Treasury names acting IRS Commissioner. Deputy commissioner Douglas O’Donnell, a long-time career agency staffer, will take over when Commissioner Charles Rettig’s term ends Nov. 12. No word on when President Biden will make a permanent pick. If Democrats lose their Senate majority, Biden may need to get a new commissioner confirmed in less than two months or risk seeing his nomination blocked. The new commissioner will need to work with Republicans, some of whom vow to repeal $80 billion in new IRS funding Congress approved earlier this year.
DC circuit: No rehearing in Trump effort to block Congress from seeing his tax returns. For years, former President Trump has resisted the House Ways & Means Committee’s request for his tax returns. In August, a three-judge panel unanimously denied his latest attempt to block that request. Now the full appeals court has refused to rehear the case. Last stop: The US Supreme Court.
TPC: The number of those who don’t pay federal income tax drops to pre-pandemic levels. TPC’s Howard Gleckman outlines the latest TPC analysis: About 72.5 million households, or roughly 40 percent, will pay no federal income tax this year, significantly fewer than the 59.3 percent at the height of the pandemic-driven recession in 2020. Pre-pandemic, that share ranged between 42 percent and 43 percent. About 30 million households, or 16.5 percent, will pay neither federal income tax nor payroll taxes this year, well below 20 percent in 2020 and roughly consistent with pre-pandemic levels. For the most part, people don’t pay income tax because they have little income.
Tune in this afternoon: The future of business taxes after the Inflation Reduction Act. Join TPC for a virtual event today at 2:00 pm with Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy Lily Batchelder. After her keynote address, two expert panels will discuss the IRA’s new corporate tax and green-energy provisions. Learn more and register here.
It’s good that politicians are arguing about Social Security again. So says TPC’s Howard Gleckman. In about a dozen years, the Social Security Old Age trust fund will be insolvent and able to pay only about three-quarters of its promised benefits. Given that very real deadline, Howard wonders whether the latest squabbling could start the effort to fix Social Security before it is too late. “Talking, even shouting, at least is a start.”
Cannabis taxes, enacted and on ballots, are complicated. Voters in nine states will consider cannabis initiatives next week and in 2023 and 2024. Most will decide to join 19 other states that allow legal and taxable marijuana sales. TPC’s Richard Auxier explains that voters don’t have the last word, however. Lawmakers often change cannabis tax laws after referendums, to fill in gaps, generate more revenue, or assist legal cannabis businesses.
The Prescription: Covid, commercial real estate, and taxes. Join NYU economist Arpit Gupta and TPC’s Howard Gleckman on Thursday at Noon for TPC’s webcast, The Prescription. Gupta will talk about how the rise of remote work could result in a long-term decline in commercial property values and what that means for state and local government finances and economic development. Register here:
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