Camp Considers Working Groups to Tackle Tax Reform

Photograph by Adam Bird/Bloomberg

Representative Dave Camp, a Republican from Michigan and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, speaks at a Rotary Club meeting in Midland, Michigan, in this file photo.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp wants to break his panel into smaller working groups to tackle specific aspects of tax reform, Bloomberg BNA’s Marc Heller reports.

Ray Beeman, tax counsel to the committee, said in a webinar sponsored by Deloitte Tax LLP that Camp, a Michigan Republican, plans to have the bipartisan groups focus on subject areas that have yet to be defined. Camp is working with the committee’s ranking Democrat, Sander Levin of Michigan, to create the working groups, he said.

“I really think it’s an outreach effort,” Beeman said, adding that the groups’ main task will be to collect facts and at some point come back with a report. Camp has said he intends to pass a comprehensive overhaul of  tax policy by the end of this year.

The groups will probably call upon stakeholders in tax issues but wouldn’t hold public hearings of their own, he said. The plan for informal groups sheds light on Camp’s approach as he works to craft a proposal, though they can’t deal with every tax issue that a comprehensive bill will address, Beeman said.

One of those issues is likely to be an examination of the tax code’s Section 501, which governs the treatment of exempt organizations, according to Bloomberg BNA’s Diane Freda.

Because Congress is looking at changing revenue streams for Section 501 limitations on deductions, there will be a need for a wider conversation about that section, a Senate Democratic aide, whom BNA didn’t identify further, said at a joint meeting of the Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, and Pacific Coast Area Tax Exempt and Government Entities Councils and the Mid-
Atlantic and Northeast Pension Liaison Groups.

The imposition of mandatory amounts of charity care for tax-exempt hospitals — which some institutions had feared under past proposals by Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican — isn’t garnering much attention now, as sequestration takes center stage, the aide said. Even so, a re-examination of the effectiveness of the 2010 health-care law may follow once Section 501 has been implemented.

 

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