Tax News & Views Involves the President Roundup

September 23, 2021

Biden meetings don’t stabilize Democrats’ economic agenda - Lindsey McPherson, Roll Call:

President Joe Biden held a series of meetings Wednesday with key Democratic lawmakers in an effort to get his economic agenda back on track, but the sessions with leadership, moderates and progressives produced no signs of a major breakthrough.

Most crucially, the president didn't resolve the immediate issue dividing Democrats — the timing of passing the first of the two pieces of his economic agenda.

I still can't imagine Congressional Democrats letting the big Biden agenda fail completely, but maybe I should start hedging my bets.


State of Play: Where Negotiations Stand on Biden’s Economic Agenda - Jay Heflin, Eide Bailly:

Republicans in both chambers are expected to oppose the budget reconciliation bill. This means that the House can only lose three Democratic votes and the Senate cannot lose a single Democratic vote before it fails. These are very tight margins, and it remains to be seen if Democratic leaders can corral enough support for these bills.  

On the infrastructure bill, certain House lawmakers have tied its fate to passing the reconciliation bill and it's not clear if passage will occur.  


Biden Pushes Democrats to Find Consensus on Budget Package - Ken Thomas, Andrew Duehren and Kristina Peterson, Wall Street Journal. "Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), who has called the $3.5 trillion price tag too high, told reporters that Mr. Biden asked them to 'find a number you’re comfortable with' based on what programs they think should be included. Mr. Manchin also noted that he still had 'big problems' with many of the climate provisions"


House Dems Fear 1993 Redux on Tax Bill by Uncertain Senate - Doug Sword, Tax Notes ($):

House members were unnecessarily on record supporting an unpopular tax increase that the Senate never had to vote on. A repeat is something House Democrats want to avoid.

“And then what happened in 1994?” asked Ways and Means Committee member Daniel T. Kildee, D-Mich. “We lost the majority.”


Batchelder confirmed as next Assistant Treasury Secretary for tax policy - Jay Heflin, Eide Bailly. "Batchelder comes to Treasury after being a tax professor at NYU law school, but she is no stranger to Washington. She worked in the Obama Administration as Deputy Director of the White House National Economic Council. Prior to this position, she was the Chief Tax Counsel for the Democratic side of the Senate Finance Committee."

Pot Banking Measure Approved as Amendment to House Defense Bill - Wesley Elmore, Tax Notes. Supporters of legislation to increase cannabis businesses’ access to banking services scored another victory in the House, attaching the measure to a defense bill in hopes of getting it through a Senate that’s been reluctant to pass it separately from broader marijuana reforms.

What You Need to Know About the Current Federal Tax Proposals - Kelly Phillips Erb, Bloomberg. "Keep in mind that a lot can happen while legislation moves through Congress, especially with Democrats hold razor-thin majorities in both chambers."

3 collection agencies awarded new IRS tax debt contracts - Kay Bell, Don't Mess With Taxes. "You likely will hear from one of the IRS-designated private collection agencies if your tax account has been designated by the IRS as inactive. This is where the agency believes you owe money, but is not actively working to collect it."


IRS Enjoined from Enforcing Tax Shelter Notice Requirement for Material Advisor for Microcaptive Transactions - Jack Townsend, Federal Tax Procedure. "This is a major win for the tax shelter industry but probably not the last word in this saga."

Bumps in the Road Sequel: Update on the Filing Season Challenges: Part II - NTA Blog. "Although several factors have constrained the IRS’s ability to quickly process backlogged inventory, it has fewer limitations with transparency and providing taxpayers regular updates on processing returns. Without more specific information on IRS tools or updates on its backlogged inventory, taxpayers are left wondering about their refund status, waiting for their refunds to arrive, or hoping to hear something from the IRS."


California Court Restores Employment Treatment for Uber, Lyft Drivers - Neil Udulutch and Todd Folle, Eide Bailly:

California appears to be moving away from classifying app-based workers as independent contractors. This shift comes as many individuals in the “gig economy” use rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft as a way to earn a living. The overturning of Proposition 22 means that, at least in the interim, companies like Uber and Lyft will need to provide their California drivers with benefits options and treat them as employees. 

Expect higher prices or fewer ride-share operators.


Garrett: States Could Apply MTC’s P.L. 86-272 Approach on Audit - Amy Hamilton, Tax Notes ($). "Instead of going through the legislative or regulatory process, states might simply apply on audit the Multistate Tax Commission's interpretation of whether internet business activities are protected by P.L. 82-272, a prominent practitioner has cautioned."

Related: Is it War?

A Sirius Tax Matter in Texas - Roxanne Bland, Tax Notes. "To put it bluntly, the appellate court’s decision that Sirius’s receipts should be attributed to Texas is illogical. If the state’s standard for attributing receipts is origin-based — that is, based on where the services are performed — it is hard to see how Sirius’s service, created and developed out of state and received by Texas subscribers, can be deemed to have been performed in Texas."


Interview: Breaking Down the Cryptocurrency Tax Proposals in Congress - Marie Sapirie and Jordan Bass, Tax Notes Opinions. "What this would honestly do, not necessarily from a revenue-raising standpoint, is this would create a level of additional reporting requirements that quite frankly most of these digital asset businesses don't have the infrastructure in place, and probably can't actually provide the information for these transfers. It creates an additional reporting requirement that might not be able to be fulfilled by some of the smaller actors."

Reviewing Business Tax Expenditures: Credit Union Tax Exemption - Erica York, Tax Policy Blog. "Some provisions, however, such as the exemption for credit union income, clearly distort economic activity by narrowly targeting tax preferences on one industry. Tax expenditures like the credit union exemption could be reformed, and the resulting revenue used to further improve the corporate tax base or pay for new spending."

How To Fix the Problem of Small Retirement Accounts - William Gale, TaxVox. "Not only do many American fail to save enough for retirement, but many workers are plagued by a different, but related problem: They have collected multiple small job-based retirement accounts such as 401(k)’s. This is a problem because, when changing jobs, workers are more likely to cash out or lose track of small accounts compared with larger accounts.  And administrative and management fees often eat away at the balances in small accounts."

The Uncertainty of Tax Deadline Relief When Disaster Strikes - Thomas Spade, Tax Notes ($). "Congress later tried to automatically grant a 60-day extension of time to file in case of any federally declared disaster or emergency. However, recently issued regulations show that the IRS doesn’t appear to be following the intent of Congress. Thus, many taxpayers and practitioners who may face an impending hurricane might find themselves with an unenviable choice: Follow the governor’s order and evacuate or stay behind and risk injury or death in order to meet a filing deadline."

I only regret that I have but one life to lose for timely tax compliance.


Woof. Today is National Dogs in Politics Day. But vultures, hyenas and jackals run the show.

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