From The Desk Of Dean Zerbe

711, 2018

How Trump Could Provide Real Relief To Middle-Class Families For Pennies

By |November 7th, 2018|From the desk of Dean Zerbe|0 Comments

November 7, 2018
by Dean Zerbe for alliantgroup
Published in Forbes

The ballots are still being counted (or recounted) in Arizona and Florida U.S. Senate races and President Trump has churned the water on a possible tax deal – stating in the post-election press conference that he would be open to raising tax rates (including corporate) to pay for a middle-class tax cut.

Setting aside the more small-ball tax provisions that may be enacted in a lame duck that I’ve discussed earlier (with the chances of extension of energy tax provisions greatly improved with the election results) – is it possible to provide real benefit to middle class families?

I think the answer is yes.  So what could be the deal?  A good starting point is to look at not just directly what can be done on tax burdens for the middle class (and recognizing that the tax […]

2709, 2018

What Congress Might Do On Taxes Before Christmas

By |September 27th, 2018|From the desk of Dean Zerbe, R&D, Software|0 Comments

September 27, 2018
by Dean Zerbe for alliantgroup
Published in Forbes

I recently wrote on the taxpayer rights/tax administration provisions that the Congress may pass before the end of the year – and now want to turn to the individual (mostly) and retirement tax provisions that Congress is considering as well.

The House Ways and Means Committee chaired by Congressman Brady (R-TX) recently passed – and the House is expected to pass shortly – three tax bills: HR 6760 – essentially an extension/permanency of the families/individual provisions from tax reform; HR 6757 – improvements in retirement savings; and, HR 6756 – a small bill to help start-ups.

While the extension of the individual provisions is a big lift and the outlook is very uncertain (with the received wisdom being that this will be put-off until down the road when the provisions are closer to expiring – 2025) – the possibilities of passing retirement provisions […]

609, 2018

What Congress Might Do On Taxpayer Rights And Tax Administration In The Next 120 Days

By |September 6th, 2018|From the desk of Dean Zerbe, R&D, Software|0 Comments

September 4, 2018
by Dean Zerbe for alliantgroup
Published in Forbes

The House and the Senate tax-writing committees have been working on (and the House has passed) some small-ball bipartisan tax legislation that can be grouped into two parts: 1) provisions that address taxpayer rights and tax administration; and, 2) provisions that are making substantive changes to the tax laws in areas such as retirement/401(k), education, etc. In addition, tax extenders (especially energy extenders) is in the conversation as well. There is a good possibility that Congress acts on this legislation (all, or in part) before the end of year.

For this article, a look at the taxpayer rights/administration legislation – and in a second article an overview of the substantive tax law changes being proposed.

The House

The House has passed a number of taxpayer rights/tax administration bills – primarily

902, 2018

Budget Bill: Tax Benefits For Architects, Engineers And Contractors — 179D

By |February 9th, 2018|179D, From the desk of Dean Zerbe, Uncategorized|0 Comments

February 9, 2018
by Dean Zerbe, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and alliantgroup National Managing Director
Forbes

Architects and engineers scored a big win in the tax reform bill when they were included in the Section 199A—20% deduction on income. Now in the just-passed budget bill—architects and engineers win again (as well as some contractors) with an extension of an important tax benefit—Section 179D—which rewards the design and building of energy efficient buildings (as well as modifications to existing buildings). I’ve written about this provision in detail in the past https://www.forbes.com/sites/deanzerbe/2013/08/19/a-little-known-tax-break-for-building-green/#29ff81b9e4dc for readers.

For architects, engineers and contractors it provides a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for energy efficient design for government buildings—widely defined to include state, local and federal—think jails, parking garages, airports, etc.—as well as […]

1101, 2018

Congress Isn’t Quite Done With Taxes Yet

By |January 11th, 2018|From the desk of Dean Zerbe, Uncategorized|0 Comments

January 11, 2017
By Michael Cohn
Published in Accounting Today

Even though Congress passed the biggest tax overhaul in more than 30 years only a few weeks ago, there’s likely to be more tax-related legislation coming out in the very near future.

The continuing resolution that lawmakers have been debating to fund the government could contain some tax provisions.

