taxes

IRS Underfunded in Wake of Tax Overhaul, Agency Advocate Says
Calls from confused taxpayers are likely to spike

A stack of the income tax regulations sits on the dais during a House Ways and Means Committee markup in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The IRS needs more cash from Congress to implement the new Republican tax code overhaul, the agency’s public advocate said Wednesday.

A new report from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson to lawmakers highlights the need for more funding for the IRS to update tax systems, train employees, draft and publish new tax forms, answer calls from confused taxpayers and more. The cash-strapped agency hasn’t yet determined how much money it will need to implement the new tax law, but a preliminary assessment last year put the additional cost at roughly $495 million over fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2019, which begins Oct. 1.

Opinion: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, or Are We?
State’s experiment with tax cuts offers a cautionary tale for Washington

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback predicted explosive economic growth from state tax cuts in 2012, but that eventually led to a budget crisis that forced the Legislature to raise income taxes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The 2017 tax bill enactment has left some of us who follow the federal budget wondering whether we are headed the way of Kansas.

In 2012, the state’s Republican governor, Sam Brownback, led his GOP-dominated Legislature to significantly reduce Kansas’ business taxes and set a path to cut income taxes to “zero.” Brownback hailed the tax cuts as a “real-live” experiment in conservative governance that would lead to an explosion of economic growth for the Sunflower State. The real results were anything but sunny.

Trump Defends Mental State, Makes DACA-for-Wall Pitch
President also appears willing to talk to Kim Jong Un

President Donald Trump had a few things to say about “Fire and Fury” and its author at an impromptu press conference Saturday. The book is highly critical of Trump’s presidency. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump, during a remarkable impromptu press conference, defended his mental fitness and declared himself willing to hold direct negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. He also dug in on his demand that any immigration bill include funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

Trump took questions at Camp David following a strategy session with GOP lawmakers, Cabinet officials and White House aides. He again denied he or his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. While the president did not flatly deny dispatching aides to try stopping Attorney General Jeff Sessions from recusing himself from the Justice Department’s Russia probe, Trump contended he did nothing illicit.

10 Issues Congress Faces in January
Budget, DACA, health care, sexual harassment on to-do list

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be among the Hill leaders negotiating deals on a host of major issues confronting Congress in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the second session of the 115th Congress kicks off Wednesday, lawmakers are confronted with a daunting January to-do list full of issues they punted on in 2017.

Typically, January is a slow legislative month leading up to the party caucuses’ annual retreats, where lawmakers formally develop an agenda for the year. House and Senate Republicans will hold a joint retreat from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, and House Democrats will huddle the following week in Cambridge, Maryland.

17 of 2017’s Most Popular Stories
A look back at a contentious year on the Hill

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol to discuss the GOP tax reform bill in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, Republicans had high hopes of pushing an ambitious agenda forward and making good on last year’s campaign promises.

But their long-held promise of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law stalled in the Senate in one of the most dramatic moments of the year. Infighting derailed other agenda items that followed.

So Long, Insurance Penalty: Here’s Where the Most People Were Paying
A provision in the tax bill signed Friday repeals a key component of Obamacare

Because of a key provision in the tax overhaul bill President Donald Trump signed Friday, those without health insurance will no longer have to pay a penalty. The fee, known as the individual mandate, was one of the most contested aspects of the 2010 health care law and was intended to compel people to buy insurance

Tax Bill Becomes Law as Trump Heads to Mar-a-Lago
President secures legislative win as he closes out 2017 at White House

President Donald Trump signed a tax overhaul and stopgap government funding bill into law on Friday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump secured his first major legislative victory as president Friday, signing a sweeping Republican tax measure into law as he closed out a turbulent 2017 at the White House.

After a raucous celebration with Republican lawmakers Wednesday on the White House’s South Portico — during which senior GOP members lavished him with effusive praise — Trump opted to sign the bill in the Oval Office rather than hold another signing ceremony.

Graham Urges Full Health Care Repeal in 2018, Despite Tricky Math
Moving on from health care debate an ‘unpardonable sin,’ senator says

While GOP Senate leaders like Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, left, have shifted away from health care repeal as a priority, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, said it should remain at the top of the agenda. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Senate Republican leadership signaled this week it will table efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law in 2018 and instead focus on market stabilization, at least one GOP senator insists repealing and replacing it is still a top priority.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said it would be an “unpardonable sin” for Republicans to shift their focus from overhauling the health care system created by the so-called Obamacare legislation.

Trump Predicts He’ll Start Working With Democrats in 2018
On Tuesday, president said Dems ‘complain a lot’

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer makes a point to President Donald Trump in the Oval Office before leaving a White House meeting in September. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 2:30 p.m. | After scoring his first major legislative win without a single Democratic vote, President Donald Trump on Friday predicted Republicans and Democrats will begin working together “for the good of the country.”

And the first item the president, who has spent weeks criticizing Democratic lawmakers for opposing his tax plan and accusing them of favoring a government shutdown, sees the parties collaborating on is a massive package to upgrade the country’s infrastructure.

Trump Scores Legislative Win, Dems Could Supply Another
Pelosi, Democrats send mixed messages on government-funding bill

Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, talks with bus driver Roy Ross on the east front of the Capitol before House and Senate Republicans headed to the White House to celebrate the passing of the tax bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Marine Band played festive Christmas classics. Republican members snapped selfies on the stairs White House’s South Portico. And they gave President Donald Trump a hearty cheer as he joined them.

Trump and GOP lawmakers celebrated a rare legislative victory on Wednesday after Congress sent a tax overhaul bill to his desk. Meanwhile, Democratic congressional leaders — despite their tough talk — just might hand the president another one by week’s end. Especially if history is any indication.