Regarding the Sept. 24 editorial on corporate inversions, “A short-term corporate fix”:
Inversions are justified in many situations. Members of the boards of directors of U.S. corporations have a fiduciary duty to investors to maximize revenue and after-tax profits. They are the individuals ultimately approving inversions. If the U.S. corporation does not engage in legal and substantive tax planning to minimize U.S. tax on the profits earned outside the United States, the investors may have justification to sue the corporation.
Most foreign countries tax only the income earned in that country, while the United States taxes the worldwide income of a U.S. corporation. Similarly, the corporate tax rates in jurisdictions outside the United States are lower than the 35 percent rate imposed by Congress.
It is true that with tax planning, including corporate inversions, very few corporations pay that rate. However, Congress must act to reform the U.S. corporate tax structure so that U.S. corporations are not incentivized to pay lower taxes to foreign countries, rather than paying those taxes to the United States. Congress must not expect the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department to carry the burden of tax reform.
Nancy Ortmeyer Kuhn, Bethesda