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BRT Looks Past Fiscal Cliff to 2013 Tax Reform BRT Looks Past Fiscal Cliff to 2013 Tax Reform

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Influence

BRT Looks Past Fiscal Cliff to 2013 Tax Reform

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This handout photo provided by the Business Roundtable, shows Verizon Chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg, and the chairman of Business Roundtable, during a news conference at the Newseum in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010, to announce the release of Business Roundtable's Roadmap for Growth. The Roadmap for Growth is a plan to return America to long-term economic growth, create jobs, and position the US as a global leader in the 21st century. (AP Photo/John Herrington, Business Roundtable)  (AP Photo/John Herrington, Business Roundtable)

The Business Roundtable has been gearing up for this lame duck session for months but, the real prize for the association of big time chief executives remains enacting corporate tax reform that lowers the rate to 25 percent and creates a territorial tax system.

"We're optimistic that once you get past the campaign and into policy-making season, with a lot of drivers like the AMT and the tax extenders, that you'll see something done. Once you get there, they'll be more room for compromise," says Matthew Miller, a BRT vice president, who deals with fiscal policy issues.

The BRT is pushing Congress to extend the expiring individual and investment income tax rates to buy time for lawmakers to tackle comprehensive tax reform next year. Both Mitt Romney and President Obama have said they'll try to push an overhaul of the tax code in the next four years.

The only palace intrigue now is if a re-elected Obama would support a territorial system, which BRT supports because it would tax multinational corporations only on domestic profits, allowing them to bring overseas profits back into the country tax free.

In the Bob Woodward book The Price of Politics, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is said to have supported this type of system--though it never made its way into the president's corporate tax framework.

"There's been a lot of good conversations with the White House and the tax writing committees on the Democratic side on this, so we're optimistic. Really, if you think about it's a competitiveness issue," Miller says.

Correction: The original post incorrectly described the BRT's position on the corporate tax rate. The group supports lowering the rate to 25 percent. An earlier version mischaracterized the type of system Geithner was said to have supported. The post has been updated to reflect the changes. The Alley regrets the error.

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