White House said to re­lease some tax plan de­tails next month

Muscat Daily - - BUSINESS -

Washington, US - White House tax ne­go­tia­tors and con­gres­sional lead­ers are still plan­ning to re­lease a doc­u­ment in Septem­ber out­lin­ing agreed-upon prin­ci­ples that will serve as a frame­work for a tax bill, ac­cord­ing to a White House of­fi­cial.

The doc­u­ment is ex­pected to ex­pand on a two page press re­lease last month from the so­called Big Six in­volved in tax dis­cus­sions, said the of­fi­cial who asked not to be named be­cause ne­go­ti­a­tions are pri­vate. It was un­clear af­ter that press re­lease was is­sued if there would be ad­di­tional de­tails forth­com­ing be­fore tax writ­ers started draft­ing leg­isla­tive text. Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil direc­tor Gary Cohn, a mem­ber of the Big Six, had pre­vi­ously said a tax frame­work would be re­leased af­ter labour day.

Kevin Brady, chair­man of the tax-writ­ing House Ways and Means Com­mit­tee, said dur­ing an in­ter­view on Fri­day on Bloomberg TV that House and Se­nate tax writ­ers were con­tin­u­ing to work on the de­tails of a re­vamp over the Au­gust re­cess.

“We are on sched­ule to move this to the Pres­i­dent’s desk this year,” Brady of Texas said. “It is an ag­gres­sive timetable, no ques­tion about that.”

Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials have said they’re com­mit­ted to a per­ma­nent tax over­haul, and the plan is to start hear­ings and a markup of a tax bill af­ter labour day so a ver­sion can get through the House in October and the Se­nate in Novem­ber. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Se­nate ma­jor­ity leader Mitch McCon­nell of Ken­tucky have sparred in re­cent days over the amount of time needed to pass com­pli­cated leg­is­la­tion, such as re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing Oba­macare.

Reuters re­ported on Thurs­day that the White House and con­gres­sional lead­ers would be re­leas­ing a three to five page doc­u­ment out­lin­ing tax princi- ples in early to mid-Septem­ber. The page range hasn’t been firmly set, the White House of­fi­cial said.

A tax over­haul will re­quire a del­i­cate bal­anc­ing act, and one that has be­dev­iled ne­go­tia­tors in the past. A major tax re­vamp hasn’t been passed in more than three decades, and the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is un­der pres­sure af­ter an­other leg­isla­tive ef­fort - re­peal­ing and re­plac­ing the 2010 health-care leg­is­la­tion - failed last month.

The White House has said it wants to lower cor­po­rate and in­di­vid­ual tax rates, elim­i­nate de­duc­tions and sim­plify the code. De­spite the ad­min­is­tra­tion and law­mak­ers’ assurances on timing, many ob­sta­cles and unan­swered ques­tions re­main about how to off­set cut­ting tax rates with new rev­enue so the tax changes can be per­ma­nent un­der con­gres­sional bud­get rules.

Brady ac­knowl­edged some of the stick­ing points dur­ing the in­ter­view on Fri­day. He said cut­ting the rate for pass-through en­ti­ties to 15 per cent, as Trump has called for, is a ‘big lift’. He also said whether a tax bill should in­clude the re­peal of 3.8 per cent net in­vest­ment in­come tax on top earn­ers en­acted to help fund Oba­macare is ‘a chal­lenge’.

“If it didn’t pass the Se­nate in the health-care bill why would you think it’d pass the Se­nate in the tax re­form bill?” Brady said, re­fer­ring to the 3.8 per cent levy.

Brady also said no fi­nal decisions had been made on al­low­ing com­pa­nies to fully deduct their cap­i­tal spend­ing from in­come im­me­di­ately in­stead of over years.

Still, he said hav­ing Trump to help sell a tax over­haul would be an as­set.

“I think the Pres­i­dent is all in on tax re­form,” Brady said. “I’m pretty op­ti­mistic about his abil­ity to use his unique bully pul­pit to make the case for why what we have isn’t work­ing.”

The White House has said it wants to lower cor­po­rate and in­di­vid­ual tax rates and elim­i­nate de­duc­tions

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