Lawmakers are still working to advance a bill of retirement incentives and the effort has expanded to include a technical correction that would allow qualified improvement property (QIP) to be eligible for bonus depreciation.
The SECURE Act (H.R. 1994
), a bipartisan bill with changes to both employer and individual retirement account rules, has languished in the Senate since passing the House of Representatives by a nearly unanimous majority in May. Senate leadership has repeatedly sought to fast-track the bill using the “hotline” process, but has so far been unable to secure the unanimous consent needed. In the most recent attempt of overcome objections, leaders added amendments that would fix the QIP glitch and remove provisions related to certain newspaper pensions. But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), objected over the absence of a provision expanding Section 529 accounts to homeschooling, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) objected over the newspaper pension provisions.
Still, the renewed effort is a good sign for the future prospects of both the Secure Act and the QIP fix. Leaders may try and hotline the bill again, and have also discussed a possible agreement to bring the bill to the floor for an actual vote if both sides can agree to limit amendments. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.), the lead sponsor of the SECURE Act, indicated that he would be willing to accept the QIP fix if it is added by the Senate. Both items also remain good candidates to be included if a broader tax package materializes this year. Tax writers are working to attach tax bills to must-pass spending legislation. Government funding is presently set to expire on Nov. 21. A stand-alone tax package is also possible, but far from guaranteed, before Congress adjourns for the year.
Washington National Tax Office
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