Daily Tax Update - June 24, 2009

OBAMA: HEALTH CARE REFORM “ABSOLUTELY” HAS TO PASS THIS YEAR:  Today, President Obama said that he "absolutely" believes health care reform will be passed by the end of the year and that the country will be "worse off" without an overhaul of the health care system. The President said, “If we don't change. If we don't reform the system. Then people are going to lose their health care. Or it's going to take a bigger and bigger chunk of their paycheck. Or their employer is going to start dropping coverage. Or the Federal Government is going to stop – being able to reimburse everything on Medicare and Medicaid.” The President added, “We're going to get it done...We're dealing here in Washington with an enormous federal deficit and debt that is largely driven by health care costs. So, whether it's families, business or government, we know that we're going to have to reform this system.” 

  • The President did not say whether he would sign a bill that taxes health care benefits. Obama did say, “I’m going to wait and see what ideas they come up with. I suspect that when they start seeing what the options are, they might end up concluding that the options we're presenting are the best ones.”
  • Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said that the cost of the bill would be fully offset. Rangel said, “We will only do what we can afford.”

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED JUNE 23RD:
H.R.2989: To amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to provide special reporting and disclosure rules for individual account plans and to provide a minimum investment option requirement for such plans, to amend such Act to provide for independent investment advice for participants and beneficiaries under individual account plans, and to amend such Act and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide transitional relief under certain pension funding rules added by the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Sponsor: Rep Miller, George [CA-7] (introduced 6/23/2009)      Cosponsors(1)

H.R.2992: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit the use of public funds for political party conventions.
Sponsor: Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] (introduced 6/23/2009)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.2993: To amend chapters 95 and 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to terminate taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns.
Sponsor: Rep Cole, Tom [OK-4] (introduced 6/23/2009)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.3004: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income gain from the conversion of property by reason of eminent domain.
Sponsor: Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11] (introduced 6/23/2009)      Cosponsors (19)

S.1321: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit for property labeled under the Environmental Protection Agency Water Sense program.
Sponsor: Sen Udall, Mark [CO] (introduced 6/23/2009)      Cosponsors (1)

S.1325: A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend and modify the section 45 credit for refined coal from steel industry fuel, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Sen Specter, Arlen [PA] (introduced 6/23/2009)      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.