The mission of the ICSC Office of Global Public Policy is to actively shape public policy and influence the Federal, State, local, provincial and European Union's legislative, regulatory and political processes for the benefit of our members.
This quick 30-second survey (from ICSC) has some important tax reform items in it that will affect our business. ICSC is gauging how to best tackle the issues in Congress. You don’t have to be an ICSC member to take the survey. This is a reminder regarding the brief Tax Reform Questionnaire that ICSC members received via email last week.
We thank all of those who responded to the survey. The information collected will help us shape our formal response to the Senate Finance Committee.
For those who have not yet responded, please note that the survey is now available online, and the ICSC Office of Global Public Policy greatly appreciates your time and attention to this important matter.
The survey will close on Friday, January 10, 2014.
The United States Congress has been discussing the potential for major tax reform for the last few years. The most recent developments include a discussion draft issued by the Senate Finance Committee related to capital recovery and accounting that we believe could negatively impact retail real estate. A formal response has been requested by the Senate Finance Committee by January 17, 2014 and the ICSC Office of Global Public Policy is looking for your input as we draft our response. Providing specific examples of how the proposal would impact you or your business would be greatly appreciated.
It is important to note that this is only one part of the tax reform discussion. We expect additional proposals to be released on issues such as simplification, income tax rates, business interest deduction, partnerships and pass-thrus, and capital gains. Those future proposals will likely include changes to tax matters such as carried interest, which has been a top tax issue for ICSC for several years.
An overview of the proposal we are responding to:
- Extend the depreciable life of real estate to 43 years as opposed to the current lives of 39 years (office), 27.5 years (multi-family), and 15 years (qualified leasehold improvements). These longer tax lives are effective even for existing properties. For example, if a 27.5 residential property has been depreciated by 20 years, the remaining 7.5 years is depreciated over 23 years (43 year new life less 20 years of prior depreciation).
- Tax real property depreciation recapture as ordinary income (i.e., 39.6% top rate as opposed to current 25% top rate, in addition to the 3.8% healthcare tax for many individuals).
- Repeal the Section 1031 like-kind exchange rules (this would materially impede liquidity for REITs who otherwise distribute annual taxable earnings).
- Repeal the “completed contract method”, except for small construction contracts (this is used by homebuilders and had allowed a deferral of tax on profit until the construction contract was complete).
- Require businesses to deduct 50% of advertising expenses over 5 years.
- Repeal the Section 179D tax deduction for energy efficient buildings.
Thank you again for your assistance.