Sunday, September 21st, 2014

The Obameter

Require publicly traded financial partnerships to pay the corporate income tax


Require publicly traded financial partnerships to pay the corporate income tax.


Updates

No change to tax rules for publicly traded partnerships

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to "require publicly traded financial partnerships to pay the corporate income tax.”

As we noted the last time we looked at this promise, partnerships function a little differently than a traditional corporation.

Partnerships have co-owners as opposed to stockholders, for example, and they are treated differently under the tax code. This promise was one of several Obama made that would result in increasing taxes on the wealthy.

In the bill that avoided the fiscal cliff, Obama did enact higher taxes on richer Americans, but not in the way outlined in this promise.

Like a related promise -- to tax "carried interest” as ordinary income rather than capital gains -- this one was not enacted, said Mary Lyman, executive director of the National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships.

We rate this a Promise Broken.

Sources:

Text of H.R. 8 ("fiscal cliff" bill)

House Republican Conference, summary of H.R. 8 ("fiscal cliff” bill), Jan. 1, 2013

Interview with Mary Lyman, executive director of the National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships, Jan. 3, 2013

Tax promise goes by the wayside

Yes, this promise is a little obscure. During the campaign, President Barack Obama promised to require financial partnerships to pay the same tax rates as corporations. Partnerships function a little differently than a traditional corporation -- partnerships have co-owners as opposed to stockholders, for example -- and they are treated differently under the tax code. This promise was one of several Obama made that would result in increasing taxes on the wealthy.

We have been able to find no evidence that any movement has been made on this promise. We checked with the experts at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, and they didn't find any proposals either. So we rate this promise Stalled.

Sources:

Legal Dictionary, Definition: Partnership

U.S. Treasury Department, " General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2010 Proposals ," May 2009

E-mail interview with Rosanne Altshuler of the Tax Policy Center