February 27, 2021

Volume XI, Number 58

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Tax Reform is on Deck: Chairman Hatch Seeks Comments as Senate Heads for Home on Health Care

In a recently released letter, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has invited stakeholders to offer input on ways to improve the U.S. tax system, saying that “it is essential that Congress has the best possible advice and insight from experts and stakeholders” as it develops legislation. Comments are due by July 17, and will be treated as confidential. This is an important opportunity for stakeholders to engage in the tax reform process.

While Chairman Hatch is seeking comments on all areas of tax policy, he has identified four key areas for specific input:

  1. Updating our international tax system in order to make our nation more competitive in the global economy and preserve our tax base.

  2. Strengthening businesses – both large and small – by lowering tax rates and broadening the relevant tax base in order to put the economy on a better growth path and create jobs.

  3.  Removing impediments and disincentives for savings and investment that exist in the current tax system.

  4. Providing much-needed tax relief to middle-class individuals and families through reforms to the individual income tax system.

Chairman Hatch’s letter also encourages stakeholders to take a “big picture,” realistic view of tax reform. Specifically, it says that stakeholders should “manage expectations and remain willing to compromise on ideal policy preferences” and “keep in mind the fiscal, economic, and procedural constraints inherent in this exercise.” These comments suggest that stakeholder responses that “just say no” to particular policy proposals without taking into account the give and take of tax reform or offering constructive arguments or alternative approaches likely will not be given much consideration by the Committee.

Astute observers will note that this is not the first time that congressional tax-writers have solicited stakeholder input on tax reform. In recent years, both the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee have sought such feedback as they have convened working groups to study various aspects of tax reform. Despite previous chances to provide input, this is an excellent opportunity to re-engage in the process with updated comments addressing recent tax reform plans and ideas that were not in play previously, including the House Republican blueprint, the Trump tax plan and Chairman Hatch’s own corporate integration approach to taxes. You never know which effort, which initiative, which policy, is going to be a home run.  Don’t be caught off base.

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Copyright 2020 K & L GatesNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 179
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Mary Baker Burke, KL Gates Law Firm, Tax Attorney
Government Affairs Advisor

Mary Burke Baker is a government affairs advisor in the Washington, D.C. office. Mary focuses on federal tax matters affecting businesses—including domestic and multi-national corporations and all types of pass-through entities—and individuals. Her practice covers tax policy, tax reform, regulatory and other guidance, tax administration and technical tax issues, with particular emphasis on the OECD and the European Union, accounting methods, energy and medical device issues, and FBAR compliance matters for individuals.

Mary consults with and...

202-778-9223
Karishma Page, KL Gates Law Firm, Public Policy Attorney
Partner

Based in Washington, D.C., Karishma Shah Page is a member of K&L Gates’ Public Policy and Law Practice. Ms. Page concentrates her practice on federal legislative and regulatory policy, focusing on tax, financial services, retirement, health care, and employee benefits issues. Ms. Page has extensive experience working on a variety of tax legislation, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, retirement legislation, the Affordable Care Act, and related rulemaking and regulatory activity.

Ms. Page develops and implements a...

202-778-9128
Steven Valentice, KL Gates Law Firm, Public Policy Litigation Attorney
Partner

Mr. Valentine represents a wide variety of clients in a broad range of legislative, regulatory, administrative, litigation and government enforcement matters before the federal government.  His clients include major corporations, trade associations and business coalitions.  He has also represented a number of prominent individuals, including a federal judge in her personal capacity and the prime minister of a foreign government.

202-661-3802
Nicholas Leibham, KL Gates, Public Services and Finance Attorney
Partner

Nick Leibham is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. and Orange County offices. Mr. Leibham is part of the innovation law and policy group and spearheads the emerging technologies practice within the group, which includes a multi-disciplinary portfolio of clients and matters. He principally advises clients that have a substantial interest in the federal government as a market place. This includes aspects of federal funding and business development initiatives, procurement, public-private partnerships, regulatory matters and rule makings, tax issues, and company wind-...

202-778-9284
Scott Aliferis, KL Gates Law Firm, Public Policy Attorney
Government Affairs Advisor

Scott Aliferis is a government affairs advisor in the firm's Washington, D.C., office.  He focuses on federal funding issues as well as policy matters involving energy, transportation, the environment and telecommunications.

Prior to joining K&L Gates, Scott served as director of government affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, where he analyzed and monitored energy, environmental, and tax issues affecting the automobile industry. In this capacity, he was directly responsible for developing strategic options, legislative...

202-661-3865
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