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July 17, 2017

MSCI Outlines Its Federal Tax Reform Priorities For U.S. Senate Finance Committee

Last Friday, the Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) submitted comments on comprehensive federal tax reform in response to U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) June 17 letter calling for stakeholder input.

MSCI’s comments were based on a survey on comprehensive tax reform that the organization sent to members in June.

As the comments argued, the current web of federal tax laws puts members of the U.S. industrial metals supply chain at a disadvantage against their foreign competitors. As an organization, and as an industry, MSCI and the industrial metals industry strongly supports efforts to pass comprehensive tax reform. The devil will be in the negotiations, however, and MSCI believes that the following goals must be achieved to finally reform our broken tax code:

  • Create a globally competitive North American manufacturing industry by reducing, not increasing, the tax burden on members of the U.S. metals industry.
  • Ensure the approximately 28 million pass through businesses that pay their federal taxes through the individual income tax system are treated equitably and fairly by passing comprehensive, not corporate-only, tax reform.
  • Safeguard against certain individuals, businesses or industries benefitting over others.
  • Retain the interest deduction and move to a cash based taxation system that allows the current expensing of machinery.
  • Maintain the last in, first out (LIFO) accounting principle in its current state—retroactive repeal must be taken off the table completely.
  • Move to a territorial tax system and allow U.S. companies that have a global footprint to bring back their overseas profits without double taxation. 
  • End the estate tax once and for all.
  • Establish permanent policies that foster certainty and avoid temporary fixes that breed business and individual taxpayer anxiety.

MSCI’s partners at the LIFO Coalition also plan to submit comments to the Finance Committee today. Those comments will be available on the coalition’s website, savelifo.org, once they are published.

House and Senate leaders maintain that they will pass a comprehensive tax reform bill by the end of this year. While that timeline is optimistic, MSCI is committed to engaging with members of Congress at every stage of their deliberations.