“Immediately there’s a look at the CR coming up in the next week or two having a tax bill attached to that, which will have some of the energy extender provisions that have been on the to-do list for quite a while,” said Dean Zerbe, national managing director at alliantgroup, a former senior counsel and tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, during an interview last week. “I think that’s part of it. There’s a cleanup of a […]

1001, 2018

Tax Reform: How Small And Medium Business Owners Can Maximize Tax Savings

By |January 10th, 2018|From the desk of Dean Zerbe, Uncategorized|0 Comments

January 10, 2018
by Dean Zerbe, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and alliantgroup National Managing Director
Forbes

The balloons have dropped, the signing ceremony is over and the dust is beginning to settle on the tax reform bill signed into law. For small and medium business owners there is good news, some not great news — and certainly important tax planning opportunities that they should consider to keep more dollars in their pocket to grow their business and create jobs.
tax-reform
The New Law And Small and Medium Businesses

For business owners organized as passthroughs (LLC, partnership, (most) S Corps) there is certainly good news with Congress providing (generally) a 20% deduction of qualified business income (potentially capped depending on the type […]

2709, 2017

Yes, Tax Reform Is Possible.

By |September 27th, 2017|From the desk of Dean Zerbe, Uncategorized|0 Comments

September 27, 2017
by Dean Zerbe, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and alliantgroup National Managing Director
Forbes

The Trump administration and the tax-writing committees released today their “Unified Framework For Fixing Our Broken Tax Code,” seeking to put more meat on the bone of tax reform. The framework is particularly important to give comfort to Republican policymakers as the Congress begins the first step of the two step process – first step: budget resolutions with reconciliation instructions; that leads to the second step: tax bill under reconciliation (only needs 50 votes in the Senate to pass – VP tiebreaker). Probably the biggest indicator that makes me think a tax bill is possible is recent rumblings that the Senate Republicans have reached an agreement on a number for tax […]

1206, 2017

R&D Tax Credit — Smart Reform Ideas From Congress

By |June 12th, 2017|From the desk of Dean Zerbe, Uncategorized|0 Comments

June 12, 2017
by Dean Zerbe, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and alliantgroup National Managing Director
Forbes

While Congress continues to sharpen pencils on tax reform, key lawmakers are putting forward good ideas for improving the most important tax incentive for improving productivity and creating jobs – the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit.  I anticipate these proposals will be considered in the next major tax bill.

The most intriguing of the new ideas is a bipartisan proposal from Senators Coons (D-DE) and Roberts (R-KS) that would encourage companies to do R&D in this country and also manufacture in this country.  Too often, we see companies do R&D in this country only to have much of the manufacturing done overseas.  Encouraging colocation of R&D and manufacturing will provide tangible benefits to the economy – especially given that studies have found that colocation can significantly improve productivity.  A […]

103, 2017

Tax Reform This Summer — But Will It Be The Endless Summer?

By |March 1st, 2017|From the desk of Dean Zerbe, Uncategorized|0 Comments

March 1, 2017
by Dean Zerbe, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and alliantgroup National Managing Director
Forbes

The Endless Summer was the surfing movie for boys when I was growing up in Southern California in the 1970s – a 1966 movie about two surfers following the Summer Sun around the world in search of the perfect wave – with the prospect of Summer never ending.

I was reminded of The Endless Summer when Treasury Secretary Mnuchin in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal stated that he looked to having tax reform completed by Summer.  Then, Secretary Mnuchin quickly amended that statement, or maybe by Fall.  Hmmm.

Are Republicans on a path to The Endless Summer of Tax Reform?

Where We Are Now

The President’s State of the Union speech certainly was a shot in the arm for […]

1511, 2016

TRUMP AND TAXES – WHAT’S REALLY GOING TO HAPPEN?

By |November 15th, 2016|From the desk of Dean Zerbe, Uncategorized|0 Comments

November 15, 2016
by Dean Zerbe, former Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and alliantgroup National Managing Director
Forbes

The future is a foreign country, they will do things differently there.  (apologies to Hartley)

The assumptions of the path forward for our country were shattered with the election results – and certainly no more so than in the area of tax policy. Instead of a long grind primarily focused about taxes and the wealthy, the nation will now focus on potentially sweeping tax reform and a lowering of tax burdens.  Look for the administration/Congress to be very “go go” on tax reform with an eye toward having the changes in law in place basically by late Spring/early Summer – similar to the big George W. Bush tax cut that was signed into law in June of 2001.

The question is – between the rhetoric of the campaign and the reality of governing […]

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