Daily Tax Update - March 2, 2012: Treasury, Tax Committee Leaders Meet To Discuss Tax Reform

TREASURY, TAX COMMITTEE LEADERS MEET TO DISCUSS TAX REFORM:  Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner met yesterday with the four top members of the tax-writing committees to discuss the administration’s plans for tax reform.  Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus and ranking member Orrin Hatch as well as House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and ranking member Sander Levin attended the meeting.  A staff member said that the meeting was a "kick-off discussion" and said that the group is likely to meet again.  A Treasury spokesperson said that although the "conventional wisdom" is that tax reform will be delayed until after the election, there are a number of "action-forcing events" taking place in that may accelerate movement on tax reform, including the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  The spokesperson said, "We have an opportunity and a sense of urgency. The hope is to move forward."

  • In remarks yesterday at the USA Branch of the International Fiscal Association, Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Tax Affairs Manal Corwin said that the Obama administration believes any move to a pure territorial system should be rejected as part of efforts to reform the tax code.
  • Today at the Federal Bar Association's 2012 Tax Law Conference, House Ways and Means Committee chief tax counsel Dave Olander said, "No one is seriously discussing an absolutely pure, 100 percent territorial model.  I don't think anyone is purely suggesting a 100 percent worldwide mode.  This is one of those instances where details matter a lot."  Finance chief tax counsel Michael A. Hauswirth concurred saying, "Don't get hung up on the term 'territorial' or 'worldwide.' It will be some sort of hybrid system."

MISCELLANEOUS GUIDANCE RELEASED:

The winter 2012 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin, which features preliminary data for 143 million individual income tax returns filed for tax year 2010, was released today.

Revenue Procedure 2012-23 contains tables showing the limits of depreciation deductions under section 280F for automobiles placed in service in 2012.

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED MARCH 1ST:

1. [112nd] H.R.4123 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit the Secretary of the Treasury to issue prospective guidance clarifying the employment status of individuals for purposes of employment taxes and to prevent retroactive assessments with respect to such clarifications.
Sponsor: Rep McDermott, Jim [WA-7] (introduced 3/1/2012)      Cosponsors (27)
Committees: House Ways and Means
Latest Major Action: 3/1/2012 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

2. [112nd] S.2145 : A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit the Secretary of the Treasury to issue prospective guidance clarifying the employment status of individuals for purposes of employment taxes and to prevent retroactive assessments with respect to such clarifications.
Sponsor: Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] (introduced 3/1/2012)      Cosponsors (8)
Committees: Senate Finance
Latest Major Action: 3/1/2012 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

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.