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Apple's Irish tax ruling highlights need for US tax reforms, Treasury Secretary Lew says

U. S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations on September 12, 2016 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
U. S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations on September 12, 2016 in New York City.

The European Commission's move to hand Apple a 13 billion euro ($14.6 billion) tax bill underscored the need for urgent reforms to the U.S. tax system, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew wrote in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal.

Lew said the tax ruling threatened to erode America's corporate tax base because U.S. companies could claim foreign tax credits against their tax bills in the U.S. for any tax-related payments to European Union countries.

Still, Lew acknowledged that tax avoidance was a global problem, withU.S. corporations alone avoiding paying U.S. taxes by holding more than $2 trillion in deferred overseas income. The Treasury Secretary repeated his call for the Congress to consider President Barack Obama's proposed plan for business tax reforms and boost investments in infrastructure.

"The combination of the relatively high U.S. corporate rate, our complicated system for taxing multinational businesses, and our aging infrastructure has encouraged and facilitated the erosion of our tax base and made America a less attractive place to do business," Lew wrote in the WSJ.

To read the full WSJ article, click here.

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