Tax News & Views Bipartisan Stimulus & Flights To Nowhere Roundup

September 18, 2020

Bipartisan Framework Could Mean Two More Stimulus Checks – Peter J Reilly, Forbes. “The Democratic House wanted another batch of stimulus checks, but the Republican Senate was not having it. Now there is a bipartisan proposal that calls for at least one more round of stimulus checks and another round in March if things don’t improve.”

The group's plan calls for multiple items including $280 billion for $1,200 stimulus checks plus $500 per child plus dependent adults.

How Biden Might Alter Tax Rules, From Nonprofits to Opportunity Zones – Richard Rubin, WSJ ($). “On tax policy, Mr. Biden’s campaign has proposed trillions of dollars in tax increases on corporations and high-income individuals. Those legislative changes are stronger and more durable than executive actions, but getting laws through Congress can be slow—or nearly impossible if Republicans retain control of the Senate.”

“One change with broad Democratic support for reversal is a rule that limits what information some politically active nonprofit groups have to include on their tax returns. The Trump administration stopped collecting certain donor information from arms of groups such as the National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club, saying the data weren’t needed to enforce tax law. Democrats argued that the rule makes it easier for undisclosed money to influence elections.”


IRS to Notify Millions Who Missed Out on Relief Payments – William Hoffman, Tax Notes($). “Almost 9 million people will be sent IRS instructions on how to claim their overdue economic impact payments (EIPs) as the tax agency and tax professionals intensify their outreach to low-income and indigent individuals.”

“The IRS released state-by-state tallies of the number of individuals the agency hopes to reach with its latest pleas “so that state and local leaders and organizations can better understand the size of this population in their communities and assist them in claiming these important payments,” IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a September 17 statement. “Time is running out to claim a payment before the deadline.”

Senate Bill Would Provide Tax Breaks For Employees & Parents During COVID – Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes. “The bill was introduced by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and would provide tax deductions for certain business expenses, dependent care expenses, and elementary school education expenses, including virtual and at-home learning. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, where it currently sits.”


Last Chance For Covid-19-Related 401(K) Loans: September 22 – Ashlea Ebeling, Forbes. “Congress loosened the rules for taking money out of retirement accounts for those adversely affected by Covid-19, but even though the pandemic is still raging, there’s a deadline coming up for taking enhanced loans: It’s September 22. The deadline for taking 401(k) or IRA distributions under the special rules is December 31.”

The Perils of Waiting to the Last Minute – Russ Fox, Taxable Talk. “Not only can technology issues happen on a deadline day, but if you wait to the absolute last minute you don’t have time to effectively review the return.”

As we saw this week, there is never a convenient time for technology to fail. Long story short, get your preparer the documents he or she needs well before the deadline.


Premium tax credit unaffected by zeroing of personal exemptions – Dave Strausfeld, J.D., Journal of Accountancy. “In final regulations issued late Tuesday, the IRS clarified that a taxpayer’s ability to claim the health care premium tax credit is unaffected by the reduction of the personal exemption deduction to zero for tax years beginning after 2017 and before 2026, even though the calculation of the premium tax credit depends partly on the taxpayer’s personal exemptions (T.D. 9912).”

It makes sense that Democrats don’t want to repeal the Trump tax cuts – Scott Greenberg, No Withholding.

Three reasons Democrats do not want a full repeal:

  1. The 2017 tax law included item liked by Democrats, such as limiting deferral of offshore income and an expanded child tax credit.
  2. Repealing the law would increase middle class taxes.
  3. The cuts will largely expire at the end of 2025. They would avoid expending political energy repealing the law.

“While Congressional Democrats were quite unhappy about the passage of the 2017 tax act, I think they’ve realized correctly that it doesn’t make sense to repeal the entire law. If Democrats take the White House and Senate, they’ll likely pursue a more piecemeal set of changes to the Trump tax cuts: repealing or scaling back some provisions, while retaining or expanding others.”


Qantas offers a seven-hour flight to nowhere – CNN. “Australian airline Qantas recently announced plans for a seven-hour scenic flight that will perform a giant loop taking in Queensland and the Gold Coast, New South Wales and the country's remote outback heartlands.”

Qantas is also promising special on board entertainment and a surprise celebrity host.

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