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Stephen Shay

  • Lew Can Use Tax Rule to Slow Inversions, Ex-Official Says

    August 5, 2014

    The U.S. Treasury Department should use immediate stopgap regulations to make offshore transactions known as corporate inversions less lucrative, said the department’s former top international tax lawyer. The administration can unilaterally limit inverted companies from taking interest deductions in the U.S. or from accessing their foreign cash without paying U.S. taxes, Stephen Shay said in an interview and in an article published today in Tax Notes. “If you take away the incentives, a large portion of these deals would not happen because they are indeed tax-motivated,” said Shay, who left the Obama administration in 2011 and is now a professor at Harvard Law School.

  • Banks Cash In on Inversion Deals Intended to Elude Taxes

    August 5, 2014

    Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, recently said, “I love America.” Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, wrote an opinion article saying, “Investing in America still produces the best return.”Yet guess who’s behind the recent spate of merger deals in which major United States corporations have renounced their citizenship in search of a lower tax bill? Wall Street banks, led by JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs…“This is an economic game. There are no virgins anywhere,” said Stephen E. Shay, a professor at Harvard Law School and a former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration. “We can’t look to the banks to stop inversions. They will not look at this based on morality. They will look at it on the basis of fees.”

  • Obama Could Invoke An Old Law To Stop Companies From Leaving America To Save On Taxes

    July 28, 2014

    President Barack Obama could act without congressional approval to limit a key incentive for U.S. corporations to move their tax domiciles abroad in so-called "inversion" deals, a former senior U.S. Treasury Department official said on Monday. By invoking a 1969 tax law, Obama could bypass congressional gridlock and restrict foreign tax-domiciled U.S companies from using inter-company loans and interest deductions to cut their U.S. tax bills, said Stephen Shay, former deputy assistant Treasury secretary for international tax affairs in the Obama administration. He also served as international tax counsel at Treasury from 1982 to 1987 in the Reagan administration.

  • Britain becomes haven for US companies keen to cut tax bills

    June 9, 2014

    Nothing about the narrow cream-coloured lobby at 160 Aldersgate Street in the City of London financial district gives a hint of its role at the centre of the offshore oil industry. That's because the building is occupied by a law firm. Yet, on paper at least, it is also home to Rowan Companies, one of the largest operators of drilling rigs in the world…"The UK has made a very clear policy decision to engage in tax competition for multinationals. It's fair to say it's rivalling Ireland," said Stephen Shay Professor of Law at Harvard University who has testified to Congressional investigations into corporate tax reform.

  • Stephen Shay: Reforming tax expenditures alone won’t fix the deficit

    December 6, 2012

    In recent debates over reducing the budget deficit, even politicians adamant about not raising taxes have been discussing the elimination of tax loopholes, or “tax expenditures.” We turned to Professor of Practice Stephen Shay, and asked the former deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Treasury: What are tax expenditures, and should they be repealed as a means to lower tax rates, reduce the deficit or both?

  • Professor Stephen E. Shay

    Shay testifies on Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code (video)

    September 19, 2012

    On Sept. 20, Harvard Law School Professor Stephen Shay testified before the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The topic of the hearing was “Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code."