Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Reuven Avi-Yonah (Michigan), The Case for Reviving the Corporate AMT, 173 Tax Notes Fed. 795 (Nov. 8, 2021):
In this article, Avi-Yonah examines the bill introduced by Senate Finance Committee member Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to revive the corporate alternative minimum tax as a 15 percent tax on corporate book income, and he argues that it is a sensible way to address some problems of the corporate tax system.
The corporate AMT as proposed by Warren and her colleagues is a low-rate, broad-based tax on corporations based on their book income. As such, it would typically be considered preferable to the higher-rate, narrower-base regular corporate tax.
So why not just repeal the regular tax? The answer, of course, is revenue: The corporate AMT by itself wouldn’t raise the $200 billion to $300 billion raised each year by the regular corporate tax. In the foreseeable future, we will have a regular corporate tax with preferences, and Congress will be unable to prevent taxpayers from finding loopholes in it. In those second-best circumstances, reviving the corporate AMT and making it based on book income is the best solution.