AdvaMed: Repeal tax and simplify broader code

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For months now, we've heard an ever-increasing drumbeat from the medical device industry against the 2.3% industry excise tax set to begin January 1. The tax still needs to go, AdvaMed president and CEO Steve Ubl said in testimony before the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on July 19. But he also pushed for a larger overhaul of the country's corporate tax structure.

"To preserve this industry as the world leader and as an engine of economic growth, the most important single step Congress can take is to repeal this tax," Ubl said in prepared remarks. But beyond that, "we support the emerging consensus that the United States needs a corporate tax structure that is simpler and provides lower rates."

Ubl urged congressional leaders to make sure such an overhaul creates a level playing field with "competitor nations," though this would require doing more, he said, than just lowering the overall rate.

"Simply lowering the overall rate--while very helpful--would not by itself create anything approaching parity," Ubl said. To reach this goal, AdvaMed is pushing for changes including an "innovation box" and a more robust research and development tax credit along with any tax structure simplifications.

Ubl also reiterated AdvaMed's support for adoption of a territorial tax system, where companies would pay taxes on domestic but not foreign income. (Mitt Romney supports this, too.) Additionally, Ubl urged any tax code reforms to include new incentives that encourage investment in "innovative, high risk start-up firms in industries like ours."

- read more of Ubl's prepared remarks here

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