Veteran NPR Supreme Court reporter Nina Totenberg wove together the threads of the Moore vs. United States case, which was heard Tuesday, Dec. 5. The Supreme Court tax case challenges a provision in Trump’s 2017 tax reform that allowed the federal government to switch to an improved system of international corporate taxation.
Charles and Kathleen Moore contested a one-time $15,000 tax on their foreign investment’s unrepatriated profits, arguing it’s unconstitutional for the government to tax the couple on income they haven’t personally received. The case is seen as a potential preventive strike against wealth taxes, although as Arnold Ventures’ Executive Vice President of Public Finance George Callas has pointed out, wealth and income are not interchangeable terms, and the case cannot be constitutionally connected to a wealth tax.
The case itself has direct implications for hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate tax collections, and potentially trillions in broader related tax provisions. George Callas, involved in drafting the 2017 tax bill, notes the risk of undermining significant portions of the tax code if the Moores win, calling it playing with “enriched uranium.”
Listen to or read NPR’s coverage here.