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Kevin Brady rolls out end-of-year tax package

November 27, 2018

The House’s top tax-writer on late Monday rolled out an end-of-year tax package that includes extensions of some temporary tax provisions, tax benefits for victims of the recent hurricanes and wildfires, and technical corrections to last year’s tax-cut package.

The package also includes elements of House-passed legislation aimed at improving the Internal Revenue Service and bolstering people’s retirement savings.

Rep. Kevin Brady, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said the policies have bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.

“This broad, bipartisan package builds on the economic successes we continue to see throughout our country,” the Texas Republican said. “I look forward to swift action in the House to send these measures to the Senate.”

The package extends tax breaks for a number of expiring or expired provisions, like benefits for energy efficient homes and electric vehicles.

Lawmakers frequently deride the prevalence of the carve-outs, known as extenders, in the tax code. But the special breaks all have interest groups that fight tooth and nail to preserve them and are routinely extended.

The package also clarifies that people affected by Hurricane Michael, Hurricane Florence, the wildfires in California, and other natural disasters should be entitled to federal disaster relief benefits.

It includes language aimed at improving the IRS, like establishing an independent appeals office and requiring the tax-collecting agency to develop a comprehensive customer service strategy, that was included in legislation the House passed earlier this year.

The package also repeals the maximum age limit for traditional IRA contributions and clarifies that people can withdraw from their retirement plans without penalty if they have children or adopt them other parts of the House GOP’s “Tax Reform 2.0” package.

It also includes some technical language changes to last year’s tax-cut package.

But it does not permanently extend the individual tax cuts in the bill. The GOP-led House passed separate legislation to permanently lower the individual rates as part of Tax Reform 2.0, but that legislation is unlikely to attract enough Democratic support in the Senate to avert a potential filibuster.

President Trump had hinted before the midterm elections that there was an additional 10 percent tax cut for the middle class in the works, but there’s no indication that will happen by the end of the year.

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