Administration Probing Possibility of Executive Action to End Inversions

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President Barack Obama just might find a way to use the power of his pen to slow the pace of tax-driven corporate mergers called inversions.
After weeks of waffling over whether the administration has the power to sidestep Congress, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew is exploring possibilities. Obama and Lew still want legislation to halt such deals, in which U.S.-based companies combine with foreign companies in less-expensive tax jurisdictions to trim their tax obligations, but a stopgap could be coming in the meantime.
“There are limits to what Treasury can do without action by Congress, and legislation is the only way to fully address inversions,” a department spokesperson said. “Nonetheless, Treasury is reviewing a broad range of authorities for possible administrative actions that could limit the ability of companies to engage in inversions, as well as approaches that could meaningfully reduce the tax benefits after inversions take place, to at least provide a partial fix.”