Congress is clocking back in this afternoon, with a long list of tax measures to take care of during its lame duck session.
So what will they likely do? Focus first on something that's not imminent, the new Form 1099 business reporting requirement that doesn't take effect until 2012.
Now I'm not saying that the 1099 rule that's part of the health care reform law isn't worth worrying about. As regular readers know, I've blogged many times about this provision and its paperwork burden, especially on small businesses. Specifics are in the Related posts listed at this end of this item.
But really, Congress. Priorities!
We've got tax cuts expiring on Dec. 31 (Bush's and those from the Obama stimulus), already expired tax cuts (extenders that died in December 2009) and a tax law that soon will be coming back as aggressively as any of The Walking Dead's zombies (the estate tax resurrection on Jan. 1, 2011).
And Congress is all hepped up over a law that won't take effect for more than a year? Again, priorities!
Timely tax worries: The whole situation reminds me of one of my family's favorite stories. I come from a long line of worriers. There's always something to fret over. And if there aren't enough legitimate issues to occupy their minds, they can come up with off-the-wall situations and circumstances to be concerned about.
But occasionally, worry just isn't worth it.
Years ago, one of my aunts and her family went on a vacation to Mexico, which back then was considered a very exotic destination, even for neighboring Texans. Upon her return she called her mom, my grandmother, to say they were back and provide some details on all the fun they'd had.
My grandmother's reaction? Not "Glad you enjoyed your vacation," but "Oh my goodness! I didn't realize your trip was last week. I forgot to worry!"
Congress needs to take a cue from my Mam-ma and forget to worry about the Form 1099 issue for a couple of months. This can be handled in early 2011.
Now is the time to buckle down and work on more pressing -- worry-worthy, if you will -- tax issues.
The only excuse I can see for dealing with 1099 reporting now is that a post-election Congress, not worried about scoring immediate political points (or preventing the other side from doing so), might be able to more easily get the bill introduced, debated and approved.
But then, when has Congress ever taken the easy route or done what it needed to do in a timely manner?
Are you worried yet?
- Senate uses Form 1099 as political bludgeon,
fails to fix reporting problem
- Senator slams SBA for not taking a stand
on new Form 1099 reporting rule
- Lawmakers seek repeal of new 1099 forms
- Effort to repeal 1099 reporting fails
- Tell the IRS what you think about the new
Form 1099 reporting requirement
- Expiring tax cuts might just do that
- Tax cuts, or hikes, for all
- OMG! What will happen to my tax bill if the
Bush tax cuts expire!?!
- The economic and political perils of Congressional gridlock
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