Full-ish Disclosure, A Wrong Road, and a Phased Approach

Congress will have full access to PPP loan data after all. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the House Ways & Means Committee late last week that he’d include data with borrower names and loan amounts “with the understanding that nonpublic personally identifiable and commercially sensitive business information will be treated as confidential.” Mnuchin initially refused to provide the data at all, then said he’d disclose only limited information. Ways & Means Chairman Richard Neal insisted on more complete reporting.

Speaker Pelosi’s infrastructure bill takes the wrong road on tax subsidies. TPC’s Howard Gleckman argues that the House infrastructure bill—the 2,300 page Moving Forward Act—is more than a bill to fund roads and bridges. It’s also a Christmas Tree of about two dozen new, restored, or expanded tax credits, as well as expanded tax-exempt bond financing mechanisms. All that, and it still offers no way to pay for all those roads and bridges. The House expects to vote on the infrastructure bill this week. House Democrats also introduced a separate green energy bill with many of the same tax breaks. They may take up that measure later this year.

In case you missed these TPC events… You can watch the 10th Annual IRS-TPC Joint Research Conference on Tax Administration here. And you can tune in to last week’s episode of The Prescription: Fiscal Policy for the COVID-19 Economy, featuring former assistant secretary of labor William Spriggs, here.

On the Hill this week. Tomorrow at 12:30, the House Committee Financial Services holds a hearing on the policy response to the pandemic. Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will testify.

Some EU Finance chiefs propose a limited digital tax in response to US tariff threat. Finance ministers from France, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy wrote Mnuchin that they could limit their proposed digital taxes. They suggested a “phased approach” that would initially only include automated digital services companies, an idea that “would considerably ease the task of achieving a consensus-based solution and make a political agreement within reach this year.”

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