House Democrats may swap TCJA corrections for tax incentives for middle-income families. Tax Notes reports that the new majority plans to leverage the need for technical fixes to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to fulfill their desired priorities, like increasing the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Lawmakers have not yet decided when to introduce a bill.
Grassley working to extend expired tax breaks. Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley says there is some chance the so-called extenders will be included in the controversial budget/border wall bill now being considered by House and Senate negotiators, Politico reports. Grassley made no promises but said “there is a real interest in getting it done.” He added that any measure would extend all 28 of the tax breaks, House Ways & Means Committee chair Richard Neal said yesterday he too is looking for a way to get the extenders passed before tax season ends.
About the president’s tax returns. The House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Legislative Proposals and Tax Law Related to Presidential and Vice-Presidential Tax Returns,” next Thursday. The fate of President Trump’s tax returns is likely to come up.
And: A tax cut for 12 million seniors. Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee chair John Larson and 200 cosponsors proposed the Social Security 2100 Act that would raise the taxable income threshold for Social Security to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for married couples. Right now, benefits are taxed when other income exceeds $25,000 for individuals and $32,000 for married couples.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Raise the estate tax. The Vermont Independent introduced a bill yesterday that he says would raise the estate tax on the top 0.2 percent of earners. He’d boost the estate tax rate starting at 45 percent on estates worth between $3.5 million and $10 million and rising to 77 percent on estates worth more than $1 billion. Sanders, who proposed similar legislation when he ran for president in 2016, is considering another race in 2020.
Texas may soon limit its annual property tax growth. Both chambers of the GOP-controlled Texas legislature introduced identical local property tax bills that would limit the annual growth of property tax revenue collected by local taxing entities to 2.5 percent. Currently local taxing entities, excluding school districts, can increase property tax revenue by up to 8 percent every year, without an election.
Will Wisconsin raise its gas tax? Democratic Governor Tony Evers’ choice to lead the state’s Department of Transportation may recommend raising the state’s gas tax and vehicle fees. Secretary Craig Thompson says that since 2014, the state constitution has required those funds be spent on transportation. A task force will make revenue recommendations to Evers before the governor introduces his budget by February 28.
Check a box, save a half billion dollars. By “checking the box” on its tax forms, chip maker Qualcomm has reclassified several of its overseas units as US branches, reducing the company’s exposure to foreign tax provisions of the TCJA. The Wall Street Journal reports (paywall) that Qualcomm wouldn’t say whether the company moved any jobs or investments to the US.
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