Corporate tax reform talks continue—will there be reform in 2016? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes the effort and would rather see a comprehensive overhaul in 2017. The House Freedom Caucus has no interest in a bipartisan deal. But House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady and House Speaker Paul Ryan are moving ahead. Negotiators are trying to find a way to bring back $2.1 trillion in corporate profits currently held overseas. Still at issue: the rate at which to tax those profits upon their return to the US, the rate at which foreign earnings should be taxed in the future, and the way in which Congress would spend the money.
Meanwhile, the devil is in the… TaxAnalysts reports that the House tax reform task force will prepare a “consensus blueprint” for pro-growth tax reform by June. But Ways & Means Chair Kevin Brady says it may lack… details.
Also on the Hill, using Tax Day to bash the IRS. The House Rules Committee will meet today to consider the four IRS bills approved by the Ways & Means Committee last week. Tomorrow the House plans to vote on two bills that would require the IRS to provide a hard-copy version of a federal income tax handbook to taxpayers for free and prohibit the IRS from using its funds to target taxpayers exercising their free speech. Also tomorrow: the House Judiciary Committee’s Executive Overreach Task Force will hold a hearing to discuss IRS abuse and welfare reform. On Wednesday, the Joint Economic Committee will hold a hearing to determine how tax code complexity affects the economy.
Tax Day also seems like a good day to call for the commissioner’s head. Conservative lawmakers are aghast that the IRS processes tax returns of undocumented immigrants who use other people’s Social Security numbers to get jobs but file their taxes with IRS-issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. House Freedom Caucus leader Jim Jordan cites this as more proof that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen should be impeached. Representative Barbara Comstock says given all of the cybersecurity problems and data breaches the IRS has endured, Koskinen should resign.
Speaking of cybersecurity… Tax preparers’ computers are at risk too. The IRS warns of a new scam in which cyber-thieves hijack a preparer’s computer system, file client tax returns, and redirect refunds to thieves’ accounts. Tomorrow the House Ways & Means panel’s Subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing on the state of the 2016 tax filing season, and examine efforts to prevent cybersecurity failures.
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