Senate Finances Float On BBB Tax Changes


As lawmakers desperately try to reach an agreement before the end of the year on the $ 1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act, the Senate finance committee chairman released a Senate amendment of nearly 1,200 pages to the version adopted by the House on December 11.

According to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), the updated text includes both technical and policy changes, as well as changes to ensure compliance with Senate budgetary rules.

The provisions of the pension plan, such as the limits of “mega” Roths and Roth conversions in the plan, appear to correspond to the changes included in the version (HR 5376) approved by the House of Representatives on November 19. still include the same effective dates, which means policymakers are still trying to approve legislation by the end of the year. A December 10 article by Brian Graff, ARA CEO and NAPA Executive Director, noted that the final decision on the legislation could be pushed back to 2022 and that several of the effective dates for various policy changes retirement could be postponed as well.

One area where this version differs from Wyden’s proposal is a fix to an alternative minimum tax provision for businesses to address concerns that asset gains of defined benefit pension plans would be subject to the Tax and deductions would be denied for sponsor contributions to pension plans. Like the House bill, however, Wyden’s bill still includes the underlying 15% minimum tax on certain large corporations with revenues exceeding $ 1 billion.

Work in progress

The amendment proposed by Wyden and the underlying legislation are still in progress and are subject to change in the coming days. Part of the impetus for him to release the proposal was for the Senate parliamentarian to begin reviewing the draft to ensure it complies with obscure budget reconciliation rules that allow the Senate to approve legislation to the next. simple majority instead of a threshold of 60 votes.

“The finance committee has made targeted improvements to the Build Back Better Act and is ready to move forward with this process,” Wyden said in a statement. “The package is paid for in full ensuring that profitable mega-corporations and wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. As conversations continue, the committee is set for bipartisan meetings with the Senate parliamentarian next week. “

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) continues to maintain his desire for a final bill to be approved before the Christmas recess. But time is running out, and apparently there are several policy differences between House and Senate Democrats, including the lifting of the current $ 10,000 cap on the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT). Wyden’s draft does not currently include such a provision, but several House Democrats say they will not support the final legislation unless the SALT cap on itemized deductions is lifted.

Fully paid?

Meanwhile, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) (whose vote will be needed to pass the bill) and others continue to express concern about the scope and cost of the Build Back Better Act. Two recent analyzes from the Congressional Budget Office have substantiated their concerns, contradicting Wyden and President Biden’s claim that the bill is fully paid:

  • a November 18 estimate, as currently drafted, would increase the deficit by $ 367 billion over the period 2022-2031; and
  • a Dec. 10 analysis requested by Senate Republicans showing it would increase the deficit by $ 3 trillion over the period 2022-2031 if provisions in the legislation that are to be phased out were subsequently made permanent.


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