Note: This press release was updated on Oct. 12, 2017, to correct the name of one of the organizations that initiated the letter.
Oct. 11, 2017
Mnuchin’s Decision to Suppress Crucial Report Signals Treasury Has Everything to Hide on Corporate Tax Giveaways
Public Interest Coalition Pushes for Repost of Data Trump Officials Don’t Want Americans to See
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of the Treasury should repost on its website a suppressed study on the effects of corporate tax, a public interest coalition told U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin today.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that a 2012 paper from the Office of Tax Analysis, “Distributing the Corporate Income Tax: Revised U.S. Treasury Methodology” (Technical Paper 5) was removed from the Treasury Department website.
The paper concludes that 18 percent of the amount corporations pay in income taxes is borne by employees, with owners of capital paying the remainder. In public statements justifying the deep corporate tax cuts in President Donald Trump’s plan, Mnuchin has asserted nearly the opposite, saying that workers absorb 70 or 80 percent of corporate tax.
“You are of course entitled to views that run contrary to the technical conclusions of the professional staff at Treasury,” the letter to Mnuchin states. “However, it is not legitimate to erase from the public record their published, contrary analysis.”
A Treasury spokesperson justified taking down the analysis on the grounds it was dated. But the letter points out that the Treasury Department simply can post an updated analysis, if it chooses, and has done exactly that for other technical papers – without removing the original from its website.
“America is about to undergo a major and consequential debate over tax policy,” the letter notes. “The least the Treasury Department can do is make available to the public the analysis on tax policy that taxpayers have paid for.”
The letter was initiated by Americas for Tax Fairness, Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, and Public Citizen.