Congress Passes Long-term Transportation Funding Tax Provisions

On December 3, 2015, Congress passed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST) (HR 22). The vote in the House was 359 to 65, and the vote in the Senate was 83 to 16. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., noted that the bill was the first long-term transportation legislation in a decade. The President is expected to sign the legislation.

The main thrust of the legislation is to provide $305 billion for highways and mass transit over the next five years. The legislation maintains the current level of the gasoline excise tax, and relies on revenue sources that are not transportation related for the remainder of its funding. Although most of the revenue offsets are not tax related, tax provisions included in the legislation authorize the IRS to utilize private debt collectors to collect bad tax debts, authority the IRS did not seek. The IRS had first started using private collectors in 2006 but abandoned the program in 2009, due in part to taxpayer complaints. The provision is estimated to raise $2.4 billion over 10 years.

The legislation also includes a provision permitting the State Department to revoke passports of individuals with more than $50,000 of delinquent tax debt. That provision is expected to bring in $398 million over 10 years. Other tax provisions create an IRS special compliance personnel program and repeal a provision enacted earlier in the year modifying the due date for returns of certain employee benefit plans.

By Jeff Carlson, Wolters Kluwer News Staff, and Mark Alan Luscombe, Principal Analyst



Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and local expertise that helps tax, accounting, and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed, accuracy and efficiency. Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is part of Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL), a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. Wolters Kluwer reported 2016 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

All stories by: Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting