Eversheds Sutherland Tax Reform Law Blog
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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” according...

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 Baucus’s...

Baucus Gives Tax Reform Supporters a “Treat” on Halloween

On October 31, Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) told reporters that discussion drafts of new tax reform proposal are coming “in the next few weeks.”  While Sen. Baucus was tight-lipped about the details of the new proposals, he did indicate that the process of releasing drafts is the “process that I think is most effective.” Although Sen. Baucus chose not to reveal...

Renewed Optimism? Hatch Predicts Tax Reform by End of 2014

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is still looking at the end of 2014 for the completion of a tax overhaul bill.  Sen. Hatch spoke at the National Journal Fiscal Fallout Policy Summit, where he hinted that tax reform loomed on the horizon.  Following the recent news that the House Ways and Means Committee is moving forward on tax reform, Sen. Hatch’s optimism...

Reid Calls for Revenue Target in Tax Reform

No one should accuse Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) of being vague. In response to whether the “Blank Slate” plan of Senators Baucus (D-Mont.) and Hatch (R-Utah) should be revenue neutral or revenue raising, the Senate’s top democrat is taking it one further – start with a revenue target. Said Sen. Reid: “We have to have a revenue target. I think there should be a target, a...

Survey Says: Blank Slate Getting Mostly Silence from Senators

The July 26 deadline will soon arrive for senators to submit their “Blank Slate” tax reform suggestions to Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Sens. Baucus and Hatch want their colleagues to tell them, in writing, which tax expenditures to keep and which to dump. But a survey conducted by Tax Analysts of all senators not named Baucus or Hatch indicates...

Simpson and Bowles Make the Case for the “Blank Slate”

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and creators of the “Simpson-Bowles” plan, threw their support behind the recent “Blank Slate” proposal by Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Both men hailed “the efforts and leadership of Sens. Baucus and Hatch, along with the...

Will Fight Over Revenue Kill Reform?

Previously we noted that the lack of agreement between Republicans and Democrats on the issue of revenue neutrality could pose major problems for achieving comprehensive tax reform.  On July 10, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) claimed that he and Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) had agreed that the Committee’s reform bill would be revenue neutral. ...

Phil Gramm Has a Plan for Tax Reform

Former Republican senator (and economics Ph.D.) Phil Gramm took to the Wall Street Journal opinion page to give his two cents on the current push for tax reform.  While reminding his former GOP colleagues that some compromises will be inevitable, Gramm proposes establishing some “principles that represent our values.” Gramm called for holding the line on the progressivity of the tax...

Baucus, Hatch Call for “Blank Slate” Reform Met with Mixed Reactions

The call for a “blank slate” approach to tax reform by Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) was met with mixed reactions on and off Capitol Hill.  House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) praised the move, calling the announcement “welcome news for Americans who deserve a simpler, flatter, fairer tax code that leads to more jobs and higher wages.”  Some...

Baucus and Hatch Want to Start from Scratch

Calling the current tax code “littered with preferences for special interests,” Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the chair and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, have proposed a “blank slate” approach to tax reform.  Sen. Baucus and Sen. Hatch have sent a “dear colleague” letter to their fellow senators, proposing to reduce tax rates and “clear out...

“Death Tax” Rises in Reform Discussions

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and Representative Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) introduced the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013,” which would permanently repeal the federal estate tax and lower the gift tax to 35% with a $5 million exemption.  This proposal differs from the White House’s proposed fiscal 2014 budget, which would return the estate tax to a 45% rate with a $3.5 million exemption not...