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Tax Update (June 18)

Jun 18, 2019 | SHARE  
IRS Reform

Earlier this week, the House unanimously passed H.R. 1957, the Taxpayer First Act of 2019. The legislation includes provisions aimed at improving the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which includes bolstering the agency’s customer service, strengthening taxpayers’ rights during enforcement process, improving the agency’s information technology, and helping victims of tax-related identity theft.[1] The House passed a previous version of the bill in April, but it was reintroduced last week without the controversial “Free File” provision. That provision provided the agency to partner with tax-filing companies to offer free filing for low and middle-income taxpayers. Democrats showed concern over allowing these companies to codifying the program and wanted the IRS to offer it’s own free filing program. The legislation passed the Senate by unanimous consent passed on Thursday (June 13) and now moves to President Trump’s desk.


Extenders

On Tuesday (June 11), House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) unveiled a proposal to extend expired tax incentives for three years and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for two years. The proposal is already facing Republican opposition due to the concern over the of an estate tax boost and a two-year, 1 percent increase in the corporate tax rate to offset costs.[2] Both pay-fors will likely stall the plan in the Republican-controlled Senate. Nevertheless, Chairman Neal is pressing forward with a tentative markup scheduled for June 20.


Tax Legislation

The Carbon Capture Improvement Act of 2019, introduced by Senate Finance Committee member Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), would provide for tax-exempt bonds for carbon dioxide capture facilities. If passed, the bill would allow businesses a longer period of time to pay back private activity bonds and would allow projects to be fully financed if more than 65 percent if a facility’s emissions are successfully stored underground. The legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) who believes the proposal is a “win-win for jobs and the environment”. [3]


Opportunity Zones Podcast

This week, Opportunity Funds Association’s (OFA) President Shay Hawkins joined the Opportunity Zones Podcast hosted by Jimmy Atkinson, founder of OpportunityDB, an opportunity zone database website. To listen to the podcast, click here.


References

[1] Naomi Jagoda, “House passes bipartisan IRS reform bill without ‘Free File’ provision” The Hill, 06/10/2019, https://thehill.com/policy/finance/447766-house-passes-bipartisan-irs-reform-bill-without-free-file-provision

[2] Aaron Lorenzo, “Neal proposes 3-year extenders package tied to tax credits boost” Politico Pro, 06/11/2019. https://subscriber.politicopro.com/article/2019/06/neal-proposes-3-year-extenders-package-tied-to-tax-credits-boost-1521785

[3] Chris Galford, “Reintroduced senate bill seeks carbon emissions reduction through carbon capture and storage projects” Daily Energy Insider, 06/13/2019 https://dailyenergyinsider.com/news/19929-reintroduced-senate-bill-seeks-carbon-emissions-reduction-through-carbon-capture-and-storage-projects/

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