• Time Ticking on Tax Reform
  • June 2, 2015
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • Few issues have gotten more attention over the last couple years as comprehensive tax reform - and yet it appears the window of opportunity to get something done is closing yet again.

    Tax writers in Congress thought they had the rest of the year to put together a new corporate tax scheme for the country, but now they have a new deadline—July 31. If negotiators don't come up with some kind of basic agreement by then, it will be almost impossible to implement anything but a few routine extensions of popular tax breaks before the 2016 election.

    Staffers from both the House and the Senate tax writing committees said Monday that their panels haven't given up on putting together a corporate tax overhaul this year. The Finance Committee working groups are expected to submit their reports on possible areas of agreement on tax changes at the end of the month, and they will try to draft those possibilities into legislation in June and July.

    But House GOP leaders last week punted at their first opportunity to move the tax reform ball forward. Now, aides involved in the effort say, the overall task is harder.

    If it doesn't happen this year, tax reform in 2016 is virtually out of the question. There are too many presidential candidates in Congress who would be reluctant to vote on a tax package that directly impacts very few voters. Individual taxes aren't expected to be part of the reform bill, lawmakers and analysts agree.

    Meanwhile, Democrats are becoming louder in their protest over linking any tax reform bill to a must-pass transportation bill. They argue that short-term extensions of Highway Trust Fund authority cannot continue with the carrot-and-stick lure of tax reform at the end of each postponement.