Tax Update (January 14)
The Treasury Department cancelled its Opportunity Zone hearing which was scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 10), but furloughed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees may soon be recalled. The Opportunity Zones were created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) endorsed the Trump administration’s plans to recall thousands of IRS workers to process tax returns.
The Senate and White House have shown no interest in legislation approved by the House that would restore full funding for the IRS and Treasury Department through September 30.
Sen. Grassley released his tax priorities for the 116th Congress, which included the following: (1) “perfecting and improving” the TCJA; (2) “protecting and enhancing” retirement security; (3) “rigorous” oversight of the IRS; and (4) encouraging U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. Grassley seemed to be open to the possibility of a long-term phase down for several of the energy related extenders.
“I’ll explore proposals from the administration to provide further tax relief for middle-income individuals and families and work to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all domestic energy production, both above and below ground, including: supporting tax incentives for renewable and alternative energy sources; protecting a bipartisan agreement to phase out the wind energy production tax credit at the end of 2019 and providing long-term certainty for renewables needed to mature and become self-sustaining, including recently-expired incentives for biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol and alternative fuel mixtures,” Grassley said in the statement.
To read the full press release, click here.
New House Ways & Means Members
House Democrats added 10 new members to the Ways & Means Committee:
Gwen Moore (D-WI)
Dan Kildee (D-MI)
Brendan Boyle (D-PA)
Don Beyer (D-VA)
Dwight Evans (D-PA)
Tom Suozzi (D-NY)
Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)
Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
Brad Schneider (D-IL)
Steven Horsford (D-NV)
Several of the new members are from the Progressive Caucus. New member Don Beyer (D-VA) commented on Democrats plans to address a carbon tax pricing program.
“Ways and Means must lead the way on a carbon pricing program, and I am excited to serve on the Committee which will help develop this and other policies to address climate change,” Beyer said. To read the full press release, click here.
The Republican Steering Committee will meet on Tuesday (Jan. 15) and is expected to announce two new members. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Ron Estes (R-KS), and Mark Walker (R-NC) are all considered front-runners for the openings.