Daily Tax Update - October 15, 2015: Treasury Sets Earlier Deadline for Congress to Raise Debt Limit

Treasury Sets Earlier Deadline for Congress to Raise Debt Limit:  Today, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to inform him that, “[b]ased on our best and most recent information,” the debt limit will be reached on November 3.  In a letter sent to Speaker Boehner on October 1, Secretary Lew had estimated that the debt limit would be reached on November 5, although he noted that such estimate could change.  In the letter sent today, Secretary Lew “respectfully urge[d] Congress to take action as soon as possible, raise the debt limit without delay, and remove an unnecessary threat to our economy.”  

Social Security Administration Announces That FICA Wage Base Will Remain the Same in 2016:  Today, the Social Security Administration announced that the maximum amount of wage income subject to the social security portion of the payroll tax (the wage base) will remain at $118,500.  The social security portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax is set by statute at 6.2% and is payable by both employers and employees.  In 2016, an individual with wages equal to or greater than $118,500 would contribute $7,347 to social security and his or her employer would contribute the same amount.  In 2016, the social security tax for self-employment income is 12.4%.   

IRS Releases Proposed Update to U.S. Tax Court Appeals Process:  Today, the IRS issued Notice 2015-72, which provides a proposed revenue procedure that would update Revenue Procedure 87-24.  Revenue Procedure 87-24 describes the practices for the administrative appeals process in cases docketed in the U.S. Tax Court.  According to the notice, Revenue Procedure 87-24 “needs to be updated to more accurately reflect the procedures utilized in managing the flow of docketed cases between the Office of Appeals . . . and the Office of Chief Counsel.”  Comments on the procedures contained in the proposed update should be submitted by November 16.