On December 22, 2017, the president signed the tax reform bill. It is generally identical to the conference committee bill discussed in our blog post of December 19, and specifically there were no changes with respect to renewable energy, corporate income taxes, partnerships or expensing. Therefore, our analysis of the conference committee bill holds true for the enacted bill.
The changes that were made to the bill were minor and were required by the Senate’s parliamentarian to comply with the “Byrd rule” in order for the bill to be passed with only a simple majority of the votes in the Senate. First, the parliamentarian objected to the “short title” of the bill being “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” The enacted bill does not have a “short title”, so it is being colloquially referred to as the act formerly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The parliamentarian’s other two objections related to aspects of the new tax on large endowments of colleges and universities and changes to the section 529 tuition reimbursement account program.
I suspect that as the act is studied by tax professionals that traps for the unwary, unexpected planning opportunities and technical glitches will be identified. To the extent they relate to the renewable energy industry, they will be covered in this blog.