Camp Aide Said to Suggest Tax Plan Possible by January

A House Ways and Means Committee aide said Republicans may release a draft tax-revision measure in December or January, signaling that Chairman Dave Camp’s delay in producing a bill could be temporary.

The staff member made the comment on a conference call yesterday with the Coalition for Fair Effective Tax Rates and the S Corporation Association, according to a person on the call who requested anonymity to discuss the private conversation. A committee aide, also speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the comment.

Camp last week backed off a pledge to release legislation revising the tax code this year, citing delays caused by the partial government shutdown in October. He met with Republican House leaders, who are wary of diverting attention from the flawed rollout of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and after that session Camp wouldn’t commit to a specific timetable for his proposals.

Camp, a Michigan Republican, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, have been working together in trying to produce the biggest tax-code changes since 1986 before the end of next year. That’s when Baucus will leave office and Camp will end his chairmanship because of Republican term limits.

Baucus is scheduled to meet today with lawmakers on his committee from both parties. He has said he may soon release draft proposals. The subjects could include taxation of international income, tax administration and capital cost recovery, Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said last week.

Moving forward with tax code revisions has been complicated in part by the divide over whether changes should increase revenue, as many Democrats want and Republicans oppose.

Closed-Door Meetings

Camp has been meeting privately with Republican members of the Ways and Means panel members for several months as they try to complete work on a bill. Several Republican lawmakers, including Representative Dave Reichert of Washington and Representative Charles Boustany of Louisiana, said the bill is close to being completed.

Republicans want to lower the top individual tax rate to 25 percent from 39.6 percent and reduce the top corporate rate to 25 percent from 35 percent.

They want to make those changes in ways that would neither increase nor reduce revenue for the government or shift the tax burden from top earners to others.

To do that, they would have to consider curtailing tax breaks such as the exclusion from income of employer-provided health insurance and the deduction for state and local taxes. Those details could prove politically unpopular.

Camp has released discussion drafts on the taxation of companies’ foreign income, derivatives and partnerships.

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