Comments Off on About Andy FriedmanAndy Friedman develops the content for The Washington Update. He identifies important issues, prepares analyses, and predicts outcomes, so investors and financial advisors may take Washington developments into account in their planning. According to CNBC, Andy Friedman is “one of Washington’s savviest political observers.” He is known for predicting the outcomes of Washington deliberations and providing financial advisors and investors with strategies to consider in light of the changing political landscape.
Jan 02, 2020 Comments Off on About Jeff BushJeff Bush collaborates with Andy Friedman to develop content for The Washington Update and delivers that content in insightful and lively presentations around the country and abroad. A dynamic and insightful speaker and author, Jeff is known for his unique ability to translate difficult and confusing information coming out of Washington D.C. into winning growth strategies for financial advisors, business owners, executives and high net worth investors.
Comments Off on The Coronavirus Legislation: An OverviewCongress has enacted three pieces of legislation aimed at helping individuals afflicted by the coronavirus and providing fiscal stimulus to restart an economy that has been devastated by the virus’s effects. The legislation has wide-ranging consequences for individuals, businesses, and the economy. This white paper summarizes the major provisions of the the legislation. It also summarizes the actions taken by the Federal Reserve to support the economy. Finally, the paper sets out some provisions that might be included in a forthcoming fourth piece of legislation.
Comments Off on The House Considers Impeachment: Where Do We Go From Here?A new potential contributor to market volatility is the recently announced House inquiry into whether there are grounds to bring articles of impeachment against President Trump. This white paper considers the paths the impeachment inquiry might take. It reviews the alleged facts, discusses how the House and Senate deliberations might proceed, and considers how the ancillary consequences of the inquiry, as well as the inquiry itself, could affect the markets.
Comments Off on A Laid-Back Summer in Washington? What to Watch ForSummer is a time to kick back and put the year’s bustle on hold. But summer inactivity doesn’t bode well in Washington when there are deadlines to meet and matters to address. As the summer commences, two percolating issues should hold investors’ attention. This white paper discusses those issues and their likely market effects.
Comments Off on Tax Reform Aftermath: Pass-through Business Tax UpdateOur last tax update, Tax Reform Aftermath: New Guidance for Investors, discussed in part the steps small business owners might take to claim and maximize the 20% deduction afforded by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Since we wrote that paper, the IRS has clarified the application of the provisions that govern these strategies. This white paper explains how owners of businesses organized as pass-through entities should take the new guidance into account in their tax planning.
Comments Off on Scaling Back the Affordable Care ActSince the election of President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress in 2016, the legislature, the courts, and the administration have taken actions and issued guidance in an effort to curtail the scope of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The actions and guidance have been sporadic, making it difficult to determine their interrelation and import. This white paper describes and explains the confusing array of incentives and payments that the ACA contemplates. It goes on to discuss the effect and interaction of government efforts to reduce these payments and to scale back the scope of the law.
Comments Off on Tax Reform Aftermath: New Guidance For InvestorsSince Congress passed the sweeping Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017, the IRS has issued substantial guidance interpreting portions of the Act. Much of this guidance favors investors by softening limitations and disallowances that the Act imposes. This white paper, Tax Reform Aftermath: New Guidance for Investors, reviews this guidance and provides helpful strategies investors may consider in filing their 2018 returns in April and beginning their tax planning for 2019.
Comments Off on Congress Returns as the Election LoomsCongress returns for its fall session with a number of items on its plate. First up is the usual fall wrangle, funding the government to avoid a shutdown. But other items are new and could have far-reaching effects for investors, including a bipartisan threat to “stretch IRAs”. This white paper considers the risk of a government shutdown, and goes on to review and provide a prognosis for the other items Congress is likely to consider this fall, including “Tax Reform 2.0”.
Comments Off on The 2018 Midterm Elections: Context and Cross CurrentsThe different and constantly changing polls make it difficult at this point to reach a definitive conclusion regarding the midterm election results. Moreover, future events – particularly those occurring in late October and November – almost certainly will have an outsized influence on the outcome. But even now we can consult certain metrics to determine which party heads into the election with tailwinds, and which party is likely to have to overcome headwinds to win. This white paper examines these cross currents.
Comments Off on Managing Deductions and Expenses Under The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017The new deduction rules of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act offer a significant, as yet uncharted opportunity for tax and financial planning. Some of these planning opportunities stand formerly conventional wisdom on its head by making it unwise for taxpayers to incur expenses that qualify as itemized deductions – even under the more restrictive rules of the Act. This white paper addresses the interplay of the Act’s new rules for tax deductions. We provide a framework to help taxpayers determine whether to incur deductible expenses and some planning opportunities to maximize the tax benefits these deductions can provide.
