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June 24, 2020

What to expect in Washington (June 24)

The Administration continued to provide signals regarding a next coronavirus response bill, with Bloomberg reporting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying at an event that a stimulus package could be passed by the end of July; and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow as saying additional direct payments to individuals are "on the table" and that any tourism tax credit would likely target low-income individuals (on the heels of Senator Martha McSally, R-AZ, introducing S. 4031, to establish a temporary nonrefundable personal tax credit for travel, hospitality & entertainment expenses.) President Trump said Monday that stimulus checks will be included, and the next package overall will be "very generous."

The June 24 Washington Post reported Republicans are split on the issue of additional checks, "creating a rift in conservative circles that could have significant consequences for the stimulus package;" and advocated in an editorial that "stimulus checks should take a back seat to help for the unemployed."

Secretary Mnuchin also said he won't rule out an extension of the July 15 filing deadline. "It's something I'm thinking about," he said. "As of now, we're not intending on doing that, but it is something we may consider," and "we'll look carefully as we approach this July date." IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig appears before the Senate Finance Committee June 30 on the "2020 Filing Season and IRS COVID-19 Recovery."

Democrats are expected to oppose a procedural vote later today (June 24) to proceed to consideration of the Republican police reform bill, the JUSTICE Act (S. 3985), that they have deemed inadequate, and they are calling for bipartisan negotiations on the issue. The House is set to approve a Democratic bill this week.

Health care

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is set to unveil today a bill to shore up the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — Politico reported it would further subsidize 'Obamacare' markets by expanding federal help for premiums and cost-sharing — and stand as a contrast to Republican efforts to try to dismantle the ACA.

At the House Energy & Commerce Committee hearing on "Oversight of the Trump Administration's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic," NIH's Dr. Anthony Fauci said he believes a coronavirus vaccine could be available by the end of this year or early 2021. One vaccine candidate will enter advanced trials next month, he said: "We feel cautiously optimistic based on the concerted effort." Witnesses agreed there is likely to be a second wave in the fall and winter, and Fauci said he believes the US will be better prepared.

Former Majority Leader Bill Frist and former CDC Director Julie Gerberding were witnesses at a Senate HELP Committee hearing on COVID-19. Gerberding said she is "cautiously optimistic about the prospects for a vaccine, [but] we are a long way from being able to promise the delivery date or the characteristics of what I suspect will be several vaccines that will have different effectiveness in different populations."


The US Trade Representative announced June 23 that it is considering an additional list of $3.1 billion products from France, Germany, Spain and the UK that may be included on a final list of those subject to additional duties of up to 100%. Products listed include beer, gin and olives. Bloomberg reported the move is "related to Europe and America's 15-year-old World Trade Organization aircraft subsidy fight."


Out June 24 are IRS final rules concerning the deduction for qualified business income (QBI) under IRC Section 199A.

On June 23, the IRS released:

1) Notice IR-2020-126, which allows victims of the April storms in Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina until October 15, 2020, to file individual and business tax returns and make tax payments

2) Notice N-20-51, announcing that anyone who already took a required minimum distribution (RMD) in 2020 from certain retirement accounts now has the opportunity to roll those funds back into a retirement account following the CARES Act RMD waiver for 2020

The global EY Tax COVID-19 Response Tracker has been updated through June 23.

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.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Washington Council Ernst & Young
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