Lawmakers look to end of August recess to release detailed tax reform plan

Lawmakers look to end of August recess to release detailed tax reform planNational Economic Council Director Gary Cohn said last week that the administration would have a “very detailed, drafted tax plan” ready to be delivered to Congressional Republicans by the time the August recess is over.

The comments represent the most aggressive pledge yet from the administration, but White House officials have proven themselves overly optimistic on their timelines before. In some ways, the comments also undermine congressional efforts to continue developing a unified plan together. Clearly the administration is attempting to drive the effort, but Cohn did say in a separate interview that the White House remained engaged with Congress to get “uniform buy-in.”

Congressional leaders have been reluctant to cede too much control to the White House and don’t want to put their own effort on hold as they wait for details. House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said he hopes to continue to work with the Senate and White House so they can coalesce on one set of principles to begin moving forward by the fall.

The next step looks increasingly likely to be the release of a more detailed plan during or shortly after the August recess. It is less clear whether that will be a House tax package with administration buy-in, a White House draft with House buy-in, or a White House release followed by a House package. Senate Republicans have been involved in the high-level discussions, but have been less aggressive in formulating their own proposals. However, Finance Committee Member Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is reportedly working on his own tax reform proposal.

Dustin Stamper
Director, Washington National Tax Office
T +1 202 861 4144

Tax professional standards statement
This content supports Grant Thornton LLP’s marketing of professional services and is not written tax advice directed at the particular facts and circumstances of any person. If you are interested in the topics presented herein, we encourage you to contact us or an independent tax professional to discuss their potential application to your particular situation. Nothing herein shall be construed as imposing a limitation on any person from disclosing the tax treatment or tax structure of any matter addressed herein. To the extent this content may be considered to contain written tax advice, any written advice contained in, forwarded with or attached to this content is not intended by Grant Thornton LLP to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.

The information contained herein is general in nature and is based on authorities that are subject to change. It is not, and should not be construed as, accounting, legal or tax advice provided by Grant Thornton LLP to the reader. This material may not be applicable to, or suitable for, the reader’s specific circumstances or needs and may require consideration of tax and nontax factors not described herein. Contact Grant Thornton LLP or other tax professionals prior to taking any action based upon this information. Changes in tax laws or other factors could affect, on a prospective or retroactive basis, the information contained herein; Grant Thornton LLP assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any such changes. All references to “Section,” “Sec.,” or “§” refer to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.