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Tax-Writing Committees Unveil Tax Package Framework. On Jan. 16, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) unveiled the framework for a $78 billion tax package, the product of months of negotiations between the two chairmen. The plan is titled The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024…

Congress Releases Funding Plan, Extending Deadlines of Laddered CR. On Jan. 14, House and Senate leadership released the bill text for a stopgap funding bill set to fund all government agencies until March. With the funding deadlines for four of the 12 appropriations bills set for Friday, Congress must pass, at a minimum, a partial funding bill or continuing resolution (CR) this week to avert a government shutdown. The new agreement, conditionally agreed upon by House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), will fund Military Construction-VA, Agriculture-FDA, Transportation-HUD and Energy-Water until March 1, and the other eight appropriations bills, including funding for the Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service, until March 8. This funding bill is designed to give Johnson and Schumer time to negotiate a longer-term spending bill, a decision that has been criticized by some Freedom Caucus Republicans as being too conciliatory toward Democrats. Despite vocal criticism from some members of the House Republican Conference urging Johnson to drop and renegotiate the bill, Johnson has chosen to press forward with his initial plan, as he stated that the CR is designed to deliver “meaningful policy wins and [a] better stewardship of American tax dollars” in the long-term.

D.C. Bar Tax Conference Reveals Several Treasury Department and IRS Intentions. On Jan. 10 and 11, the D.C. Bar Association held its annual tax conference, in which several officials from the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shared details on what guidance taxpayers can expect from the agencies in the coming tax year.

IRS Touts IRA-Funded Enforcement Efforts. In a press release on Jan. 12, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the agency is continuing to expand enforcement efforts on high-income individuals and complex partnerships in an effort to collect outstanding tax debts from these taxpayers. The release expanded on the methods and practices the agency is utilizing, including scrutiny of balance sheet discrepancies, utilizing artificial intelligence, and examining improper usage of transfer pricing rules. The agency states that it has collected an additional $360 million in taxes owed since its last report in late October, bringing the total amount of owed taxes collected to $482 million from 1,600 wealthy taxpayers.

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