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July 8, 2020

What to expect in Washington (July 8)

The Administration wants the next coronavirus response bill enacted prior to the August congressional recess and at a price tag of under $1 trillion, Marc Short, Vice President Pence's chief of staff and former White House head of legislative affairs, said on Bloomberg Radio July 7. "I think we want to make sure that people that are still unemployed or hurting are protected but at the same time, we want to take into consideration the fact the economy is bouncing back and want to try to contain the amount of spending," he said in comments that align with pre-recess enactment and a $1 trillion target eyed by Senate Republicans.

The Washington Post posted a story on the Administration's push for tax incentives for sporting events, tourism and eating out, saying "there are growing signs that the tax breaks the White House wants to use could fall flat, because many of the venues it is eyeing — such as sporting events and certain restaurants — are either closed or operating in a much different manner than they were before the outbreak."

Another story reported on virus-related drops in tax revenue in some states and associated layoffs and furloughs of public employees, and reluctance on the part of some Republicans in Congress to provide more state and local aid in a next bill. The story focused on Texas and quoted a spokeswoman for Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) as saying, "Sen. Cruz believes the focus now should be on long-term recovery, not short term relief, and that after sending nearly $3 trillion to our cities, states, job creators, and hardworking families, Congress should stop spending money it doesn't have."

During an event on July 7, President Trump said, "we hope that most schools are going to be open. We don't want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons. They think it's going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed. No way. So we're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open. And it's very important. It's very important for our country. It's very important for the wellbeing of the student and the parents. So we're going to be putting a lot of pressure on: Open your schools in the fall."

This morning (July 8), the President tweeted: "In Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and many other countries, SCHOOLS ARE OPEN WITH NO PROBLEMS. The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!"


On July 7, the OECD released new data in the annual Corporate Tax Statistics publication providing aggregated information on the global tax and economic activities of nearly 4,000 multinational enterprise (MNE) groups headquartered in 26 jurisdictions and operating across more than 100 jurisdictions worldwide, calling it "a major output based on the Country-by-Country Reporting requirements for MNEs under the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project." In releasing the publication, OECD said "Noting the limitations of the data and that these observations could also reflect some commercial considerations, they are indicative of the existence of BEPS behaviour and reinforce the need to continue to address remaining BEPS issues as part of the Inclusive Framework's work on Pillar 2 of the ongoing international efforts to address the tax challenges arising from digitalisation."

The global EY Tax COVID-19 Response Tracker has been updated through July 6.

This Friday, July 10 at 12:00 p.m. ET, is the EY Webcast, Tax in the time of COVID-19: Update on the Employee Retention Credit, net operating losses and IRS developments. This week's panelists will provide updates on: (i) the legislative and economic landscape; (ii) the Employee Retention Credit (including a review of the second set of FAQs released by the government); (iii) Net operating losses — what are companies doing and has the recent guidance helped?; and ((iv) any IRS and breaking developments. Register.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Washington Council Ernst & Young
   • Ray Beeman (
   • Gary Gasper (
   • Heather Meade (
   • Kurt Ritterpusch (