|Orrin Hatch was
also in the Global Tax 50
Orrin Hatch is the longest-serving Republican in the US
Senate, having first taken office in 1977. With many years of
experience, he is an important figure within his party and to
the committees that he leads, but has also made his mark on
several important tax issues that will continue to be of great
importance in 2017.
Before being re-elected in November 2016, Hatch said that
this would be his last term, but with many people asking him to
consider running for office again in 2018, his importance to
politics, finance and taxation is clear. "I have a lot of
people pressuring me to [run again], because
they know what I can do. And they know that as chairman of the
Finance Committee, we make a real difference around here,"
Hatch said in the aftermath of the election. "I'll honestly
look at it, as much as I can."
Part of the reason he makes his Global Tax 50 debut is that,
since November's US elections, the Republican Party controls
the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Given that one of President-Elect Donald Trump's first
objectives in office will be to introduce a tax reform, a
steady hand such as Hatch's will be invaluable.
"We are seeing more momentum for comprehensive tax than
we've seen in a generation or more," Hatch said. "We have a
real opportunity to make significant changes to our entire tax
system in order to encourage growth, create more jobs, and
improve the lives of individuals and families around our
country. As the chairman of the Senate's tax-writing committee,
I am very excited for this opportunity and I am committed to
doing all I can to make sure that we succeed in this
What is also notable is how productive the 114th US
Congress, which lasted from 2015 to 2016, was. In its previous
term – before Hatch took the reins – it had
been largely, and very publicly, gridlocked due to political
wrangling. This productivity was made possible by bipartisan
work by Democratic and Republican representatives.
"The Senate Finance Committee, which I've been privileged to
chair for the past two years, has, to a historic degree, been
able to ride this new wave of bipartisan productivity," Hatch
said. "We also made serious strides to advance a number of the
committee's long-term efforts, including… a series of
measures to protect taxpayers from the ever-increasing threat
of identity theft and tax refund fraud."
The 115th Congress, which will run from January 3 2017 until
November 2018, was earmarked on both sides of aisle as one that
would include much-needed tax reform in the US. Under Hatch,
Congress set up tax reform working groups in 2015 that have
laid much of the groundwork necessary for the mammoth task
Hatch's work in the Senate Finance Committee should also not
be ignored. He spearheaded a major tax bill that implemented a
large number of tax provisions, which previously required
frequent renewal, thereby giving valuable certainty to
businesses. It set the stage for "even more significant reforms
in the future", said Hatch.
As for the direction of the tax reform – which is
discussed in more detail in the Global Tax 50 entries for
Donald Trump and Paul Ryan – one can safely assume
that tax rates will fall. Hatch's own proposal for tax reform
included allowing businesses to deduct dividends from taxable
earnings, thereby eliminating 'double taxation' of the same
earnings and hopefully reducing the number of corporate
inversions of US multinationals.
Over the next few years, Hatch may prove to be a crucial
ally for Trump as the US implements its long-awaited tax