President Trump will stick to his 15 percent corporate tax rate goal when he introduces his tax reform principles on Wednesday.
In aiming to lower the corporate tax rate by 20 percentage points, Trump is setting an ambitious goal, but one that likely will make it more difficult to find agreement among Republicans on a legislative path forward.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Trump instructed his advisers to set a 15 percent corporate tax rate in his plan for Wednesday and to prioritize lowering the rate over ensuring that a tax overhaul doesn't add to the federal deficit.
A 15 percent corporate tax rate would be in keeping with Trump's campaign tax proposals.
Outside groups gauged that those proposals would add trillions of dollars to the federal deficit, however.
House Republicans, in comparison, have sought a 20 percent corporate tax rate target for their reform plan. That rate would still be below the average for developed nations. It also would be easier to square with an overall plan that didn't add to the deficit.
One advantage of a tax reform plan that doesn't lose tax revenue, on paper, is that it would be easier to pass through the special legislative procedure known as budget reconciliation. That procedure allows bills to pass with only 51 votes in the Senate, meaning that it could empower Republicans to pass tax reform without Democratic help.
Yet some conservatives favor driving the corporate tax rate as low as feasible because it would reduce businesses' incentives to try to game the tax code to avoid the rate or to move their headquarters to countries such as Ireland with ultra-low corporate tax rates.