The Latest in Tax News: December 2019 Edition

Textbook Tax presents its monthly tax news update. A quick read discussing various tax news, tax stories, and tax events trending in the world of tax during the month. The following tax topics cover the month of December 2019. The tax topics presented represent my favorites in tax news and tax-related events. Please comment any tax news stories you found interesting for the month of December. Additionally, please email me or connect with me on social media for the monthly tax news update sent straight to you!

Tax News for December 2019

Tax Topic: US Congressional negotiators reach year-end tax deal

Tax Summary:
  • US House and Senate reached a tax deal on December 17, 2019. The tax deal will be incorporated into the 2020 spending bill.
  • The tax deal includes: "extenders," ACA tax repeals, disaster relief, and more.
    • The tax deal extends expiring provisions, including biodiesel credits, short-line railroad credits, New Markets Credit,Work Opportunities Credit, and more.
    • The tax deal repeals three ACA taxes, including medical device excise tax, Cadillac tax, and health insurane provider fee.
    • The tax plan sets short-term tax relief provisions for victims in federally-declared natural disasters.

Tax Topic: Proposal for a global minimum tax

Tax Summary:

  • OECD/G20, which includes 135 member countries, is considering a global minimum corporate income tax to target multinationals.
  • The proposal is part of Pillar Two, or the GloBE Proposal, which focuses on taxing the digital economy.
  • The GloBE proposal introduces two new taxes on multinational profits:
    • a global minimum tax on corporate profits
    • a base erosion tax

Tax Topic: The IRS enhances its Free File Program

Tax Summary:

  • The IRS added to its Free File Program, which is an agreement with tax preparation companies focused on allowing qualified taxpayers to file their tax returns for free.
  • The government program provides free tax-prep software to U.S. taxpayers with incomes below $69,000.
  • The changes to the Free File Program include: baring the tax-prep firms from manipulating free-tax prep search algorithms on Google as well as initiating an IRS digital filing system.