Robert Kerr -- Senior director of government relations, National Association of Enrolled Agents
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In this year of presidential elections, tax reform will be hotly debated. However, debate does not equal reform. In a global economy, we have, perhaps, taken our eyes off of American corporations. Tax cuts for personal earnings, coupled with elimination of double taxation of certain income streams, may be in play.
Dr. Dan Kneer -- President, Dr. Dan C. Kneer Advisory Group
Allan Koltin -- CEO, Koltin Consulting Group
While I am not a tax expert, it is my general sense that we’re more than a year away from any serious large-scale reform. Once the elections are over, I think we’ll have a better sense of how serious the two parties are about tax reform.
Mark Koziel -- Vice president of firm services & global alliances, AICPA
Predicting what Washington will do is always dangerous, and the outcome of the November national elections will have a significant impact on the future direction of tax policy reform. Practically speaking, given the continued concern about the overall strength of the U.S. economy and the risk that certain less stable economies abroad present to the U.S. economy, moderate change in tax policy -- versus large scale overhaul -- is the most likely outcome in the short term. Large-scale overhaul that too dramatically slows investment in the United States is too risky. Will it be status quo and another simple extension of the Bush-era tax cuts? Very unlikely. Will all the tax rate reductions disappear? Again, not likely. We’re expecting that there will be some increases in the highest marginal individual rate and to the estate tax rate and/or exemption levels. There may also be increases in the capital gains and dividend income tax rates.
Gordon Krater -- Managing partner, Plante Moran
Uncertainty in the tax laws creates a hardship for practitioners, tax software companies and taxpayers. Congress needs to react to tax laws changes in a timely manner. The tax laws that are about to expire will probably get extended; large-scale tax reform will happen after the presidential election. Most likely the corporate tax rate will be reduced to encourage companies to bring jobs back to the U.S. Depending on who wins the election, will influence the structure of tax reform. Obama will fight for increasing tax rates for individuals with income over $250,000 and Romney will fight to reduce the rates for individuals with income over $250,000.
Lana Kupferschmid -- President, NCCPAP
No. Even with the Supreme Court upholding ObamaCare, there is no effective surgical procedure to remove a congressman’s head from inside his ass.
Greg Kyte -- Controller, Utah Valley Medical Offices
Getting large-scale tax reform done is hard in the best of times, as it requires clear points of views from our leaders, as well as agreement among politicians and the general populous. Unfortunately, we just don't seem to have any of these conditions present today. As a nation, we should have seized the opportunity to act on the Bowles-Simpson Plan last summer. However, as long as the minority opinion has the influence it has today, we will not get significant tax reform done. We will most likely get the non-action plan which is the non-renewal of the Bush tax cuts, instead of something like the Bowles-Simpson plan. Complicating this stalemate is the influence that special interest groups have; these groups may indeed be our biggest roadblock to enacting major reform. Without the emergence of a clear political voice or an exceptional leader, the unproductive noise of the special interest groups will be all we will continue to hear in the next year, with no major reform in sight.
Rene Lacerte -- Founder and CEO, Bill.com
I think the chances are remote that we will see large-scale tax reform. Regardless of the composition of Congress or the next president, tax reform will take a back seat to other high-profile issues, especially working through the next iteration of health care and immigration. I have met with our congressional staff members numerous times on various tax and business-related bills, and it is clear to me that the Tax Code as a whole is not front and center. Working around the edges is where they can best meet their constituency objectives.
Beth Kieffer Leonard -- Managing partner, Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Co. LLP
No. Tax reform is a non-starter unless there is a significant change in Washington.
Taylor Macdonald -- Vice president of channels, Intacct
I do not believe that we will see large-scale tax reform in the next year. The remainder of 2012 will be absorbed with the elections and taxes are popular to “pontificate” on, but not popular to change before the voters make their decision.
The rate of change in 2013 depends largely on who is running the country come January.
Teresa Mackintosh -- Executive vice president and general manager of tax, CCH
I do not believe it is very likely in the next year. The issue is very politically charged and serious reform would not likely begin to take shape until after the election -- and even then would likely be a long process.
Janice Maiman -- Senior vice president of communications and media channels, AICPA
Yes, there will be political momentum for tax reform, but large-scale reform will require a super-majority. Even if Congress does nothing, the tax landscape in 2013 will drastically change due to the expiration of the Bush-era tax rates, coupled with the tax consequences of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Look for Washington to revisit some of the proposals of the president's own Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission. Depending on the outcome of the election, reform could include a broadening of the tax base and lowering of rates, including the corporate tax rate, and/or the elimination of some loopholes as well as special rates for capital gains and dividends.
Eric Majchrzak -- Director of marketing, BeachFleischman, PC
Both President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have such different plans for both income and estate taxes, so the outcome of the election will have a significant impact on tax reform in 2012. No matter which candidate wins, I don’t think we’ll see their plans come to fruition as is, there will be a lot of compromise needed.
Thomas Marino -- CEO, J.H. Cohn
I do not believe we will see major tax reform in 2012 due to the upcoming election. We could see major tax reform occurring in 2013, depending in large part on the outcome of the current election (both in the White House and in Congress). For example, if one party wins the election, we could see an attempt to increase taxes and thereby reduce the deficit by implementing various tax reforms, such as the proposed “Buffett Rule.” If the other party wins, we could see an attempt to reform and simplify the Tax Code, such as restructuring the corporate tax system, lowering tax rates, broadening the base and subsequently bringing down the deficit.
Brian McGuire -- Associate dean, College of Business, University of Southern Indiana
Obviously, the outcome of November’s election will indicate the direction of tax changes. But that uncertainty aside, there is one area where consensus is building. Our corporate tax rate is one of the highest of the developed economies, and both sides acknowledge the need to lower that rate -- we’re pushing too many jobs overseas. As a trade-off to a lower rate, the tax base will be broadened by eliminating many of the specialized industry and exporting incentives, such as LIFO and the Section 199 production deduction.
Krista McMasters -- CEO, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
About as likely as we are to see Herman Cain make a third-party bid for president.
Caleb Newquist -- Founding editor, Going Concern
There will be large-scale tax reform regardless of who the next president is. This will be a double-edged sword, as tax reform usually stimulates more work for CPAs. However, if the existing administration prevails I fear a continued lack of growth and confidence in the economy, causing clients to need or want less services and more fee-resistant. So I expect some radical tax reform legislation regardless of which political party prevails.