NUMBER OF THE WEEK: 17.8 inches

The amount of snow Winter Storm Jonas dumped on Washington, DC this weekend, according to the official measurement taken at Reagan National Airport. That number is deceiving, however, as some neighborhoods in DC got as much as 36 inches of the white stuff on Saturday morning. Read more about the riveting measurement drama here.

The blizzard has shut down the federal government for nearly three days. The House was originally scheduled to return Tuesday, but members are staying away for another week due to travel delays caused by the snowstorm. The Senate is set to convene Wednesday to take up consideration of the Senate Energy Committee’s bipartisan energy legislation (S. 2012). The Democrats’ annual legislative retreat is still on track for Jan. 27-29.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady has postponed the committee’s first hearing of the year to Feb. 2. The tax-writing panel plans to focus the hearing on its economic growth agenda, which will include tax reform. A witness list has not yet been confirmed. The Ways and Means Committee has also rescheduled its Jan. 25 policy retreat.

LEGISLATIVE LANDSCAPE

Hatch to Tackle Double Taxation in Upcoming Reform Proposal. Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch has been in talks with Congress’s top tax writers as he prepares to release a limited international tax reform proposal in the next two weeks. A direct cut to the existing corporate tax rate will unlikely be included in the proposal. Instead, Hatch and his aides are reportedly looking at the option of providing a deduction for ...

Trade Customs Legislation May See Action in Feb. Senate Republicans are hoping to approve the trade customs conference report by the first half of February. This timeline remains fluid, however, as talks are ongoing. The inclusion of the Internet access tax ban in the bill has been a major sticking point for Senator Dick Durbin, who wants to remove the provision completely. Durbin will likely ...

House Ways and Means Welcomes New Chief Tax Counsel. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady announced last week that Barbara Angus will lead tax policy efforts as the committee’s new chief tax counsel, a confirmation of Brady’s intentions to focus heavily on international tax policies. Barbara is a leading expert on international tax, with prior experience serving as international tax counsel at the Treasury Department and as business tax counsel with an international focus at the Joint Committee on Taxation. She was most recently a principal at EY. Barbara replaces former chief tax counsel George Callas, who moved to the Speaker’s office with Paul Ryan. Brady said he intends to ...

REGULATORY WORLD

IRS to Tackle Mark-to-Market Rules for Securities Dealers. The Internal Revenue Service is working on regulations on mark-to-market accounting for securities dealers. The new regulations under IRC §475 may eliminate the need for an IRC §481A adjustment, which would render moot questions about whether the adjustment is capital or ordinary. The regulations may also extend the time frame in which a §475 election to be made. Currently, §475 elections must be ...

Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan Guidance — Worth the Wait? If the best things in life are worth waiting for, then the long-anticipated proposed rules on deferred compensation plans should be amazing. In 2007, the IRS announced plans to release new regulations under I.R.C. §457 and §409A. IRS officials recently said that regulations should be released within ...

De Minimis Rule to Provide Relief for Nonperiodic Payment. Helen Hubbard, Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products) at the IRS, said that a de minimis rule was in the works with respect to notional principal contracts (NPCs) with nonperiodic payments. While the specifics weren’t provided, Hubbard indicated that the rule will deal with ...

LOOKING AHEAD

Relevant Congressional Activity

Tuesday, 1/26

[POSTPONED] Senate Budget Committee 

The full committee holds a hearing on the CBO’s budget and economic outlook report. CBO Director Keith Hall is set to testify. Read more here.

Wednesday, 1/27

[POSTPONED] House Budget Committee

The full committee holds a hearing on the CBO’s budget and economic outlook report. CBO Director Keith Hall is set to testify.

Thursday, 1/28

Senate Finance Committee 

The full committee holds a hearing on retirement savings plans and improving access and coverage. Read more here.

Relevant Agency Activity

Wednesday, 1/27

Internal Revenue Service 

The IRS holds a hearing on proposed regulations relating to the holdings of Obergefell v. Hodges and a revenue ruling that define terms in the code describing the marital status of taxpayers. For more information, contact Regina Johnson, 202.317.6901.

Other Activity

Thursday, 1/28

The Tax Council

TTC hosts a legislative luncheon with special guest Senator Dean Heller (R-NV).