Long-Awaited Tax Reform Nearing Reality

House and Senate tax writers are moving quickly to negotiate differences between their two chambers’ bills, with one of the most sensitive, a tax break for ag and other small businesses.
Among the biggest and most politically-sensitive differences between the two tax bills is the treatment of so-called “pass-through” businesses, a huge number in agriculture, that file returns as individuals.
American Farm Bureau Federation tax specialist Pat Wolff.

Wolff says the final bill will be something that can be passed into law, which means it will look more like the Senate bill where it’s harder to win a majority than the House. Wolff says Farm Bureau’s biggest concern now is the Senate’s sunsetting of individual tax breaks after seven-years.

Republicans argue breaks that are popular, could be extended by future Congresses, as have many in past tax laws.

Wolff meantime, expects other similar measures to survive. Among them: a doubling of the estate tax exemption, though the House eventually ends the tax, and cash accounting below a certain threshold. And then, there’s expensing of equipment, land and facilities.

But Wolff agrees with longtime Ag and Finance panel Senator Chuck Grassley that now that a bill has cleared the Senate, a final bill is more likely to clear the Senate and become law.

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