Both the House and Senate have begun the groundwork on the overhaul of the federal tax code. In February, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Dave Camp (R-MI), announced the formation of working groups designed to study specific, important issues in preparation for comprehensive tax reform. Each working group, in conjunction with the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), will compile a report which will include an analysis of the current tax treatment of the areas covered by their particular group.
The public has been invited to submit comments, much like submitting testimony for the congressional record, through April 15. These comments will be included in a final JCT report, which will be delivered to the Ways and Means Committee on May 6. The committee has already started posting public comments submitted to the 11 working groups on tax reform.
The Senate Finance Committee, which is responsible for tax policy in that chamber, will be holding a series of ten bipartisan member meetings over the next several weeks in order to examine a number of tax-related subject areas. Included among these are: families, education, and opportunity; infrastructure, energy and natural resources; and tax-exempt organizations and charitable giving.
In response to the tax-reform discussions, NACUBO has prepared talking points that highlight several tax issues that impact students and institutions. NACUBO has been reaching out to policymakers and others to bring attention to our concerns. We encourage you to work with your campus president and federal government relations officers to consider discussing some or all of the issues with your members of Congress. NACUBO's talking points focus on charitable giving incentives, tax-exempt bond financing, higher education tax benefits, IRS form 1098-T, and energy efficiency incentives.
In general, most members of Congress agree that the tax code is enormously complicated and that simplification would benefit both the government and taxpayers. However, there are deep divides on fundamentals including the role taxes will play in addressing the deficit and economic growth. A comprehensive deal is unlikely anytime soon, and if the 113th Congress can strike agreement at all on major tax overhaul is yet to be determined.