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Senate Issues Text of Infrastructure Bill

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

Senate lawmakers over the weekend unveiled the text of the 2,700+ page infrastructure bill (H.R. 3684), setting up a long series of amendments and debate that could push final approval beyond August 6. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. said that the chamber would complete work on that bill and a budget resolution before the Senate leaves for August recess.

“A bipartisan infrastructure bill is definitely necessary, but to many of us it is not sufficient,” he said in his floor remarks on August 1. “That’s why soon after this bill passes, the Senate Democrats will press forward with a budget resolution to allow the Senate to make further historic vitally important investments.”

The bipartisan measure is fully funded through a combination of redirecting unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees, and strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to cryptocurrencies. The package addresses public transit, highways, water systems, clean energy and high-speed internet services. The bipartisan bill needs 60 votes to advance in the Senate, while the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation needs only a simple majority of 51 votes to pass.

When bill is expected to pass. The House is not expected to return from its recess until September 20. According to Senate aides it could take months before final passage of both the infrastructure bill and $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill is complete. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she wants to take up both bills simultaneously and would not consider them unless the Senate passes both bills.

Tax provisions in the infrastructure bill include:

Cryptocurrency reporting. The bill requires brokers to report the basis and character of gain or loss of transactions involving “digital assets” (a new term that the bill uses to describe cryptocurrencies) just like brokers now report the basis and character of gain or loss of stock and bond sales. Brokers will also have to report certain other transfers of digital assets, even if the transfer is not a sale or exchange.

In addition, any business that receives more than $10,000 of digital assets will have to report such receipt just as it must report the receipt of more than $10,000 of cash.

Employer retention credit ending early. The bill shortens the time frame for using the employer retention credit (ERC). While the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 had just recently extended the time for taking the credit to December 31, 2021, the bill now says, except for wages paid by a recovery startup business, only wages paid until September 30 are to be taken into account for determining the ERC.

 

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