.

Time will tell how effective or damaging the changes are, but early indications are not good. Aside from a substantial increase in complexity, the initial estimates from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) indicate that rather than raising revenue, the international provisions (excluding one-time revenue from the repatriation) will decrease revenue by $14.4 billion over the next 10 years. In other words, rather than raising revenue from the $100 billion lost each year from international tax avoidance, the international provisions give away more revenue to multinational corporations. In addition, a recent analysis by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) noted that the new law will continue to allow companies to avoid taxes on hundreds of billions of dollars in offshore income, while at the same time creating a significant new tax incentive for companies to shift jobs and profits offshore.

Moving to a Territorial Tax System

Theoretically, the major international change of the TCJA is that it shifts the United States from a worldwide to a territorial corporate tax system. Under a pure territorial tax system, U.S. companies would owe no taxes on their offshore earnings. The new tax law moves in this direction by exempting from taxation earnings repatriated to the United States from foreign subsidiaries (also known as a 100 percent dividend exemption). This change loses more revenue than any other change in the international portion of the tax law ($223.6 billion over the next 10 years).

For decades, profitable Fortune 500 companies have manipulated the tax system to avoid paying even a dime in tax on billions of dollars in U.S. profits. This ITEP report provides the first comprehensive look at how corporate tax changes under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affect the scale of corporate tax avoidance. The report finds that in 2018, 60 of America’s biggest corporations zeroed out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income. Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes at the 21 percent statutory corporate tax rate, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion.

But when Congress and the Trump Administration pushed through a technically flawed set of corporate tax changes as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in December of 2017, the new law cut the statutory tax rate to 21 percent, while leaving intact most of the tax breaks that allowed profitable companies to zero out their income taxes. The result, unsurprisingly, has been a continued decline in our already-low corporate tax revenues: in fiscal 2018, U.S. corporate tax revenues fell by 31 percent, according to U.S. Treasury data. This was a more precipitous decline than in any year of normal economic growth in U.S. history.

DOW 26449

Previous close 26452. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21912. Today's low 26391. High 26501.

NASDAQ : 7996 ▼

S&P : 2900 ▼

Soybeans : 8.79 ▼

DOW 26452

Previous close 26384. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 25912. Today's low 26397. High 26530.

NASDAQ : 8000 ▲

S&P : 2907 ▲

Soybeans : 8.88 ▼

DOW 26384

Previous close 26412. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21912. Today's low 26312. High 26424.

NASDAQ : 7976 ▼

S&P : 2905 ▼

Soybeans :8.99 ▲

DOW 26412

Previous close 26143. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21912. Today's low 26309. High 26436.

Last Friday close 26424.

NASDAQ : 7984 ▲

S&P : 2907 ▲

Soybeans : 8.95 ▼

Hope everyone is safe and sound. Enjoy the weekend everybody.

DOW 26143

Previous close 26159. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21912. Today's low 26062. High 26229.

NASDAQ : 7947 ▼

S&P : 2888 ( neutral )

Soybeans : 8.98 ▼

DOW 26159

Previous close 26150. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21912. Today's low 26101. High 26209.

NASDAQ : 7964 ▲

S&P : 2887 ▲

Soybeans : 9.02 ▲

All the bankers survived today's session with House Financial Services Committee.

FMOC releases March meeting minutes

“Several participants noted that their views of the appropriate target range for the federal funds rate could shift in either direction based on incoming data and other developments. Some participants indicated that if the economy evolved as they currently expected, with economic growth above its longer-run trend rate, they would likely judge it appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate modestly later this year,” the minutes revealed.

FOMC officials outlined growing risks and thus concluded that there was little reason to continue hiking interest rates.

“A majority of participants expected that the evolution of the economic outlook and risks to the outlook would likely warrant leaving the target range unchanged for the remainder of the year,” the minutes said. “Participants commented on a number of risks associated with their outlook for economic activity. A few participants noted that there remained a high level of uncertainty associated with international developments, including ongoing trade talks and Brexit deliberations, although a couple of participants remarked that the risks of adverse outcomes were somewhat lower than in January.”

DOW 26150

Previous close 26341. 52 wk high 26951. 52 wk low 21912. Today's low 26103. High 26246.

NASDAQ : 7909 ▼

S&P : 2878 ▼

Soybeans : 8.99 (neutral)

Japan Grounds F-35 Fleet After Jet Disappears From Radar Over Pacific

According to Japan's NHK, the plane lost contact about 30 minutes after taking off from Misawa Air Base, and added that the Self-Defence Forces and coastguard dispatched vessels to carry out rescue operations, NHK added.

The F35A stealth fighter disappeared at approximately 7.30pm local time Tuesday, reports the Asahi Shimbun. The jet took off with several other aircraft from the Misawa Air Base, roughly 135km northeast of Misawa City, for a regular night-time training exercise about half an hour before the disappearance.

The aircraft is believed to have one pilot on board. A search and rescue operation is already underway, and the Japanese Coast Guard has deployed two patrol ships to look for the aircraft and pilot.
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