The clock is ticking on the IRS’ first place – POLITICO

HOW LONG CAN YOU GO? Here may be an under-the-radar question about the implementation of the Democrats’ new tax and climate bill — how long can they get a new IRS commissioner in place?

Current IRS chief Chuck Rettig sees his five-year term expire in exactly two months.

Now, the tax collector is not exactly a stranger to having an acting commissioner for a sixth to even a fifth of those five-year periods, at least in recent history. For example, the Senate confirmed Rettig 10 months after the departure of his predecessor, John Koskinen.

But former agency officials and observers close to the agency say it is particularly urgent for President Joe Biden to choose an IRS chief, and for the Senate to confirm that choice, now that the Democrats just gave the service an additional $80 billion to bolster enforcement, technology and taxpayer services.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also tasked the IRS with coming up with a battle plan by February for how the agency will implement its new windfall, which is expected to be delivered over a decade.

“With all the planning and hiring to go through, an interim commissioner will be forced to make some significant changes,” Koskinen said.

“Even if someone is nominated soon, the confirmation process can take months, so it’s not clear there’s an easy answer,” added Koskinen, who was confirmed by the Senate more than four years ago. months after his appointment.

MORE ON THIS IN A BIT. But first: what exactly happens to the squirrel that “stuck between a circuit breaker and a transformer causing a surge? »

Decent weather to run today, to be honest: Today marks 2,512 years since what is at least a widely accepted date for the Battle of Marathon, in which Athens repelled a Persian invasion. (Look, that was two and a half millennia ago, so it is difficult to say for sure. Also, Pheidippides probably didn’t run 26 miles after the battle either.)

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AND NOW? To be fair, it’s not like Biden’s team just sat on their hands when it came to finding a new commissioner.

Morning Tax reported in June that the administration had begun interviewing candidates for commissioner, at a time when the odds for Democrats securing a new injection of funding for the IRS seemed patchy at best.

These candidates were known as management specialists, the kind of experience that was common to the last heads of the IRS before Rettig, a seasoned tax lawyer.

There had also been talk of the White House considering nominating Rettig for another five-year term. But Bloomberg reported last week that the administration was weeding out potential candidates, and told Rettig that would put someone new in the commissioner’s chair.

Who exactly? It seems like a pretty well-kept secret. Bloomberg also noted that Democrats on the Hill seem interested in someone with bipartisan credentials.

But whoever it is, November 12 — the last scheduled day for Rettig — will be here before you know it. Congress still needs to secure government funding by the end of the month, and lawmakers will of course focus primarily on midterms over the next eight weeks.

And then there’s something else to consider: Republicans could easily take control of the Senate in November, which would add another potential complication and consideration for putting in place an IRS chief.

SINCE WE ARE TALKING IRS…: Republicans have certainly tried to make political use of this new $80 billion in IRS funding, in particular trying to drive home the message that more middle-class taxpayers will be hit by more audits — despite claims opposites of the Democrats.

The latest push there from the GOP: Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho, the top Republican on the finance committee, released a bill today that would ban the use of any of the new IRS funds to audit anyone earning less than $400,000 a year.

Crapo rolled out that same proposal during the Senate’s consideration of the Democrats’ big tax package, and all of his GOP colleagues on the Finance Committee joined the bill.

Yellen has repeatedly said that audit rates for people earning less than $400,000 will not exceed what they have been in recent years — a statement with at least some ambiguity.

“The best way to protect these taxpayers is to turn this promise into law,” Crapo says of his new bill, while saying “Democrats can’t meet their tax revenue goals” without getting more from these taxpayers. taxpayers.

REMEMBER THESE STATE TAXES: Anyone who benefits from Biden’s plan to erase up to $20,000 in student loan debt will owe nothing more in federal taxes because of this announcement.

Now, state taxes? This is an other story.

Some states will automatically follow the federal government’s lead and not classify the amount of canceled loan debt as taxable income. But it has already become pretty clear that this will not be the case in all 50 states.

Indiana will definitely be tax this loan forgivenessand that may also be the case in very large and very liberal California, although leading Democrats have said they will do whatever it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Other states to watch, as noted in Weekly Tax by the Tax Foundation’s Jared Walczak: Arkansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina and Wisconsin all seem at least on track for loan amounts tax-exempt students, unless state legislatures and governors decide otherwise.

NOT EXACTLY SWIMMING IN EUROS:Italy has only reserved around 2 billion eurosa windfall tax on energy companies, Reuters reports – or not even a quarter of what the government had estimated. Prime Minister Mario Draghi had earmarked some 52 billion euros in total from the tax, to help Italians struggling with rising gas and electricity prices. Around 10 to 11 billion of these euros are supposed to come from the exceptional 25% tax on energy companies. But here’s one of the big problems: Thousands of businesses simply didn’t pay the tax, at least when a deposit was due at the end of June. The government levied the windfall tax on energy companies as these companies recorded higher profits with rising oil and gas prices. But these companies say energy price volatility has actually been a problem for their business. Nearly a third of the revenue generated by the windfall tax comes from Eni, a large multinational that the Italian government essentially controls.

THE RUSH BEGINS: Tesla is one of the companies try to enjoy of a Texas tax relief program before it expires, reports the Texas Tribune. The now Austin-based electric car maker is looking to build a new lithium refinery in the state and has asked for help under the Chapter 313 program – an initiative that gives businesses a ten-day break years on their property taxes. That program is now set to expire at the end of this year, thanks to the efforts of state lawmakers on both sides. These officials insist the program essentially provides incentives to many businesses that would have ended up in Texas anyway, and also suffers from poor oversight. (Proponents disagree, saying Chapter 131 has helped Texas attract new business.) even exceeded those expectations.

Insider: “King Charles does not have to pay inheritance tax on the Queen’s private estate worth over $750 million.

NYT: ‘Rising death toll spurs efforts to raise taxes on alcohol.”

WSJ: “Municipal bonds suddenly look cheap. Some are tax traps.”

No, actually.

Inform Morning Tax of your future events: [email protected].

Squirrels can run up to 20 miles per hour. (Sprinter Usain Bolt has already hit 27 miles per hour.)

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