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Tech Industry’s Hope for Tax Relief on Foreign Cash

If Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet had their way, they’d bring back some of the tens of billions of dollars they have stuck overseas without taking a huge tax hit. The outcome of November’s election could determine whether they get their wish.

With an estimated $2.5 trillion in company coffers parked offshore—much of it held by big tech firms—pressure is building from both Democrats and Republicans for tax code changes that would allow foreign-held cash repatriated without a massive tax bill. A plan put forth last year in the Senate was supported by Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. Sen. Schumer’s involvement, in particular, gives tax watchers some hope that a bill could pick up enough Democratic votes to pass the 60-vote threshold effectively needed to pass. In the House of Representatives, Republicans have put forth a more general tax plan that includes several similar ideas.

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“There’s a very strong chance Congress will take up international and corporate tax reform in 2017.”