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Paul Ryan pledges tax reform blueprint by June

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Tax Hot Topics: Ryan tax reform blueprintuse Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., promised last week that House Republicans would produce an outline for comprehensive tax reform by June.

Ryan has charged House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady, R-Texas, with leading a tax reform task force meant to deliver recommendations this year. Brady echoed Ryan’s comments last week, telling reporters that Republicans are on track to release a reform blueprint by June.

There is little chance of enacting reform this year, but Brady and Ryan hope a tax reform outline could be picked up by major Republican candidates and become a plank in the party’s economic platform for the November elections. A June release would provide plenty of lead time before the Republican National Convention on July 18.

Meanwhile, House Republican plans to produce a full international tax reform plan appeared to slow again. Brady deputized House Ways and Means Committee Member Charles W. Boustany Jr., R-La., to lead the effort because of Boustany’s “innovation box” proposal last year. Boustany has recently softened his promises to deliver a draft international bill this year, and Brady is now refusing to pledge any specific time frame.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is still waiting on a score from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) before he releases his big tax reform proposal of the year on corporate integration. Hatch is expected to propose a deduction at the corporate level for paying dividends, paired with a new nonrefundable 35% withholding tax on dividends and interest. Hatch has said he wants the proposal to be revenue neutral on a traditional “static” basis, but is also asking the JCT to produce a “dynamic” estimate that includes the benefits of any macroeconomic changes. Hatch said he expects a JCT score in late May for a possible June release.

For more information, please contact Mel Schwarz or Dustin Stamper in the Washington National Tax Office.

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