Senate Finance Committee Launches Tax Reform Working Groups

By Alisa Wolking • January 20, 2015 • 0 Comments
The 114th Congress has officially kicked off, and federal tax reform remains high on the agenda for this year. On Jan. 15 the Senate Finance Committee, the committee with jurisdiction over tax policy, released a statement announcing that Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are launching tax reform working groups to develop recommendations for comprehensive federal tax reform.

Each of the five bipartisan working groups will be co-chaired by a Republican and a Democratic member. The groups will work with the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) to offer legislative proposals to Hatch and Wyden. Of the policy areas focused on by the working groups, the one most relevant to ASPPA is that addressed by the Savings and Investment Group, which will be co-chaired by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

“Republicans and Democrats agree the American tax system is too complicated, unfair, and is hurting economic growth,” said Hatch. “With the launch of these working groups, members will have an opportunity to thoroughly examine the code and put forward smart ideas that will help lay the groundwork for a bipartisan tax overhaul that will provide bigger paychecks, better jobs, and more opportunity for all Americans.”

Wyden was optimistic about accomplishing tax reform, and implied that the committee would draw from the previous work on tax reform in this Congress: “A lot of hard work has been done in recent years on tax reform creating a strong foundation to build upon,” Wyden said. “We now have a window of opportunity to make a run at modernizing our tax code and it’s time to come together and deliver. It’s going to involve a lot of hard work and compromise and I’m hopeful this bipartisan effort will move us in that direction.”

In the last Congress, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, created similar bipartisan working groups to analyze the tax code. The result was a devastating tax reform draft that contained provisions that would have frozen retirement plan contribution limits for 10 years, and would have subjected individuals in his proposed new 35% income tax bracket to an additional 10% surtax on contributions to qualified retirement plans. It is possible that the product of these bipartisan working groups could result in a similar federal tax reform proposal.

ASPPA GAC, in concert with ASPPA PAC, continues to educate Congress on the private retirement industry to ensure that harmful proposals, such as those in Camp’s tax reform draft, do not become law.

Join your fellow ASPPA members and take action to protect our industry and engage Capitol Hill. Click here to learn more about how you can contribute to ASPPA PAC.

Alisa Wolking is the Grassroots Advocacy Manager for ASPPA.