The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021
In a bipartisan effort, H.R. 133-116th Congress: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021") overwhelmingly passed both the House and the Senate on December 21, 2020. It is now on President Trump's desk awaiting his signature.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which spans almost 6,000 pages, once signed into law, will bring holiday cheer to many. The new law includes a huge variety of provisions aimed at assisting individuals and businesses during this time of need. One provision in particular is aimed at curing a wrong created by the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") in Notice 2020-32.
Within a few hours after my January 17, 2014 blog post, as we suspected, President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (“2014 Act”) into law. Now, at least until September 30, 2014, our federal government may operate without interruption.
Each year, our government must pass bills that appropriate funds for all discretionary spending. In most years, a bill is passed by each of the twelve subcommittees in the House Committee on Appropriations and each of the twelve subcommittees in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
When Congress cannot pass separate bills, it rolls the bills into one omnibus bill like the 2014 Act. This has become the norm rather than the exception over the past several years. You may be asking yourself why would Congress roll the bills into one single act rather than pass several smaller bills which will be easier for our lawmakers to review and debate. There may be many reasons, including:
- Too much party disagreement to pass individual specific bills;
- Too many issues pending before lawmakers to deal with several pieces of legislation;
- Time constraints that may prevent dealing with appropriations in a piece meal fashion; and/or
- The desire to bury in a single massive act some controversial spending provisions.
On January 15, 2014, the House, by a vote of 359-67, passed an appropriations bill to fund our federal government through September 30, 2014. The next day, January 16, 2014, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 72-26. The bill will now make its way to President Obama for signature.
Once signed by President Obama, the bill, commonly known as the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014,” will become law (the “Act”). The Act spans 1,524 pages and contains some interesting provisions. Title I of Division E of the Act focuses on the Department of Treasury.
The Act provides the IRS with a 2014 budget of $11.3 billion. This represents a budget decrease of $526 million or 4.4% from its 2013 budget.
The $11.3 billion budget is primarily allocated among four areas:
Larry J. Brant
Larry J. Brant is a Shareholder and the Chair of the Tax & Benefits practice group at Foster Garvey, a law firm based out of the Pacific Northwest, with offices in Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; New York, New York, Spokane, Washington; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Beijing, China. Mr. Brant practices in the Portland office. His practice focuses on tax, tax controversy and transactions. Mr. Brant is a past Chair of the Oregon State Bar Taxation Section. He was the long-term Chair of the Oregon Tax Institute, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Portland Tax Forum. Mr. Brant has served as an adjunct professor, teaching corporate taxation, at Northwestern School of Law, Lewis and Clark College. He is an Expert Contributor to Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Catalyst. Mr. Brant is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel. He publishes articles on numerous income tax issues, including Taxation of S Corporations, Reasonable Compensation, Circular 230, Worker Classification, IRC § 1031 Exchanges, Choice of Entity, Entity Tax Classification, and State and Local Taxation. Mr. Brant is a frequent lecturer at local, regional and national tax and business conferences for CPAs and attorneys. He was the 2015 Recipient of the Oregon State Bar Tax Section Award of Merit.