A new corporate minimum tax could reshape how the federal government collects revenue. The proposal is one of the last remaining tax increases in the package. Democrats are aiming to pass the package along party lines in coming days. It would be the most significant changes to America's tax code in decades.

Democrats want to ensure that large and profitable companies pay more than $0 in federal taxes. To accomplish this, Democrats have recreated a policy that was last employed in the 1980s. The re-emergence of the corporate minimum tax has prompted confusion and fierce lobbying resistance.

Republicans have tried to seize on the tax increase as evidence that President Biden was ready to break his campaign promises and raise taxes on middle-class workers. Manufacturers have warned that it would impose new costs at a time of rapid inflation. In a sign of the political power of lobbyists in Washington the new tax had already been watered down.

The new 15 percent minimum tax would apply to corporations that report annual income of more than $1 billion to shareholders on their financial statements. At the urging of manufacturers, Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona persuaded her Democratic colleagues to preserve a valuable deduction. The deduction is associated with purchases of machinery and equipment.

The new tax could also inject a greater degree of complexity into the tax code. It was originally projected to raise $313 billion in tax revenue over a decade, though the final tally is likely to be $258 billion once the revised bill is finalized. “In terms of implementation and just bandwidth to deal with the complexity, there’s no doubt that this regime is complex,” said Peter Richman, a senior attorney adviser.
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