Tangle Over Intangibles: International Tax Plan Awaits Details From Camp

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Tax writers on the House Ways and Means Committee crafting an overhaul of the U.S. tax code don't quite have their hands around intangibles.
The treatment of intangible income—the money companies make from technology, patents and other nonphysical aspects of the products they sell—is one of the issues Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) still needs to resolve in preparation for a comprehensive tax overhaul, tax lobbyists told Bloomberg BNA. Camp may help fill that hole when he releases a draft for the tax bill the week of Feb. 24—but perhaps not completely, lobbyists said.
At issue is how corporate income should be deemed tangible or intangible for businesses that operate globally, an especially challenging question for manufactured products such as cars or computers that have considerable intangible value from the ever-advancing technology that goes into making them. Companies that make those products are looking for signals from Congress, said Rocco Femia, a tax lawyer at Miller Chevalier in Washington and former associate international tax counsel at the Treasury Department.