United States: Tax Policy Update - November 17, 2015


The number of legislative days left until Dec. 11, when Congress must pass an omnibus spending bill to avert a government shutdown. House appropriators are holding "listening sessions" this week to give other lawmakers an opportunity to raise concerns and offer recommendations for the outstanding appropriations bills. Republicans are eager to use this must-pass, year-end spending package as a potential vehicle for a number of controversial policy riders: changes to Dodd-Frank, defunding of Planned Parenthood, lifting the U.S. crude oil ban, and language that would delay the Department of Labor's work to finalize a uniform fiduciary rule. The inclusion of any of these measures would jeopardize the omnibus, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned.

As the clock winds down, other big-ticket legislative items may also hitch a ride with the omnibus — namely, tax extenders. Lawmakers are still haggling over the extension of 52 tax provisions. How long should they be extended and should some of them be made permanent? These are the two big looming questions that lawmakers must answer soon.


House Extends Highway Reauthorization to Dec. 4. On Monday, the House approved, by voice vote, another temporary extension of the highway bill. The patch would take surface transportation programs to Dec. 4...

Portman: Still Chance for International Tax Reform in 2015. Hope springs eternal for the Ohio senator. At an international tax reform discussion hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center last week, Senator Rob Portman told the audience that...

Republican Presidential Candidates Talk Tax. Senator Marco Rubio was forced to defend his plan to create a new $2500 child tax credit at the GOP primary debate last Tuesday. Senator Rand Paul described the proposal as nothing but a new and costly entitlement program that is not "very conservative." Rubio said the partially refundable credit...


Major Disagreements on Scope of Threatens Future of FTT. Following a Nov. 9 meeting of European Finance Ministers, European Union member states are still unable to reach a consensus on the scope of the financial transactions tax (FTT) and on how it should be levied.

Big Banks to be Subject to New Accounting Rules. The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) recently voted on a new proposal that will force large banks and other financial institutions to follow new accounting rules on loan and other credit losses starting Jan. 1, 2019. The Board expects to issue the new standard on...

IRS Working on Guidance Related to Consolidated Returns. The IRS is working on a dozen guidance projects affecting consolidated returns, notorious for being one of the most complicated regimes in the tax code. The guidance will include final regulations on the redetermination of consolidated net unrealized built-in-gain and loss and will require a loss group or subgroup to re-determine its consolidated net built-in-gain and loss in certain circumstances. The revisions will also include...


Relevant Congressional Activity

Tuesday, 11/17

House Small Business Committee

The full committee holds a hearing on the benefits of entrepreneurship to the American economy. Read more here.

Wednesday, 11/18

House Budget Committee

The committee holds a hearing on "Does Biennial Budgeting Fit in a Rewrite of the Budget Process?" Read more here.

Relevant Agency Activity

Tuesday, 11/17

International Trade Commission

The commission holds a meeting on the "Economic Impact of Trade Agreements Implemented Under Trade Authorities Procedures, 2016 Report." For more information, contact Margaret O'Laughlin, 202.205.1819, Margaret.olaughlin@usitc.gov.

Wednesday, 11/18

Internal Revenue Service

The IRS's Taxpayer Advocate Service holds an inaugural international conference on taxpayer rights, Nov. 18-19. Read more here.

Thursday, 11/19

Securities and Exchange Commission

The SEC holds its annual Government-Business Forum on small business capital formation. Read more here.

Other Activity

Monday, 11/16

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The chamber holds a reception on "Will Savers Benefit? Protect Small Business Retirement: Stand up for Better Advice, More Choices, and Increased Savings," Nov. 16-17. The discussion will focus on the DOL's fiduciary rule.

G20 Leaders' Summit

G20 leaders continue their meetings in Antalya, Turkey.

Tuesday, 11/17

5th Anniversary of the "Tax Me" Campaign

Patriotic Millionaires hold a number of events to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Tax Me Campaign, Nov. 17-18. For more details, contact Justin Strekal, jstrekal@patrioticmillionaires.org.

Financial Services Roundtable

FSR holds the "Making Retirement Great Again." Participants include: Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; Conrad Woody, principal at Korn Ferry; Mikael Hallstrom, wealth adviser for the Congressional Credit Union; Saat Alety, communications director of Congressman Ed Royce; and Kevin Cirilli, reporter at Bloomberg News. Read more here.

Insured Retirement Institute

The IRI holds a discussion on retirement security issues. Participants include: Senate Veterans' Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; Kirstin Hill, managing director and head of retirement investing and income for Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Carolyn Johnson, president of annuities and tax exempt markets at Voya Financial; Nick Lane, senior executive director and head of U.S. Life and Retirement at AXA, and chairman of the IRI Board, among others. To register, contact Danielle Holland, 202.469.3007, dholland@irionline.org.

Wednesday, 11/18

Brookings Institution

Brookings holds a discussion on "Campaign 2016: Will Promises be Kept?" Discussions will include the federal budget deficit and health care policy. Read more here.

The Tax Council

The Tax Council holds its annual meeting and holiday luncheon with special guest Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). Policy experts will participate in panel discussions including: "Legislative Update & Outlook" - with chief tax counsels to the tax-writing committees, and; "Innovation: Thinking Outside the 'Box'" - a session on innovation incentives.

Thursday, 11/19

The Tax Foundation

The Tax Foundation is holding its 78th Annual Dinner at the Washington Ritz Carlton. Read more here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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