- Explain the basic steps that a tax bill follows in both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Do both houses of Congress also follow the same procedures when debating a bill on the floor of the entire legislative body? Explain your answer.
- “The role of the courts is to interpret the law, and not make the law.” Do you agree? Explain your answer.
- Regulations can easily become outdated and the IRS is slow to amend such Regulations if they are superseded or modified by subsequent legislation or a court decision. How can researchers combat this?
- Everett, J. O., Hennig, C., & Nichols, N. (2016). Contemporary Tax Practice: Research, Planning and Strategies (4th ed.). CCH Inc.
Do the discussion then response the posted #1 to 2 below
“The role of the courts is to interpret the law, and not make the law.” Do you agree?
I agree with the statement that the role of courts is to interpret the law and not make the law, however the courts have shown on many occasions that they do have more power than just to interpret laws. The courts have overturned interpretations of tax code issued by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (Everett, Henning, & Nichols, 2016). An example of the courts going beyond interpretation of laws can been seen when the U.S. Tax Court overturned a Treasury Regulation involving the treatment of wraparound mortgages when used in an installment sale (Everett, Henning, & Nichols, 2016). The U.S. Tax Court stated, “While we appreciate that Congress gave the Secretary wide discretion to regulate…we cannot approve an exercise of discretion to reach a result contrary to the basic objective of the statue” (Everett, Henning, & Nichols, 2016). In this case the court made a decision to overturn the regulation because the court felt the regulation was not in line to statue or current law on the matter.
Another example is when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Quill Corp. v North Dakota ruling from 1992, while ruling on the South Dakota v Wayfair case. The Quill v North Dakota cause confirmed that a company must have nexus/physical presence in a state to collect sales tax from sellers. The physical presence could be a sales office, store, and employees operating a sales office in that state. The South Dakota v Wayfair case established a company does establish nexus by conducting business by economic and virtual contacts within a state. The Supreme Court removed the previous ruling from Quill Corp. v North Dakota establishing a company must have a physical presence and ruled states are now allowed to tax sales from out of state sellers with no “physical presence” in the state.
Everett, J. O., Henning, C., & Nichols, N. (2016). Contemporary Tax Practice: Research, Planning and Strategies (4 ed.). Riverwoods, IL: Wolters Kluwer.
The basic steps that a tax bill follows in both the House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee are as follows:
House Ways and Means Committee
*All bills originate in the House of Representatives (Everett et al., 2016).
The tax bill first stop is the House Ways and Means Committee where a public hearing is called. After the public hearing, House Ways and Means Committee “marks up” and debates the bill. If majority passes the bill, it is then sent on to the floor of the full House of Representatives. Generally, under closed rules the full House of Representatives debates the bill. If the bill is passed it is sent to the Senate.
Senate Financial Committee
“The first stop for legislation in the Senate is the Senate Financial Committee” (Everett et al., 2016). The Senate Financial Committee typically follow the same procedure as the House Ways and Means Committee; however, it is not required that the Senate Finance Committee start with the same bill the House passed. (Everett et al., 2016). After the public hearings, a debate occurs about the bill and the voting begins. If the bill is passed, it is sent to the floor of the full Senate. The bill is debated under an open rule. If approved and Senate and House versions are similar, then the Senate’s version is sent to the House for a concurrent vote and then onto the President for a signature (Everett et al., 2016).
No, both houses of Congress do not follow the same procedures when debating a bill on the floor of the entire legislative body. The House of Representatives debates a bill under a closed rule (only a member of the House Ways and Means Committee may amend the bill.), whereas the Senate debates the bill under an open rule (any senator can propose amendments to the bill).