Daily Tax Update - February 25, 2010

REPUBLICANS URGE PRESIDENT TO “START OVER” ON HEALTH CARE REFORM: At today’s bipartisan health summit, Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander said, “We would like, respectfully, to change the direction you're going on health care costs...We believe we have a better idea.” Alexander added, “This is a car that can't be recalled and fixed and we ought to start over.” Alexander also urged the President not to try to force the bill through the Senate using reconciliation procedures. Alexander called on the President to “renounce jamming [the bill] through in a partisan way and if we don't, then the rest of what we do today will not be relevant."

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid responded, “Lamar, you’re entitled to your opinion but not your wrong facts. No one is talking about reconciliation, but that’s what you folks have been talking about ever since it came out. We, as leaders, have not talked about doing reconciliation for this as the only way out.”
  • The President expressed hope that the two parties could find common ground. Obama said, “Maybe we have some honest disagreements and we can’t bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans on this. But...I hope this isn’t political theater where we’re just playing to the cameras and criticizing each other instead of actually trying to solve the problem. That’s not what the American people are looking for.”
  • In other news, Senate Majority Leader Reid said that he wants to introduce legislation this week containing a package of expiring tax provisions and hopes to pass the bill next week.

TAX BILL INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 24th:
H.R.4679 : To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to assist in the recovery and development of the Virgin Islands by providing for a reduction in the tax imposed on distributions from certain retirement plans' assets which are invested for at least 30 years, subject to defined withdrawals, under a Virgin Islands investment program.
Sponsor: Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] (introduced 2/24/2010)   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
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