June 23, 2020
What to expect in Washington (June 23)
The New York Times reported on the political risks to Republicans "this week, when the White House is expected to file legal briefs asking the Supreme Court to put an end to … Obamacare" and "Speaker Nancy Pelosi, seizing on the moment, will unveil a Democratic bill to lower the cost of health care, with a vote scheduled for next week in the House." The story said "Democrats won the House in 2018 in large part by emphasizing health care," ACA repeal is an issue in high-profile Senate races, and "with everyone at risk from a fast-spreading, and sometimes fatal, infectious disease, Democrats have an easier time making the case that everyone should be covered."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 3985, JUSTICE Act (the GOP police reform bill). The cloture vote is expected Wednesday after a confirmation vote on a pending Circuit Court nomination.
The Washington Post reported that "if voters remain reluctant to cast ballots in person, November is likely to bring an even more massive wave of voting by mail" and "a close race in a pivotal state could take days, even weeks, to resolve" and maybe lead to an extended period without a declared winner in the presidential race.
The Associated Press reported a reminder June 22 that the expiration of government funding on September 30, by which time Congress and the President must act to extend it, is 100 days away.
In tax news, the Supreme Court issued an order declining the petition for certiorari in Altera v. Commissioner, 926 F.3d. 1061 (2019). Altera's petition asked the Supreme Court to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision upholding a 2003 regulation that requires participants to include stock-based compensation costs in a cost-sharing arrangement. See EY Alert.
IRS has updated Employer Retention Tax Credit FAQs #s 28, 30, 33-35, 46, 58, 88, 90, and 92.
On June 22, IRS issued Notice 2020-48, which provides expanded disaster relief, in the form of postponing until October 31, 2020, certain Federal excise tax filing and payment deadlines, and associated interest, penalties and additions to tax, for taxpayers who owe a federal excise tax for sales of sport fishing or archery equipment for the second quarter of 2020.
A Washington Post op-ed by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers on the tax gap, or the difference between the amount of tax taxpayers should pay and the amount paid voluntarily and on time, said that increased IRS funding could help the agency crack down on underreporting of income, which accounts for 80% of the tax gap. The op-ed links to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report on the issue.
There are a pair of health hearings today (June 23). The House Energy & Commerce Committee holds a hearing on "Oversight of the Trump Administration's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic" with NIH's Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, and Admiral Brett Giroir of HHS. Former Majority Leader Bill Frist returns to the Senate for a HELP Committee hearing on "COVID-19: Lessons Learned to Prepare for the Next Pandemic," along with former CDC Director Julie Gerberding.
On June 22, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) called for a renewed national commitment to value-based care based on Medicare claims data that provides an early snapshot of the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the Medicare population.
The global EY Tax COVID-19 Response Tracker has been updated through June 19.
EY Webcasts this week include, Friday, June 26, at 12:00 p.m. ET, Tax in the time of COVID-19: Preparing for potential future tax changes. This week's panelists will provide updates on: (i) the legislative and economic landscape — what's happening now and what may be around the corner; (ii) what's on the horizon for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; (iii) how companies should prepare for potential future tax changes; and (iv) any IRS and breaking developments. Register.