Jan. 3, 2013 – The fiscal cliff deal approved by the House and Senate Tuesday consisted largely of tax cuts, but House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., said during floor debate that reform of the federal tax code remains on the committee agenda in the 113th Congress.
As credit unions have learned before, any large tax reform effort invariably puts the credit union federal tax exemption at risk as lawmakers seek ways to generate revenue. “As long as tax reform is on the table, the credit union exemption remains at risk,” said Brad Thaler, NAFCU’s vice president of legislative affairs. He urged credit unions anew to talk to their lawmakers about the need to preserve that exemption and to use NAFCU’s economic study on the exemption to help them explain that.
Estimates peg the cost of the fiscal cliff package approved this week at $4 trillion. Meanwhile, the federal government on Tuesday reached its debt limit of $16.394 trillion, and Treasury is set to carry out “extraordinary measures” to avoid going over that cap for the next two months. One of those is “suspending the reinvestment of federal workers’ retirement account contributions in short-term government bonds,” CNN Money reported.
Such measures offer only a temporary fix, so lawmakers will be looking at spending cuts, tax reform and action on the debt limit when they commence work on a package in hopes of preventing some $500 billion in automatic cuts this year. Some estimate Treasury’s action to prevent default could be effective only into late February.