Tax Policy Update

July 19, 2016

Pardon Our Dust

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COLOR OF THE WEEK:Reds and Blues

Its convention season! With the July 18 kickoff of the Republication National Convention and the Democratic National Conventionaround the corner on July 25, both parties are gearing up to ratify their party platforms. While Democrats take a step to the left,Republicans have taken a corresponding step to the right on various policies, from tax to healthcare and energy. So, just howdifferent are the two party platforms? The chart below highlights key differences between Democrats’ and Republicans’ partyplatform drafts in selected areas:





“To guard against hypertaxation of the American people in any restricting of the federal tax system, any value added or national sales tax must be tied to the simultaneous repeal of the 16th Amendment, which established the federal income tax.”

“We will ask those at the top to contribute to our country’s future by establishing a multimillionaire surtax to ensure millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.”


“We propose to level the international playing field by lowering the corporate tax rate to be on par with, or below, the rates of other industrial nations. We endorse the recommendation…to switch to a territorial system of taxation so that profits earned and taxed abroad may be repatriated for job-creating investment here at home.”

“We will make sure that our tax code rewards businesses that make investments and provide good-paying jobs here in the United States, not businesses that walk out on America. We will end deferrals so that American corporations pay U.S. taxes immediately on foreign profits and can no longer escape paying their fair share of U.S. taxes by stashing profits abroad.”


“Any honest agenda for improving health care must start with repeal of the dishonestly named Affordable Care Act of 2010: Obamacare. It weighs like the dead hand of the past upon American medicine…It has driven up prices for all consumers.”

“We believe as Democrats that health care is a right, not a privilege, and our health care system should put people before profits…By contrast, Donald Trump wants to repeal the ACA, leaving tens of millions of Americans without coverage.”


“We oppose any carbon tax. It would increase energy prices across the board, hitting hardest at the families who are already struggling to pay their bills in the Democrats’ no-growth economy. We urge the private sector to focus its resources on the development of the carbon recapture and sequestration technology still in its early stages here and overseas.”

“The best science tells us that without ambitious, immediate action to cut carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases across our economy, all of these impacts will be far worse in the future. We cannot leave our children a planet that has been profoundly damaged.”


“Government should not play favorites among energy producers. The taxpayers will not soon forget the current Administration’s subsidies to companies that went bankrupt without producing a kilowatt of energy.”

“Democrats believe the tax code must reflect our commitment to a clean energy future by eliminating special tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies as well as defending and extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.”

Financial Services

“The worst of Dodd-Frank is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, deliberately designed to be a rogue agency. It answers to neither Congress nor the executive, has its own guaranteed funding outside the appropriations process, and uses its slush fund to steer settlements to politically favored groups.”

“We will continue to protect consumers and defend the CFPB from Republican attacks. Our goal must be to create a financial system and an economy that works for all Americans, not just a handful of billionaires.”


“The Dodd-Frank law, the Democrats’ legislative Godzilla, is crushing small and community banks.”

“We will also vigorously implement, enforce, and build on the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law, and we will stop dead in its tracks every Republican effort to weaken it.”


Appropriations Blues. As expected, despite earnest efforts, Congress hasfailed to pass all 12 annual appropriations billsfor fiscal year 2017. Actually, not a singlespending bill has reached President Obama’s desk forsignature. Early this year, GOP leaders set anambitious goal to pass a budget and all 12 spendingbills under regular order. House Speaker Paul Ryan,however…

To the Right, To the Right…As the Republican National Convention kicks off July 18, the GOP is expected to release its party platform later today. Theplatform takes a major step to the right, calling for an overhaul of the tax code, slamming the Environmental Protection Agency’sClean Power Plan, opposing any carbon tax, and dubbing the Dodd-Frank Actthe “Democrats’ legislative Godzilla.” The draftplatform…

A Plan of His Own. Congressman Jim Renacci (R-OH) released a tax reform white paper, “Simplifying America’s Tax System,” which differs significantlythan the plan just released by Speaker Paul Ryan and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX).

