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Business Tax Reform: What Can be Done?

Featuring Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew 

The corporate income tax is under increasing pressure and business tax reform is critically important to help stop this trend. While the United States has the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, some businesses pay the full rate and others pay hardly anything due to inefficiencies and special-interest loopholes.  To address these issues, proposals have been put forward to simplify the code, eliminate wasteful carve-outs and tax expenditures, broaden the base, and lower the corporate tax rate.  

On September 8th, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew  spoke on the importance of business tax reform to level the playing field and make the United States a more attractive place to invest.

After the Secretary’s remarks, a panel of experts focused on one important aspect of business tax reform -- the issue of corporate inversions, whereby companies legally change their official residence to foreign countries to avoid the U.S. corporate tax. Will Congress tackle business tax reform? Will they address inversions? And, failing Congressional action, can and should Treasury take steps to slow the tide of inversions? Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell  moderated the panel, which included Sally Katzen of the NYU School of Law, Steven Rosenthal of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, John Samuels of General Electric, and Stephen Shay of the Harvard Law School.


  • Sarah Rosen Wartell, President, Urban Institute


  • Sarah Rosen Wartell, President, Urban Institute (moderator)
  • Sally Katzen, Visiting Professor, New York University
  • Steven Rosenthal, Senior Fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
  • John M. Samuels, Vice President and Senior Counsel of Tax Policy & Planning, General Electric Company
  • Stephen Shay, Professor, Harvard Law School

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Photo credit: Garry L. / Shutterstock

Date & Time Monday, September 8, 2014
2100 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
, DC , 20037
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  • Senior Fellow