The Top Nine Tax Stories to Watch for in 2015, Forbes
Despite all the talk about new changes underway now that Republicans will assume control of Congress and governorships in 31 states, much of the current tax issues will look the same in 2015 as they did in 2014, according to Forbes.
Below is a snapshot of the top nine tax stories to watch in 2015:
Business Taxes.Â Will 2015 be the year of business tax reform? Probably not, according to Forbes, as the Affordable Care Act and battles over spending will continue to swallow up lawmakersâ€™ focus and time this coming year.
Dynamic Scoring. GOP leaders have introduced rule changes proposing that the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office expand use of dynamic or reality-based scoring in their official budget estimates. According to Forbes, â€śTax changes often have only modest effects on the overall economy and are unlikely to generate the sort of revenue windfall some Republicans expect.â€ťÂ
The IRS and the Affordable Care Act. The IRS, underfunded and already recovering after a series of high-profile gaffes in 2014, is faced with administering the ACAâ€™s taxed-based subsidies and penalties.Â Those who miscalculated their income and received the wrong subsidies will need to correct the errors on their 2014 returns while those who donâ€™t have insurance will owe penalties this year.Â All of which promises to be yet another mess for the beleaguered agency.
International Taxes. Pressure will continue to mount on multinational corporations by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developmentâ€™s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project to revise international tax-planning practices. The U.K. has moved to require companies to reportâ€”country by countryâ€”revenue, taxes paid, etc. The OECD is set to unveil further recommendations in 2015, including ones on hot-topic items like transfer pricing.
Internet Taxes. This past December, lawmakers extended the moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access until October.Â Many governors though are eager to begin collecting sales taxesâ€”all of which will put more pressure on Congress this year to clarify the rules while consumers and others will argue the move constitutes a tax hike.
State Tax Cuts. Â Republicans control the legislative and executive branches in 24 states. ManyÂ newly elected governors campaignedâ€”and wonâ€”on tax cuts. But strained state budgets combined with revenue shortfalls have some governors backpedaling from promises of bold tax cuts while other governors, like Mississippiâ€™s Phil Bryant and Minnesotaâ€™s Mark Dayton, are proposing targeted tax cuts for the middle class.
The Highway Trust Fund.Â Last year, Congress temporarily funded road and transit construction through May. With the looming spring deadline coupled with fuel prices plunging to new lows and a broke Highway Trust Fund, the odds of Congress raising gas taxes is slim to none. Instead, expect another temporary funding bill.
Carbon Taxes. With oil prices at $50 per barrel, there is more and more talk of taxing fossil fuels. On Monday, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers published an op-ed in The Washington Post calling for a carbon tax.Â While itâ€™s doubtful Congress will pass a bill this year, Sen. John Thune (Râ€’SD), who will chair the Commerce Committee, says heâ€™s not ruling out the possibility.
Tax Extenders. With just two weeks to go in the 2014 calendar year, the Senate passed a one-year extension of the tax extenderâ€™s bill, which contained 50 assorted tax provisions for businesses and individuals applied retroactively to 2014. However, the extension ended December 31, which means this issue is once again alive and well in 2015. According to Forbes, the best bet is Congress will delay action until next fall when the budget wars are in full swing.