Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

Tax reform legislation took a giant step forward when the full House approved its Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill (HR 1) on November 16, moving the spotlight over to the Senate. Meanwhile, the Senate Finance Committee finished marking up its version of tax reform. The Senate version contains significant differences from the House bill.

Congress

House. The full House approved its tax reform bill, HR 1, by a 227-to-205 vote on November 16. Further action by the House is not expected until the Senate passes its version of tax reform and a Conference Committee is convened to iron out the differences. Wolters Kluwer’s Tax Briefing, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was updated to reflect passage of HR 1 by the House.

Senate. The Senate Finance Committee finished marking up its version of a tax reform bill. Controversy surrounding a handful of provisions remain. Therefore, a Senate floor vote will likely be delayed until at least early December.

IRS

Forms W-2, W-3 and 1099-MISC Deadline. The IRS reminded employers that the due date for filing Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statements, for their employees for calendar year 2017 is January 31, 2018. Those who hire contract workers and have to file Form 1099-MISC must also file by January 31, 2018 (IR-2017-189 ).

Health FSA Reminder. As the sign-up season continues for employer health benefits for 2018, the IRS reminded eligible employees about the benefits of their employer’s health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) and the $2,650 contribution limit for 2018 (IR-2017-187).

IRSAC Annual Report. The Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) has released its annual report for 2017. IRSAC identified several areas of concern and made several recommendations on a range of tax administration issues (IR-2017-188).

Treasury Security Rate for November. For pension plan years beginning in November 2017, the IRS has released the 30-year Treasury bond weighted average interest rate, the unadjusted segment rates, the adjusted rates and the minimum present value segment rates (Notice 2017-69).

Qualified Foreign Plan Elections. The IRS has modified its procedures for obtaining consent to an accounting method change related to a qualified foreign plan election (Rev. Proc. 2017-59).

2018 Covered Compensation Tables. The IRS has released the tables of covered compensation under Code Sec. 401(l)(5)(E) application for the 2018 plan year (Rev. Rul. 2017-22).

By George Jones, Wolters Kluwer News Staff

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