Featured Articles

Senate Tax Bill, Process ‘About a Week Behind’ House, Crapo Says

Posted on November 2, 2017 by Dylan F. Moroses

The Senate Finance Committee will produce its own tax reform package “about a week behind” the House’s timetable, which is expected to begin November 2, according to a Finance Committee member.

Senate taxwriter Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, told Tax Analysts November 1 that although timing remains fluid, “the Finance Committee will develop its own bill, and my understanding is, if everybody sticks to the current plan, [we move] about a week behind the House in each step.”

Crapo added that “if the House marks up [its bill] next week, then we expect the Senate would mark up the following week.” Once the House and Senate pass their separate bills, “the current idea is that we’ll go into a conference,” Crapo said.

Asked about a document circulating on Capitol Hill detailing several provisions to raise revenue from domestic corporate operations, many of which were pulled from the 2014 comprehensive tax reform bill draft developed by former House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp, Crapo told Tax Analysts he was aware of the document and its contents, but had not reviewed it himself.

Concerning the validity of the document, a spokesperson for the Finance Committee majority said only that the committee “is busy working on tax reform for American families and job creators. It does not have time to focus on ‘lists’ floating around K Street. And at the end of the day, the only document that matters is the chairman's mark.”

A tax lobbyist later confirmed to Tax Analysts that the document, titled “potential corporate offsets,” came from the Senate Finance Committee. It lists provisions that would affect insurance companies, tax-exempt entities, and the so-called gig economy.

Two proposals in the list that were not included in Camp’s bill would subject tax-exempt organizations to a 25 percent excise tax on some executive compensation in excess of $1 million, and would create a safe harbor for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor and reform related reporting and withholding rules.

Crapo suggested the Senate’s tax reform discussions could include the corporate integration proposal of Finance Committee Chair Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, which would equalize the treatment of debt and equity and allow corporations to deduct dividends paid to help alleviate the double taxation of corporate earnings.

“I believe it could be, and there’s a lot of merit in what he was working on. . . . I don’t know if it fits with what’s currently being drafted. I don’t want to create the impression that it is being used, but to me it could be,” Crapo said.

Follow Dylan F. Moroses (@DMoroses3244) on Twitter for real-time updates.