Senate Finance Gears Up for Tax Reform Hearings

Upcoming committee hearings to look at education tax incentives, ID theft and taxpayer privacy

Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. (above), and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will be looking at several areas of the tax code. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. (above), and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will be looking at several areas of the tax code.

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Vowing to push forward to overhaul the nation’s tax code, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, announced the first in a series of committee hearings this summer to examine several areas that both senators say are “essential to a modern, effective tax code.”

In June, the finance committee will look at education tax incentives while hearings in July will focus on ID theft and taxpayer privacy protection as well as modernizing corporate taxation.

“This summer, the Senate Finance Committee will forge ahead with hearings that examine reforming the broken, dysfunctional tax code in areas ranging from taxpayer privacy protection to education to corporate taxation,” Wyden and Hatch said in a joint statement. “When it comes to tax policy, comprehensive tax reform is our ultimate objective, and we are committed to using these hearings as the building blocks to that goal."

The senators also said they would continue to look for “innovative ways to fix the depleted Highway Trust Fund and keep hard-working Americans on the job without diverting revenues from repatriation needed for tax reform.”

The House Ways and Means Committee passed May 30 a package of tax extenders, including a permanent extension of bonus depreciation, as well as extenders that deal with retirement planning and charitable giving.

The committee voted to make permanent the rule allowing certain tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes.

Also, the committee voted to permanently extend and expand the charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory and to modify the tax rate for excise tax on investment income of private foundations.

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