November 3, 2017

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What tech thinks of the GOP tax proposal

By
Ina Fried
Axios

(This story originally appeared in Axios Login on November 3, 2017.)

Like other major industries, tech is cautiously optimistic about the Republican tax plan unveiled yesterday. One major win for the industry is the lower corporate tax rate, but there's plenty of other issues Silicon Valley cares about. Axios' David McCabe breaks it down for us:

What tech likes:

  • The National Venture Capital Association praised a provision it expected to be in the bill that would allow startup employees not to pay taxes when they exercise their stock options if there isn't a liquid market to sell their resulting shares. Startups would like this, too. But there's a problem: that provision isn't actually in the current bill. It's expected to be added during markups in the coming days.
  • One tech trade group, TechNet, praised elements of the tax plan that make it easier to bring back assets being held overseas by offering to tax them at lower one-time rates.
  • The Association of National Advertisers, which represents Google and Facebook, hailed the fact that legislators plan to keep a deduction for advertising spending by businesses, as did the National Association of Broadcasters.

What tech doesn't like:

  • TechNet president Linda Moore said the organization looks "forward to next week's committee markup as an opportunity to improve the bill, particularly as it relates to getting the territorial tax system right, creating more opportunities for investment in the U.S., and measures that may affect innovators in the gig and sharing economy."

More reaction: Others are keeping their powder dry as they vet the 400-page bill. "If done right, tax reform will place American companies on a level-playing field, increase competition globally, and create more jobs for Americans. These are the standards we will use to evaluate the entire legislative package," said Dean Garfield, the leader of the Information Technology Industry Council.

Go deeper: Check out the winners and losers of the plan...Broadcom announced yesterday it will relocate to the U.S. thanks to the tax plan....Axios' Dan Primack will have more analysis in the Axios Pro Rata newsletter.

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