Marc Gerson Comments on Tax Priorities for Congress in Accounting Today

"Super Committee Wasn't a Total Waste of Time"
Accounting Today
12.02.11

Marc Gerson discusses tax priorities now that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the Super Committee) failed to reach a bipartisan agreement. "The hope was that they would have reached a deal on the big picture items, such as an agreement to reduce the deficit, with fundamental tax reform as part of it," said Gerson, a former Majority Tax Counsel to the House Ways and Means Committee. "Now the attention will be turned to a number of items that are high priority for both the Administration and Congress. These include the extension and perhaps an expansion of payroll tax provisions, as well as some non-tax items."

"There’s talk of extending unemployment insurance benefits," he said. "And there’s a lot of pressure to pass the ‘Doc Fix’—to prevent reduction of Medicare physician reimbursement rates. These might be big enough and time sensitive enough to provide a legislative vehicle to pass tax provisions that are also priorities." These might include an AMT patch, the extension of 100 percent bonus depreciation, and a renewal of the tax extenders package, according to Gerson.

As for the Super Committee, it wasn’t all in vain. "They spent a lot of time and had some good ideas," Gerson said. "Some of their proposals made their way out, and they will continue to inform the process. Given the abbreviated time period they were in existence, it would have been very difficult to address fundamental tax reform."

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