Daily Tax Update - September 10, 2009

OBAMA:  “NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT”: Last night, in a joint session of Congress, President Obama urged Congress to stop “bickering” and pass a health care reform bill. The President said, “[T]he time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care.” The President continued, “The plan I'm announcing tonight would meet three basic goals. It will provide more security and stability to those who have health insurance. It will provide insurance for those who don't. And it will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.”

  • The President added, “It's a plan that incorporates ideas from many of the people in this room tonight--Democrats and Republicans. And I will continue to seek common ground in the weeks ahead. If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open. But know this: I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it's better politics to kill this plan than to improve it. I won't stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what's in this plan, we will call you out. And I will not--and I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now.”
  • Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid predicted Congress would pass a health care reform bill by Thanksgiving. Reid said, “I hope we can get it done well before Thanksgiving.”
  • The speech can be accessed here.  

MISCELLANEOUS GUIDANCE RELEASED TODAY:
Notice 2009-77 provides guidance as to the corporate bond weighted average interest rate and the permissible range of interest rates specified under § 412(b)(5)(B)(ii)(II) of the Internal Revenue Code. It also provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve (and the corresponding spot segment rates), the 24-month average segment rates, and the funding transitional segment rates under § 430(h)(2). In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under § 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008, and the minimum present value segment rates under § 417(e)(3)(D) as in effect for plan years beginning after 2007. 

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 9TH:
S.1656: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for the treatment of S corporations for purposes of election of the alternative tax on qualifying shipping activities, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Stabenow, Debbie [MI] (introduced 9/9/2009)      Cosponsors (3)

S.1657: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the exception from the 10 percent penalty for early withdrawals from government plans for qualified public safety employees.
Sponsor: Sen Nelson, Bill [FL] (introduced 9/9/2009)      Cosponsors (None)

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE - CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE:
As provided for in Treasury regulations, advice (if any) relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any plan or arrangement addressed herein.

STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP - TAX PRACTICE
Steptoe & Johnson LLP has one of the largest and most diverse law firm tax practices in the country. The practice covers the entire spectrum of federal taxation, including representation of businesses before the Congress, Treasury and the national office of the IRS; transactional planning for domestic and multinational corporations; complex audit and controversy work for corporations and other business interests contesting IRS adjustments; litigation before the Tax Court, Court of Federal Claims, district courts, courts of appeals and the Supreme Court. The firm's tax practice also encompasses all aspects of employee benefits (ERISA), executive compensation, tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving. Steptoe has an extensive state and local tax practice, representing an array of business clients on complex sales and use tax, corporate income tax and property tax matters, both advising those clients and handling audits, administrative appeals, and litigation for them. Read more information on Steptoe's tax practice.