Daily Tax Update - June 21, 2005

SENATE HIGHWAY CONFEREES MAKE $290 BILLION OFFER:
During yesterday’s deliberations in the highway reauthorization bill conference committee meeting, the Senate conferees proposed to the House conferees an offer of $290 billion for federal highway and transit programs over the next six years. Senate Finance Chairman Grassley said the lower offer from the Senate would still ensure that certain offsets included in the Senate bill would remain, including efforts to combat aviation fuel fraud and an excise tax overhaul package.

  • However, a Senate Republican leadership aide said yesterday the Senate offer "is not signable." The Administration and the House conferees have stated that they are opposed to any bill costing more than $284 billion.

WAYS AND MEANS SUBCOMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON PENSION BILL:
On June 28, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures will hold a hearing on the multiemployer pension provisions of H.R. 2830, the "Pension Protection Act of 2005." In announcing the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) stated, "This bill seeks to address the shortfalls in the pension funding requirements that have led to the underfunding of many of our Nation’s pensions programs.  The changes will help increase the transparency of the funding status of multiemployer pension plans and provide new tools to enable troubled plans to regain their financial health."

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED JUNE 20:

  • H.R. 2987 sponsored by Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) would allow the deduction for State and local income and property taxes under the alternative minimum tax.
  • H.R. 2989 sponsored by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) would increase, extend, and make permanent the above-the-line deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers.
  • H.R. 2994 sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) would make qualified tuition programs permanent and allow a deduction for amounts contributed to qualified tuition programs.

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