Tax Reform Debate Update: 12/6/2017 | U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Dec 06, 2017 - 9:45am

Tax Reform Debate Update: 12/6/2017

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The Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Here is your daily round-up of news and analysis to keep you informed as tax reform works its way through Congress.

In the news

Chicago Tribune: “This tax deal will make America more prosperous

Good tax reform should make a complex economy more efficient and ultimately put money in people’s pockets. Some tax deals go heavy on benefiting individuals. This legislation does some of that. But the larger opportunity is on the business side, providing relief and investment incentives to employers. Therefore, our focus is on whether this bill reshapes tax policy in a way that helps Americans become more prosperous by spurring job and wage growth. We believe this tax reform bill will strengthen the American economy and create wealth, so we support passage.

CNBC: “House GOP leaders slam a last-minute business tax addition to the Senate tax bill

Top House Republicans are slamming a last-minute addition to the Senate tax bill that has drawn the scorn of corporate America.

In its frantic push to win votes for its tax plan on Friday, Senate Republicans added back a corporate alternative minimum tax, which a separate House plan would eliminate along with an individual AMT. The provision, which helped the Senate to offset the cost of other tax breaks in its plan, has now emerged as a sticking point as the chambers get set to work toward a joint, final bill.

"I think that both the individual and the corporate AMT — it's costly, it's complex — really on the business side, undermines many of the pro-growth and pro-American provisions in the tax code," Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who is set to lead the House and Senate conference committee, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.

On Monday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told CNBC that "I think [the corporate alternative minimum tax] has to be eliminated because that would destroy [research and development." The tax "should be eliminated for sure," McCarthy added.

Bloomberg: “Here’s Where the GOP Tax Plan Stands Right Now

Two influential GOP senators -- Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, one of the chamber’s main tax writers, along with Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee -- said their preference is to repeal the corporate AMT.

“I’m not a big AMT fan,” said Portman, who also wants to repeal the individual AMT. “I’d like to end up there, but we’ve got to do the back and forth with the House.”

Hatch added: “I’d like to get rid of it.”

In a last-minute change, the Senate bill preserved the corporate AMT at its current 20 percent rate, along with a modified version of the individual AMT. The House legislation repeals both levies.

From the U.S. Chamber

Caroline Harris: “The Alternative Minimum Tax Bombshell

Early Saturday morning Senate Republicans passed a major pro-growth tax reform bill. As U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said, “The decades-long drive toward meaningful tax reform is closer than ever to becoming a reality.”

The Senate’s package would lower rates for all businesses, shift the United States to a more globally competitive territorial tax system, and lower individual taxes, among other things.

Among those other things? A very unpleasant surprise in the form of the reinstatement of the corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT).

Repeal of the AMT has long been one of the policy pillars for pro-growth tax reform. It’s a step toward better tax policy because the AMT itself, like much of our current tax code, is an antiquated anachronism.

Tell Congress: The time is now to pass tax reform. 

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