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Stef Kight / Axios

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, in a conversation with me yesterday morning at the debut Axios News Shapers event, said the administration will plunge into whole-hog tax reform: "We're reforming both the personal and the corporate side. We're not cutting this up and doing little pieces at a time."

  • Mnuchin slid a bit on his earlier vow to finish tax reform by the August recess, saying that's always been the optimistic goal: "And if we don't, we'll get it done right afterwards." When I asked him if that meant it'd be done by fall, he replied: "Absolutely."
  • On tackling another complex issue after health care: "In a way, it's a lot simpler. It really is. It's a lot simpler because the goals of tax reform ... creating a middle-income tax cut, about creating personal tax simplification, and making U.S. businesses competitive. ... I think there is very, very strong support."
  • I asked him: "Pretend that I shop or work at Walmart. Make the case to me that the border adjustment tax is good for me." He didn't: "[T]here's certain aspects of that tax that are attractive, and there's certain aspects ... that are concerning. ... [O]ne of our concerns about it is that if the currency moves, then the Walmart shopper shouldn't be impacted. OK. But if the currency moves, that has an impact for our exporters."
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Go deeper

4 mins ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: US National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.