President Biden's FY24 Greenbook - Observations on Some Items

On March 9, 2023, President Biden released his FY 2024 budget (and related docs) and Greenbook that describes his tax proposals. It repeats many proposals that were in his FY2022 and/or FY 2023 Greenbooks (see comparison and links here for the FY22 and FY23 plans).

Themes, similar to recent years, include increasing corporate taxes such as increasing the 21% corporate rate to 28%. Unlike a House proposal last year (which was later dropped from Build Back Better), for graduated rates, are not proposed. The proposed 28% flat rate is still below the pre-TCJA maximum of 35%. As noted in President Biden’s recent State of the Union address, he would increase the recently enacted corporate buyback excise tax from 1% to 4%. I believe the logic is to not only raise some revenue, but to address what some corporations do with corporate tax savings and a buyback might be used instead of a taxable dividend payout.

Observation: While individual tax increase proposals continue to be aimed at those with income above $400,000, the corporate tax increase proposal will indirectly affect all individuals. Eventually, all corporate tax is paid by some combination of shareholders, customers and employees. To keep a promise of not increasing taxes on individuals with income below $400,000 (which is about 98% of individuals!), this proposal should be skipped.

There are several proposals to reform international taxation. I’m not an international tax expert so I can’t opine on them, but it does seem that there is a need to revisit the changes by the TCJA, recent changes to foreign tax credit regs that many have noted have problems, and consider what other countries are doing including regarding OECD Pillars I and II.

The Greenbook continues for the third time to call for repeal of all fossil fuel preferences. In 2021 when the House Democrats worked on Build Back Better this was not included. This also needs discussion as it is odd that our tax law has rules that both encourage development and use of carbon-free energy and fossil fuels. Phasing out the 13 preferences for fossil fuels over a period of years would make more sense than outright repeal, and less disruption to the industry.
Read More