Déjà vu: Homebuyer Tax Credit.On July 13, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced S. 3175,a bill aimed athelping individuals and families purchase their first home…

This is the Song That Never Ends…Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen has not heard the last of it, as House conservatives launched an effort toforce a vote to impeach him after Congress’ seven-week recess…

DeFazio Introduces FTT. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR.) introduced a proposal on July 13 to impose a 0.03 percent fee onto stock, bond and derivatives trades inthe U.S., in hopes that the fee would “discourage the same speculative financial trading that led to the 2008 Wall Street collapseand 2010 Flash Crash. ” DeFazio introduced similar legislation in 2013…

MAIL Act Approved by House Ways and Means. The House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 5320, the Social Security Must Avert Identity Loss (MAIL) Act of 2016, onJuly 13. Sponsored by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), the MAIL Act protects Americans from identity theft by requiring the SocialSecurity Administration to remove Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from mailed documents when their use is deemed unnecessary. Thelegislation would also…

Clear Skies Ahead for Corporate Jet Owners. On July 13, the House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 3608. Sponsored by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH), the bill exempts mostpayments for management and maintenance of aircraft from the Federal excise tax imposed on transportation of persons and property.Payments for flight services are exempt only to the extent that they are attributable to flights on an aircraft owner’s aircraft…


Senators Introduce Bill to Expand Sec. 45Q.Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) introduced legislation that would expand and extend the Section 45Q taxcredit for carbon dioxide sequestration. The bill is similar to…

Summer Heat But No Sizzle at IRS Hearing.Last week, the IRS held a hearing where the speakers raised concerns with the controversial Section 385 proposed regulations. Thehearing consisted of about 20 speakers representing various perspectives ranging from academia to businesses and tradeassociations. The recommendations made by the speakers were…

IRS Spins Off Further IRS Guidance On… Spin Offs. The IRS recently issuedproposed regulationsunder I.R.C. § 355 clarifying the prohibition on devices designed to avoid tax and the definition of “active trade or business…”


A Pence for Your Thoughts. Last week, Donald Trump announced that IndianaGovernor Mike Pence would be his running mate. Pencehas favored a socially conservative agendathroughout his career, including laws to rollback…

Neck-to-Neck. According to a July 12 CBS News/New York Times national survey, Donald Trump is tied with Hillary Clinton, just over 100 days leftuntil Election Day.


  1. The American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union (AmCham EU), which represents 164 American companies that account for more than 4.3 million jobs and €2 trillion of investment in Europe, recently wrote a letter to the European Commission. The letter expressed the group’s…
  2. As Pennsylvania lawmakers try to figure out how to pay for their $31.6 billion state budget, Republicans and Democrats have agreed on a new tax to help balance the budget—a tax on…


Congressional Activities

** Congress in recess until Sept. 6**

Agency Activities

Tuesday, 7/19

Securities and Exchange Commission
The SEC holds a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies on matters relating to rules and regulationsaffecting small and emerging companies under the federal securities laws.

Wednesday, 7/20

Internal Revenue Service
The IRS holds a meeting by teleconference of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Toll-Free Phone Line Project Committee on improvingcustomer service at the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, contact Linda Rivera, 202-317-3337.

Thursday, 7/21

Internal Revenue Service
The IRS holds a meeting by teleconference of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Taxpayer Communications Project Committee on improvingcustomer service at the Internal Revenue Service. For more information, contact Antoinette Ross, 202-317-4110.

Other Activities

Wednesday, 7/20

Bipartisan Policy Center
The Bipartisan Policy Center holds a forum on “Priorities, Policies, Solutions,” focusing on “entrepreneurship and economic growth,infrastructure and energy policy, global competitiveness and tax policy, and medical and health innovation.” For more information,contact Jordan Lapier, 202-379-1630,

For listings of all the week’s tax and financial services happenings, read below to find out how you can become a subscriber.

The McGuireWoods’ Tax & Financial Services Policy Group assists clients in understanding how the latest legislative and regulatory proposals anddecisions may impact their business and industry. To learn more about how our team can help you monitor, analyze, and navigate all relevant legislativeand regulatory developments, please contact any of our attorneys and consultants below at (202) 857-1700. For more information on how to subscribe toour weeklyTax Policy Update and tax news alerts, please contact Radha Mohan,, (202) 857-2944.

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