Senate Finance Panel Starts Bipartisan Tax Rewrite Talks

The Senate Finance Committee will begin a series of bipartisan meetings to build momentum toward rewriting the U.S. tax code.

The meetings will begin March 21 with a session on trying to simplify the tax system for families. Other meetings will focus on international taxation, charitable giving and small businesses, the committee said today.

“Tax reform can provide families certainty, spark economic growth, create jobs, and make U.S. businesses more competitive,” said Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is chairman of the panel, in a statement.

Among the biggest obstacles for lawmakers will be a lack of consensus on goals for rewriting the tax code. Beyond simplification, they disagree largely along party lines on how much revenue the U.S. should raise and how much importance should be given to rate reduction.

In the House, the Ways and Means Committee has broken into 11 working groups. The panel’s chairman, Republican Dave Camp of Michigan, said the committee will pass a revenue-neutral rewrite of the corporate and individual parts of the code this year.

Camp has released discussion drafts that would address international taxation, the treatment of financial products and tax rules affecting partnerships and other businesses that pay taxes through their owners’ individual returns.

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