Headline RoundupJune 21st, 2024

What Does Moore v. United States Mean for a Future Wealth Tax?

Summary from the AllSides News Team

On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the "mandatory reparation tax" (MRT), a provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2017. 

For Context: The provision imposed a one-time tax on American shareholders in foreign corporations that are controlled by Americans. 

The Details: Charles and Kathleen Moore asked the Supreme Court to overturn the provision on the grounds that they should not be taxed on "unrealized gains." Deciding to uphold the provision in a 7-2 decision, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the majority: "They cannot distinguish the MRT from other longstanding taxes that they concede are constitutional." Kavanaugh said, "Our analysis today does not address … taxes on holdings, wealth, or net worth," leading opinion writers to debate the implications of Moore on a wealth tax. 

From the Left: "Kavanaugh’s Moore opinion includes a bonanza of loaded language that any competent tax lawyer can seize upon to protect their richest clients from wealth taxes, should Congress ever actually enact such a federal tax in the future," writes Ian Millhiser for Vox (Left bias).

From the Right: An opinion from The National Review Editorial Board (Right bias) says, "However the justices might ultimately rule on [a wealth tax], it doesn’t change the fact that the idea of taxing unrealized gains is a bad one that... would be unfair, unworkable, and economically destructive."

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