Comments Off on Tax Reform Accomplished: How Does the Legislation Affect Investors and Businesses?
As 2017 drew to a close, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, tax reform legislation that made sweeping changes to the Internal Revenue Code. When Congress last reformed the tax code in 1986, the legislative process took over two years. This time Congress accomplished the same feat in two months. This white paper discusses the portions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that are of particular importance to business owners, investors, and financial advisors. We point out situations that are likely to fare better and those likely to fare worse under the legislation. At the end, we present a chart of “winners and losers” that takes into account these individual situations. The chart also shows business and economic sectors particularly likely to be affected by these tax changes, thereby potentially altering their equity valuations.
Comments Off on A New Administration in Washington: How Will Trump’s Policies Affect Taxes, Investments, and the Markets?President Trump's initiatives promise to have far ranging effects on taxes, health care, sector regulation, government spending, and the country's fiscal situation. This paper lays out the initiatives we expect Trump to pursue during his first year in office. We consider the extent to which Trump can expect support from the Republican-led Congress and the impediments that nonetheless may stand in the way. And, finally, we discuss how the new administration's programs are likely to affect the economy, industry sectors, tax planning, investments, and the markets.
Comments Off on A Republican Congress Awaits – But First the Lame Duck SessionDestiny became reality in the midterm elections as the Republicans gained a majority of the Senate and widened their lead in the House to historic proportions. The Republicans now must decide the mix of confrontation and collaboration that will define their leadership. Due to variations in beliefs and campaigning strategies, the rank-and-file members of the two chambers might see this ideal mix differently. This update discusses the dynamics surrounding the election and enumerates the items Congress must address in the lame duck session taking place in December.
Comments Off on Corporate Inversions: A PrimerBurger King’s announcement that it intends to merge with Canadian company Tim Hortons -- and in the process move its headquarters to Canada -- is the latest in a recent string of corporate “inversions”, companies fleeing the tax jurisdiction of the United States. This paper explains why companies are inverting, whether Washington can stop them, and – perhaps most important - the consequences to shareholders and investors.
Comments Off on Congress Raises the Debt Limit: Is This the End of the Budget Battles?Congress has passed legislation permitting the federal government to continue to borrow funds through March 15, 2015. Coupled with the agreement reached last December to fund the government through September 30, 2015, this action eliminates the prospects of additional fiscal showdowns for at least the remainder of 2014. But these battles are likely to return next year.
Comments Off on A Budget Compromise is Reached, But Unresolved Issues RemainCongressional negotiators have reached a modest agreement to fund the federal government for the next two years. The agreement does not, however, raise the nation’s borrowing limit, leaving an important issue unresolved for 2014. This paper describes the compromise and the fiscal issues remaining for Congressional action in 2014.
Comments Off on The Sequester Cuts Take Effect: Now What Happens?Congress has permitted the government spending cuts, known as the sequester, to begin on March 1. But Congress faces other deadlines that could affect the implementation of those cuts. This paper discusses the background of the sequester cuts, their implementation, and how Congress is likely to handle the other approaching deadlines.
Comments Off on Behind the Fiscal Cliff CompromiseThis paper summarizes the elements of the fiscal cliff compromise reached on New Year’s Eve, and discusses how the compromise affects future income tax rates and wealth transfer.
POTUS seriously exploring executive action as a solution to stalled Round 4 talks. Focus is on eviction moratorium, unemployment benefits extension & suspension of payroll taxes. Asks agencies to advise him re monies not spent from CARES Act. ow.ly/tBPx50ASwp6
Primary results: Winners-Moderate GOP and Progressive Dems. ow.ly/RsTL50ARuSx ow.ly/cLTp50ARuSs Progress in Round 4 talks. Dems seem to be getting more of what they want. ow.ly/tXgg50ARuSn ow.ly/dq1z50ARuSl ow.ly/qUyp50ARuSz ow.ly/AQS350ARuIy
Round 4 negotiations- Better, but not good. ow.ly/F9Yx50AQtqu ow.ly/Lu1550AQtqp ow.ly/fBYg50AQtqw Trump weighs action. ow.ly/Up3z50AQtqg Meanwhile, it's Primary day! ow.ly/aaA050AQtqn Confused by balloting terminology? ow.ly/5oE550AQtpl
By driving up Democrat mail-in balloting, ballot rejections could provide a slight tailwind for Trump due to higher failure rate and low correction rate vs in-person. ow.ly/8el750APoEG Black voters not as trusting of mail-in. ow.ly/O3qQ50APoEJ
No significant Round 4 negotiation progress made over the weekend. ow.ly/S3Ax50APpn5 With the absence of legislative progress, rumors of Trump taking executive action begin. Hint, his authority is mostly limited. ow.ly/4CRY50APpn7