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Ways and Means Republicans Announce Formation of Committee Tax Teams in Preparation for 2025: On April 24, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-MO) and Tax Subcommittee Chairman Mike Kelly (R-PA) announced the formation of 10 “Tax Teams,” intended to help educate Ways and Means Committee Republican members and the broader House Republican Conference about key tax provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA, Pub. L. 115-97) set to expire in 2025, as well as other tax issues likely to be on the table.

Ways and Means Committee Republicans Criticize USTR for Abandoning International Digital Trade Talks: On April 26, 10 Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-IA), sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, criticizing a decision made by U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai to abandon the United States’ long-standing opposition to data-localization proposals in negotiations within the World Trade Organization, including foreign governments’ demands on U.S. corporations to relocate key aspects of their business operations to the foreign jurisdiction under such data-localization policies. The lawmakers echoed concerns raised by Reps. Darin LaHood (R-IL) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA) in a Nov. 16, 2023, letter which asserts that the decision was made without sufficient congressional input and would disadvantage U.S. workers and business and “ced[e] leverage over digital trade rules to foreign countries.”

IRS Concludes Direct File Pilot Program, Claiming 140,000 Platform Users: On April 26, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) formally announced the closure of the Direct File pilot program, which allowed 19 million taxpayers in 12 eligible states to file their federal taxes directly with the IRS through government-operated tax filing software. Taxpayers in 11 of the 12 states had until April 15 to finish and e-file their returns using the software, and taxpayers in Massachusetts had until April 17. If a taxpayer’s return was rejected, he or she had until April 20 to make corrections and resubmit the return without incurring a penalty.

FAA Reauthorization Bill Preparing for Takeoff, Likely Leaving Wyden-Smith Tax Bill Behind: Just after midnight on April 29, Senate and House negotiators released the bill text for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization legislation ahead of the May 10 expiration date. Major FAA excise tax provisions will be extended with no major substantive changes from current law. The advancement of the FAA reauthorization package likely signals the demise of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act (H.R. 7024), which has been stalled in the Senate. The FAA reauthorization is expected to be the last piece of legislation containing major tax provisions to pass before the end of the 118th Congress.

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