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Friday, June 12, 2015

Tax reform for 2015? Seems unlikely

Tax reform looked like a possibility when at the end of 2014, the new tax committee chairs spoke positively about it. For example, Senator Hatch issued his seven principles of tax reform and Congressman Ryan noted it might be doable by summer.  The Senate Finance Committee has held a few hearings on the topic. But ...
  • There is still insufficient consensus on what tax reform should look like and how to pay for it.
  • New ideas continue to be issued.
  • Congress continues to propose and even pass lesser reforms, such as making the sales tax deduction permanent, even though tax reform will most likely involve repealing the itemized deduction for all state taxes.
I've got a short article in the AICPA Tax Insider - Tax reform for 2015: One step forward, two steps back? (6/11/15).  It summarizes what has happened from December 2014 through May 2015 on tax reform, as well as summarizes some bills passed in the House and a sampling of those introduced that seem to indicate more that it is business as usual. For example, do we need the Hearing Aid Assistance Tax Credit Act (I have nothing against hearing aids, but why bog down the tax law with a subsidy for them and why have a subsidy for them at all)?  Also, it is contrary to tax reform of broadening the base and lowering rates.

What do you think about the tax reform agenda and timetable?  [article link]

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