On September 6th, the Liberty Justice Center filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of the petitioners in Moore v. United States. The case challenges a 2017 tax law that expands the definition of taxable income to include “unrealized gains”—that is, money that exists in theory, but not in reality.
The Mandatory Repatriation Tax, a provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allows the IRS to tax Americans on money in the bank accounts of foreign companies they have even a small ownership stake in—a provision which has caused one couple’s good-hearted investment in a start-up to come with a hefty tax bill.
In 2006, Charles and Kathleen Moore invested in KisanKraft, a company that provides affordable agricultural equipment to rural Indian farmers and which invests all its profits in growing the business and empowering the farmers it serves. After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed in 2017, the Moores received a tax bill for their “unrealized gains” in KisanKraft’s earnings—meaning they were charged as though they’d received 13% of KisanKraft’s profits for over a decade, even though the company’s money had always gone to the farmers. The Moores sued, arguing that unrealized investments do not fall within the definition of “income” that the Sixteenth Amendment permits the federal government to tax.
The Liberty Justice Center’s amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to reverse the lower courts’ decisions and rule in favor of the Moores.