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Tax Extenders Debate is Extended — EXPIRE Act Stalls in the Senate

– Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D.-Ore.) EXPIRE Act, which would have revived several expired tax provisions (see prior post here), has been stalled in the Senate.  Despite broad bipartisan support for the EXPIRE Act, an apparent disagreement over amendments is preventing a vote on final passage. Senate Republicans proposed a number of amendments to the bill, including the repeal of the...

Camp Reform Bill Sets the Bar for Future Reform Proposals, Say Experts

Conventional wisdom states that Representative Dave Camp’s (R-Mich.) comprehensive tax reform proposal has zero chance of passing in the current Congress.  Nevertheless, experts are praising the Camp proposal for its specificity, transparency, and thoroughness.  In a recent blog post, TaxVox editor and Urban Institute fellow Howard Gleckman and Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center...

OECD’s BEPS Hybrid Draft Tells Rest of Europe to be More Like Germany

The OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project continues apace, and information on the direction of the project is getting out.  On February 10, Tax Analysts’ Lee Sheppard reported on a leaked draft report dealing with hybrid entities (entities which are treated as separate entities in one jurisdiction but are disregarded as separate entities or treated as pass-through...

Republican Party Platform: Ditch FATCA

Apparently, the reporting requirements of foreign financial institutions have now become partisan red meat. On Friday, the Republican National Committee made repeal of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) part of its party platform. A resolution passed by voice vote at the RNC’s annual winter meeting in Washington, D.C., establishing a party position on the anti-tax-evasion...

To Extend or Not to Extend: Hatch Reiterates Need for Individual Scrutiny of Tax Breaks

The end of 2013 saw the expiration of more than 50 temporary tax cuts, including the research and development credit, various renewable energy credits, provisions allowing accelerated depreciation of certain business assets, and certain international tax provisions.  In past years Congress has allowed these provisions to lapse, only to retroactively renew them for limited periods...

Senator Baucus To Be Nominated to China Post; Future of Tax Reform in Doubt

Politico reports President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) as the next ambassador to China.  News of the expected nomination came on the same day Sen. Baucus released his fourth tax reform discussion draft, focused on modernizing and streamlining energy tax incentives.  While the nomination is not yet official, it is apparently a “done deal”...

Baucus Releases Discussion Draft on Cost Recovery and Accounting Tax Reform

Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) released a new tax reform discussion draft on cost recovery and accounting rules, with the stated goal of a simpler, fairer system that promotes tax neutrality.  The draft proposals address the rules governing depreciation of tangible and intangible assets, as well as certain tax accounting rules and rules affecting small businesses.  Significant proposals...

Mixed Reaction to Baucus International Discussion Draft

Following the release of Senator Max Baucus’s (D-Mont.) discussion draft on international tax reform, reaction from members of Congress and the business community is mixed.  Sen. Baucus’s counterpart in the House, Representative Dave Camp (R-Mich.), quickly praised Baucus for “his continued commitment to advancing tax reform forward,” but did not comment on the substance of...

Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Limit Deductibility of Corporate Settlements

Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced a bill this week to prevent companies from deducting the cost of settling government allegations of wrongdoing.  The proposed Government Settlement Transparency and Reform Act follows on the heels of similar legislation introduced in the House of Representatives last week, and would close a loophole that allows...

Tax Reform Advocates See Budget Conference as an Opportunity, But Skeptical About Short-Term Prospects

Businesses and other organizations advocating for an overhaul of the corporate tax code are pressing on with their reform agenda, despite growing pessimism over the prospect of Congress passing meaningful tax legislation this year. Key lawmakers charged with negotiating a budget deal have been vocal in tempering expectations that the budget deal will result in any “grand bargain” or...

Reform Roundup: Opinions on the Likelihood of Near-Term Reform Legislation

In the wake of Congress’ recent debt ceiling deal, several views have emerged regarding the likelihood of comprehensive tax reform legislation being introduced by the end of 2013, as has been targeted by chief tax writers Representative Dave Camp and Senator Max Baucus.  These views differ, but the overall consensus is less than optimistic: Bloomberg/BNA reports that most tax...

Former Treasury Official Questions Camp’s Option C; Urges Greater U.S. Participation in BEPS Discussions

Speaking last week on the centennial of the U.S. income tax, Harvard Law School professor and former deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury Stephen E. Shay criticized House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s proposal to address base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).  Called “Option C,” Rep. Camp’s proposal would adopt a territorial tax system and reduce the...

Tax Foundation: Blank Slate Can Grow Economy If Done Right

On October 2, the Tax Foundation published a report by Michael Schuyler that studies the potential effects on economic growth of the “Blank Slate” approach to tax reform proposed by Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).  The report outlines a number of growth models based on different combinations of eliminating tax expenditures and corresponding rate cuts and...

Baucus: Tax Reform Will Fund Transportation

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) believes tax reform is the best vehicle to ensure sustainable financing for America’s transportation infrastructure.  Speaking during an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing, Sen. Baucus noted that the federal government’s surface transportation programs largely depend on fuel excise taxes paid into the Highway...

Tax Foundation: Tax Reform Can Improve Growth by Increasing Investment

On September 23, the Tax Foundation published a report by Dr. William McBride, titled “How Tax Reform Can Address America’s Diminishing Investment and Economic Growth.”  The report concludes that in promoting economic growth, a focus on increasing consumption is misplaced, and instead, the real driver behind economic growth is increased investment.  To that end, the report notes...

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