Tax News & Views Not in the Cards Roundup

March 6, 2023

Affordable Housing Among Bipartisan Tax Goals, Aide Says – Asha Glover, Law360 Tax Authority ($). The article reports that there is bipartisan, bicameral support for passing tax policies that would increase the affordable housing supply. It then states that an R&D fix and expanding the Child Tax Credit will likely not happen this year:

Sarah Schaefer, majority chief tax adviser for the Senate Finance Committee… said she's skeptical that either provision will be signed into law this year.

‘When there is action on those items, I don't see the conversation being any different than it was at year-end, and that is the position … that if we are doing corporate tax cut changes from the 2017 tax law, we need something on the child tax credit,’ she said. ‘I don't expect that discussion to change … the child tax credit is our priority.’

There is bipartisan, bicameral support to fix R&D. There isn't bipartisan, bicameral support to expand the CTC. 

If there is legislative action on taxes, it won't happen until a debt ceiling agreement is hashed-out - which is expected to be addressed in June or July:

Debt Ceiling Looms Over Possible Tax Legislation This Congress – Cady Stanton, Tax Notes ($). “Sarah Schaefer, chief tax adviser for the Finance Committee under Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said it’s ‘hard to see tax legislation’ on the horizon with the debt ceiling unaddressed.”


The Tax Angle: House Dems Mull Unfinished Business – Stephen Cooper, Law360 Tax Authority ($):

Democrats said that even though they have legislative achievements to tout, they will continue to work on their unfinished business over the next two years, especially in the area of economic equality. Chief among those priorities is repealing the $10,000 cap on state and local deductions enacted under the GOP's 2017 tax overhaul law.

House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., said Democrats are still going to push to expand the earned income tax credit, repeal the state and local tax deduction cap, and expand the child tax credit and the low-income housing tax credit.

At the risk of sounding like a sad trombone, Dems currently don’t control the House and hold very little sway in what the chamber approves. 


IRS Has Obligated $847 Million of its New Funds as of February – Naomi Jagoda, Bloomberg ($):

The Internal Revenue Service has committed to spending $847.6 million of the roughly $80 billion it received in last year’s tax-and-climate law as of February, the Treasury Department said Friday.

Of that amount, $426 million has been obligated for taxpayer services, $6.6 million for enforcement, $315.4 million for operations support and $99.6 million for business systems modernization, Treasury said.


IRS Funding Boost Has Aided Return Processing, Official Says – Asha Glover, Law360 Tax Authority ($). “The Internal Revenue Service is ahead of processing tax returns compared to last year in part thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act's nearly $80 billion funding boost for the agency, an official from the agency's Taxpayer Advocate Service said Friday.”


IRS to Expand Online Offerings in Coming Years, Official Says - Naomi Jagoda, Bloomberg ($). “The IRS in the next couple of years will expand its tools for taxpayers and tax professionals to interact with the agency online, as it further utilizes the funding it received in the tax-and-climate law, an agency official said Friday.”

‘I think as far as what you’re going to see in the next year or two, you will continue to see expansion of those digital options,’ Bridget Roberts, interim lead of the IRS’s transformation office, said at the Federal Bar Association’s Tax Law conference in Washington.


Treasury Working On Easement Law Guidance, Official Says – Kat Lucero, Law360 Tax Authority ($). “The U.S. Department of the Treasury is working to issue guidance by April 28 on how taxpayers can amend conservation easement deeds to align with a new law that limits charitable tax deductions for partnership-donated easements, an official said Friday.”


Wealth Taxes? A Lot of Discussion, Not Much Traction – Laura Mahoney and Michael Bologna, Bloomberg ($):

Taxing the wealthy is a mantra for Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and for plenty of progressive legislators in states like California, New York, and Illinois. So far, they haven’t gotten much traction. But if enough similarly focused organizations band together, could we see those higher taxes on the wealthy come to pass?

A wealth tax will not become law at the federal level as long as Republicans hold at least one chamber of Congress or the White House.


Nonprofit Urges Justices To Curb 'Avaricious' Takings – Chuck Slothower, Law360 Tax Authority ($):

Minnesota's ‘avaricious’ practice of allowing local governments to keep the surplus proceeds from seized property to satisfy a smaller debt violates the Fifth Amendment's takings clause, attorneys for the Atlantic Legal Foundation told the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday.

Minnesota DOR Issues Guidance on Estimated Tax Payment for Tax Professionals – Bloomberg ($). “The Minnesota Department of Revenue March 2 issued guidance on individual income tax estimated payments. The guidance provides updates for tax professionals on the many ways to make estimated Minnesota tax payments and provides frequently asked questions (FAQs) about estimated payments.”


Montana Governor Pledges to Sign Six Tax Relief Bills – Michael Bologna, Bloomberg ($):

Montana taxpayers will pocket nearly $1 billion under tax overhaul legislation that will send both income and property tax rebates to residents, permanently cut income taxes, and roll back taxes on capital gains.

Small business would benefit from cuts to Montana’s business equipment tax and large multistate corporations would gain relief under a bill bringing single sales factor apportionment into the corporate income tax code.

The tax package, dubbed “the six pack” by lawmakers, is headed to Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), who told a press conference Thursday that he would sign all six bills.


California Tax Filing Delay Is a Mixed Bag for Some Businesses – Laura Mahoney, Bloomberg ($). “California’s decision to extend tax filing and payment deadlines to Oct. 16 because of winter storm disruptions is good news and bad news for businesses that file state returns, especially if they are pass-through entities like partnerships.”


Murphy’s Record NJ Surplus Spurs Calls to Give Back to Taxpayers - Elise Young, Bloomberg ($). “New Jersey Republicans and business groups say Governor Phil Murphy’s plan for a record $10 billion rainy day fund is starving residents of money they need now.”


Treasury Official Highlights Top Concern in Book Minimum Tax Guidance - Lauren Vella, Bloomberg ($):

Tom West, deputy assistance secretary of tax policy at Treasury, explained Friday at the Federal Bar Association’s Tax Conference that the department felt that it had a ‘good steer’ from Congress on the treatment of mergers and acquisitions and were able to issue the initial guidance. However, he lamented ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’

West noted commenters suggested there was an issue with ‘the overlay of the tax depreciation rules with the financial accounting rules.’

It’s a ‘spot where we’ve heard from a lot of people that maybe things need to be tweaked,’ he continued.


From the “News that’s Not News” file:

Yellen to Meet Tax-Writing Panels in March on Biden Budget - Samantha Handler, Bloomberg ($):

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will testify before both tax-writing committees this month on President Joe Biden’s proposed budget.

Biden’s budget is set to be released March 9. Democratic tax staffers speaking at the Federal Bar Association’s Tax Law Conference in Washington said they are looking to see what the administration will propose on the Child Tax Credit and the US’s alignment to Pillar Two of the global tax deal—the 15% global minimum tax.

The President’s budget will grab a lot of headlines on the day it is released. After that, it’ll be benched because Republicans control the House, and they are not expected to follow any of its recommendations. In fact, the budget chairmen from both chambers do not expect to even pass a budget this year.  


A stroll down Sesame Street:

One of these things is not like the others. One of these things doesn’t belong.


Can you tell which thing is not like the other?

(Hint: Three are fun for your tongue and tummy; the other turns your mouth into a Hellscape.)

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