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Former Congressman Sees Potential Areas of Compromise on Tax Policy

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Nov 18, 2022

iStock-836454122 Congress Capitol Washington DC House Senate

While a Republican-controlled House of Representatives will probably subvert most of President Joe Biden’s tax agenda, there may be some areas of compromise, Accounting Today reported.

One may be the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), according to Phil English, a former Republican member of the House of Representatives and a ranking member of its Ways and Means Committee who is now a senior government relations adviser and co-chair of the government relations practice at law firm ArentFox Schiff.

“The bigger picture is that much of the [TCJA] is now unwinding—the individual tax cuts are being phased out and the corporate incentives, which would be very valuable in the soft economy we're facing, will be rolled back," he said. “Democrats will prioritize passing an updated child tax credit, while Republicans will want to extend parts of the TCJA and hold rates down. The common ground on this will be challenging to find."

Despite that assessment, common ground may exist. Recently, almost 200 chief financial officers appealed to Congress to repeal a provision of the tax code mandated by the TCJA that requires them to amortize their research and development costs over five years instead of deducting them immediately, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bipartisan support for returning to immediate deductibility for R&D expenses exists, according to the Journal. It reported that Democrats would like to see it linked to an extension of the enhanced child tax credit, which lapsed last year. 

Still, achieving consensus “will be complicated in that budgets will be proposed to reduce deficits, and there is no consensus between parties on the level of deficits that would be appropriate,” English said. “This is where Republicans will resist tax increases, and Democrats will resist spending decreases.”

But, he said, “Both sides will agree to spend more on national security and defense.”

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