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Carter: If wondering who is paying the freight in Mississippi, check this out

Here is something for Mississippians to think about when they plop down an extra $7 at the grocery store as state sales tax on a purchase of $100 in food:

sales tax tokenThe Mississippi House Ways & Means Committee passed a bill Thursday that would restrict the state’s ability to keep companies from sheltering their income from taxation by assigning it to subsidiaries in states that don’t have corporate income taxes, such as Delaware.

The Legislature has passed more than $100 million in new tax breaks over the last two years

The bill to give the free pass on hiding corporate state liabilities goes to the full House for further debate. It’ll be accompanied by another bill that cleared Ways & Means that severely restricts the state Department of Revenue’s corporate tax compliance efforts. Bill 799 would limit the Revenue Department’s ability to order companies to file their taxes as combined returns, showing all their business activity nationwide. The department would have to provide “clear and convincing evidence” that a company was shifting income among subsidiaries before ordering a combined return for all subsidiaries to be filed.

Seems it would be hard to obtain the “clear and convincing evidence” without seeing the combined returns.

All this could lead Mississippians to ask just who their lawmakers represent: Citizens of the Magnolia State or multi-state corporations?

The answer is becoming more clear with each day of the 2014 legislative session.



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