Accounting Today visitors: Click here for the Lincoln year-end planning link.
The bill now moves to the Senate, which has not yet scheduled a vote. The Hill reports that Senate Democrats have given up on promoting a competing bill, which probably means they will go along with the House bill. While the President has not said he would sign the House bill, he hasn’t threatened a veto; that probably means he will go along.
The expired tax provisions revived by the bill include the $500,000 Section 179 limit, 50% bonus depreciation, the research credit, and the five-year built-in gain period for S corporations. They also include crony subsidies like energy production credits and accelerated depreciation for racetracks. A compromise plan to extend some of the provisions permanently collapsed when the President threatened to veto it.
The house-passed bill only extends the tax breaks that expired at the end of last year through the end of this month. That means the new Congress will have to do this again in 2015. Let’s hope they get an earlier start than they did this year.
Wall Street Journal, House Approves Temporary Tax Breaks
Accounting Today, House Passes $42 Billion Plan to Revive U.S. Tax Breaks for 2014
Gas Tax Fever! The Greater Des Moines Partnership unveiled its legislative agenda yesterday. While it has a few good ideas, like reviewing Iowa’s pension plans for soundness, its priorities are crony-capitalist items like support for economic development tax credits and “public-private partnerships.” Its weak tax reform plank supports the Alternative Maximum Tax, which would allow individuals to choose an optional low-rate, broad base system. You’ll look in vain for anything specific to improve Iowa’s bottom-ten business tax climate — just a general call for lower rates. That may be because many large corporations have learned to use Iowa’s rats nest of special interest breaks and crony tax credits to their advantage.
The agenda also includes support for an increase in the gas tax to fund road projects. That plank has some policy logic behind it, but it also is a tough sell. Caffeinated Thoughts reports that Iowans for Tax Relief has already come out against it. ITR opposition makes it hard for many GOP legislators to support the increase. Maybe that’s why the Sioux City Journal is reporting “Iowa legislative leaders murky on gas tax increase”
Robert D. Flach, IT AIN’T NECESSARILY SO – H&R BLOCK CEO ALLEGEDLY CARES ABOUT EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE TAX ADMINISTRATION. “Here is what is a good idea for proper efficient and effective tax administration – remove the Earned Income Credit, and all other government social welfare and other benefit programs, from the Tax Code.” Amen, Brother Robert.
Jason Dinesen, who is a pioneer in the taxation of same-sex married couples, offers A Brief History of Marriage in the Tax Code: Introduction
Paul Neiffer, Irrigation Systems – Is that 7 or 15 Years? Depends on whether it’s buried.
Tony Nitti, Sorry Mr. Ryan, But Corporate-Only Tax Reform Doesn’t Work. Somebody tell the President.
Jeff Stimpson, In the Blogs: Start Your Engines (Accounting Today)
TaxProf, The IRS Scandal, Day 574. Yes, there are thousands of e-mails that may show the IRS improperly accessed confidential taxpayer records. Releasing them might violate taxpayer confidentiality, so they stay secret. How convenient.
The return confidentiality rules should be amended so that those abusing them can’t also hide behind them.
Alan Cole, Bonus Depreciation is a Step Towards Fair Tax Accounting (Tax Policy Blog).
Elaine Maag, Why the More Generous Child and Earned Income Tax Credits Should Be Made Permanent (TaxVox). Because we like having 20% of it wasted or stolen?
Tax Justice Blog, Dave Camp’s Reform Plan Should Not Be the Starting Point for the Tax Debate.
Cara Griffith, Transparency Concerns Linger in Washington State (Tax Analysts Blog) Cockroaches and administrators tend to prefer darkness.
Career Corner. Protip for Future CPAs: Forging Signatures on Your Work Experience Form is Dumb (Adrienne Gonzalez, Going Concern)