Earlier today, the House of Representatives voted in favor of H.R. 160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act introduced by Rep. Paulsen (R-MN) to repeal the ill-conceived excise tax on the gross sales of medical devices. The decisive, bipartisan vote shows that Congress understands the negative impact this burdensome tax has had on medical device manufacturers, their employees and the patients that rely on their life-saving products. (continue reading…)
The NAM this week lead the business community in sending a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee urging support for and swift action on Rep. Tiberi’s (R-OH) bill to make bonus depreciation and the comparable accelerated use of AMT credits in lieu of bonus depreciation permanent. This bipartisan legislation, HR 2510, was introduced in May with a list of cosponsors that includes almost all of the Republican side of the Ways and Means dais. This is the second go-around on this bill for Rep. Tiberi, who authored a very similar bill last year which passed the House with significant bipartisan support last summer. (continue reading…)
In a letter yesterday to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) reminded Secretary Lew of the critical need for the Treasury Department to “remain engaged with Congress” on their participation in the on-going Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Chairmen made clear that “[r]egardless of what Treasury agrees to as part of the BEPS project,” it’s Congress’ job to craft U.S. tax policy. (continue reading…)
Manufacturers use derivatives to hedge against fluctuations in interest rates, currency, and commodity prices. These derivatives end-users did not contribute to the financial crisis, but could soon face regulatory requirements intended for the financial institutions that were responsible. That is, unless Congress steps in to pass legislation to protect manufacturers and other end-users. (continue reading…)
Every sports fan begins their team’s season thinking, “this could be the year” and hopes for the stars to align so that they can watch their favorite team in the title game.
In the tax policy world, we continue to hope that this is the year where Congress will pass, and the Administration will sign into law, comprehensive tax reform. However, just as athletes know you cannot forget about the fundamentals, as Congress continues to work towards comprehensive tax reform, they need to also ensure that the basics of sound tax policy are in place for our economy to grow. To that end, manufacturers across the country applaud the introduction today of H.R. 2510 by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) that would make permanent 50% first year expensing, aka “bonus depreciation” along with a complimentary provision which allows companies with AMT credits to accelerate the use of these credits in lieu of bonus depreciation. (continue reading…)
With a strong push from manufacturers, the House passed legislation (H.R. 880) May 20 to reinstate, strengthen and make permanent the tax credit for research and development (R&D) – the lifeblood of manufacturing.
While designed to be an incentive to spur private sector investment in innovation, the R&D credit has never been a permanent part of the tax code. Instead, it has been extended sixteen times since it was first enacted in 1981, most recently expiring at the end of 2014. The on-again, off-again nature of the credit creates unnecessary uncertainty for manufacturers who need to know the credit will be around when planning for long-term R&D projects. Making the R&D credit permanent would provide manufacturers with much-needed certainty, increase its incentive value, create over 36,000 jobs annually, and restore the U.S. position as the leader in global innovation. (continue reading…)
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) this afternoon sent a strongly worded letter to IRS Commission John Koskinen asking him to “immediately halt” the practice of using private attorneys to carry out taxpayer examinations including taking sworn testimony from taxpayers. In May of 2014, the IRS retained the global litigation firm of Quinn Emanuel on a $2.2 million contract to assist in the income tax audit and investigation of a corporate taxpayer, including the conduct of sworn interviews. Shortly after retaining the firm, Treasury and IRS issued a temporary regulation allowing third party contractors to take compulsory, sworn testimony in connection with an IRS investigation. According to the IRS, the temporary regulation—issued without a notice and comment period—represented a “clarification” of existing law.
The Finance Committee Chairman doesn’t agree with the IRS’ assessment, noting that the temporary regulation represents “an unprecedented expansion of the role of outside contractors in the examination process.” Moreover, according to Senator Hatch, the IRS’ hiring of a private law firm to conduct a taxpayer exam: appears to violate federal law and the express will of Congress; removes taxpayer protections by allowing the performance of inherently governmental functions by private contractors; and calls into question the IRS’s use of its limited resources.
Manufacturers must invest in advanced technologies to stay competitive in a 21st century global economy. To be an innovator, manufacturers must hire engineers, scientists, and design teams who will create the next great technology that will make the company, and the economy, more productive. The research and development (R&D) tax credit contributes to this process by alleviating some of the cost of hiring such top-notch R&D teams and investing in the supplies needed to come up with the next big thing. (continue reading…)
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is slated to consider a bill this week intended to increase the transparency of settlements between companies and federal agencies. While the authors of the bill may have good intentions, the reality is that the legislation will add additional reporting and compliance burdens, potentially change the nature of legal proceedings, and negatively impact competitiveness. (continue reading…)
As the NAM’s Chief Economist, Chad Moutray, pointed out in his blog “The U.S. Economy Stagnated in the First Quarter” on yesterday’s dismal GDP numbers, there are “a number of headwinds in the economy which have negatively impacted manufacturing activity. These challenges include weaknesses abroad, a strong U.S. dollar, lower crude oil prices, a West Coast ports slowdown, bad weather in some regions of the country and a still-cautious consumer.” As Dr. Moutray pointed out, a significant “challenge for manufacturers was the fact that consumer spending on goods was up only 0.2 percent. Businesses also spent dramatically less on nonresidential structures, with equipment spending slowing to a crawl.” (continue reading…)