Daily Tax Update - June 24, 2005

HIGHWAY CONFEREES AGREE TO $286.5 BILLION FUNDING LEVEL:
House and Senate highway reauthorization bill conferees agreed yesterday on a deal that would strike the tax title proposed in the Senate version of the bill. Congressional staff confirmed that both sides had agreed that the conference report for the transportation bill (H.R. 3) would cost $286.5 billion in total funding. That amount is slightly larger than the House passed bill, but less than the amount in the Senate bill.

  • Senate Finance Committee Ranking member Max Baucus (D-MT) said it was premature to say what would be needed on the tax title, but the low funding level makes it unlikely any of the major offsets would be needed or accepted by the House.
  • Numerous details remain to be worked out among the conferees before the conference is completed. Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) said, "We're very, very close." The Chairman of the Conference, House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Don Young (R-AK), said, "Nothing's decided." The conferees are continuing their discussions today in an effort to finish by June 30.

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED JUNE 23:

  • S. 1292 sponsored by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) would allow a credit against income tax for expenses incurred in tele-working.
  • S. 1293 sponsored by Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY) would permit the consolidation of life insurance companies with other companies.
  • S. 1302 sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) would stop the Congress from spending Social Security surpluses on other Government programs by dedicating those surpluses to personal accounts that can only be used to pay Social Security benefits.
  • S. 1304 sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) would protect pension benefits of employees in defined benefit plans and direct the Secretary of the Treasury to enforce the age discrimination requirements of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. 
  • S. 1305 sponsored by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) would increase tax benefits for parents with children.

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