Over the past two months, AGC of America, working with a coalition of other industry stakeholders, has worked with Congress to pass an extension of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) through the fourth quarter of 2021. The ERTC was originally extended to run through the end of 2021 but was retroactively repealed for the fourth quarter after passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), to expire after September 30. Because of the delay in passing IIJA some construction firms already claiming the credit in October 2021 face a potential tax penalty when they file their 2021 tax returns as a result.
On February 7, AGC filed comments to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) regarding proposed regulations to implement legislation passed in 2020 called the Corporate Transparency Act. The legislation would require legal entities with fewer than 20 employees and less than $5 million in gross revenue to submit “beneficial ownership information” to FinCEN. Beneficial owners are defined in the statute as anyone who owns at least 25 percent of a company, or exercises “substantial control” over its operations. AGC opposed the Corporate Transparency Act when it was considered in Congress due to the potential for the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information—and any associated identity theft and/or cybercrime—and the potential for the owners of construction firms to be fined and/or imprisoned for failing to furnish this information in a timely manner.
On February 10, Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced AGC-supported legislation to extend the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) through the end of 2021. The Senate bill mirrors AGC-supported legislation introduced in the House of Representatives last month by Reps. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.).
AGC recently joined a group of business and non-profit stakeholders to support bipartisan legislation—introduced by Reps. Carol Miller (R-W.Va.) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) to extend the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) through the fourth quarter of 2021. The ERTC fourth quarter credit was canceled because it was used to help pay for the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, formerly called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. AGC will work with the coalition to find senators to introduce companion legislation and explore legislative vehicles to pass an extension of ERTC in the first quarter of 2022.
The Biden Administration’s Commerce Department announced that it will double anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber producers, from 8.99% to 17.99%. Earlier this year, Commerce said it planned to increase the tariffs to 18.32% but agreed to further study the issue after significant bipartisan pushback from Congress, which AGC supported at the time.
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On September 9, the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, began consideration of its share of President Biden’s American Families Plan. The final price tag of the overall legislation is still being negotiated by the House and Senate, as moderate Democrats, such as Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, are seeking to scale back the size and scope of the legislation. This will have significant bearing on how large the overall package of tax increases will be that the Ways and Means Committee will consider.
On June 22, AGC along with over 100 other trade associations voiced their strong opposition to any attempts to roll back the 20 percent deduction for pass through businesses—S-corps, partnerships, limited liability companies—enacted in the Trump tax cuts under Section 199A of the federal tax code. Despite the opposition, Chairman Ron Wyden announced on July 20 that he would move forward with a bill to phase out Section 199A. AGC will oppose this bill that will increase taxes on small business construction companies.