A series of IRS reform related bills passed by the House on April 17 are still pending in the Senate, but it is unclear as to how the upper chamber will proceed. The Senate Finance Committee is currently reviewing the House bills and will craft its own package in the coming weeks.
According to intel gathered by the Tax Policy Update team, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) are unlikely to hold a markup for the bill. All changes will need to be made during the drafting process. Additionally, the regulation of paid return preparers may still be in play, though it is unlikely that this politically fraught provision will make it into the final bill.
Last week, Chairman Hatch said that he is working closely with Ranking Member Wyden, as the committee moves forward with legislation. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) are heading up efforts for the committee. Both have indicated that they hope to introduce a package of noncontroversial bills, though Sen. Portman would like to hold hearings on the provisions. This will likely push the release of a bill until after Memorial Day recess.
House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) noted that he doesn’t envision any issues on the Senate side, though he does expect it to take some time for the committee to reach an agreement on a final bill. Chairman Brady was told that the Senate will likely use the House bill as a “baseline.” The Senate will likely recycle parts of S. 3156 and S. 3157, two bills on taxpayer rights and identity theft protection that were marked up by the Senate Finance Committee in 2016.