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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Tax Law Simplification and Improvement Act of 1983 -
Revision and Simplification of Estimated Income Tax for Individuals
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to revise provisions dealing with the quarterly payment of estimated tax by individuals. Establishes the amount of the penalty for underpayment of estimated tax at the amount of the underpayment for the period of underpayment, plus interest on such amount. Revises the schedule for the payment of estimated tax installments. Specifies that the amount of the required annual estimated tax payment shall be the lesser of 80 percent of the current tax shown on the taxpayer's return or 100 percent of the preceding year's tax liability. Permits lower estimated tax payments if the taxpayer can show that the installment payments made over the year were adequate for each quarter based on an annualized income concept. Exempts a taxpayer from an estimated tax penalty: (1) where the tax liability is less than $500; (2) where there is no tax liability for the preceding taxable year; or (3) where there is reasonable cause for the underpayment. Exempts a taxpayer from a penalty for underpayment of estimated tax for the fourth quarter if such taxpayer files on or before January 31 of the following taxable year a return and pays any tax liability in full (March 1 for farmers and fishermen). Permits farmers and fishermen to make only one annual estimated tax payment on January 15 of each year. Lowers the percentage of the required estimated tax payment for such farmers and fishermen to 66-2/3 percent of the tax shown on their returns. Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations to carry out the provisions of this title. Repeals provisions of the Internal Revenue Code dealing with the declaration of estimated tax by individuals, the time for filing declarations of estimated tax, and installment payments of estimated income tax by individuals. Provides that the amendments made by this title shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1983.
Domestic Relations Tax Reform Act of 1983 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide for the nonrecognition of gain from the transfer of property to a spouse or to a former spouse, if such transfer is incident to a divorce. Treats such transfer as a gift for purposes of determining the spouse's basis in such property (same basis as transferor spouse). Requires that any transfer of property under this provision occur within one year after the marriage ceases or be related to the cessation of the marriage. Redefines "alimony or separate maintenance payments" for purposes of determining whether such amounts should be included in gross income. Eliminates requirements that alimony payments must be made on account of a marital obligation imposed under local law and that such payments be made on a periodic basis. Requires that alimony payments be made in cash to a spouse under a divorce or separation agreement. Specifies that the divorce or separation agreement may indicate whether a payment to a spouse is alimony. Prohibits the characterization of a payment to a spouse as alimony if it is made for a transfer of property by the payee spouse or if both spouses are members of the same household at the time of payment. Prohibits payments of alimony to the estate of a deceased spouse. Characterizes a payment to a spouse as alimony if such payment is one of a series of cash payments where it is reasonable to expect that 50 percent of such payments will be made more than one year after the date of the first payment. Requires a spouse paying alimony to furnish the Internal Revenue Service with the taxpayer identification number of the spouse receiving alimony payments. Imposes a $50 fine for each failure to provide such information. Allocates the personal tax exemption for a dependent child of divorced parents to the parent having custody unless such custodial parent signs a written declaration that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent. Requires that such written declaration be attached to the income tax return of the noncustodial parent claiming the tax exemption. Treats a child of divorced parents as the dependent child of either parent for purposes of the medical expense deduction. Applies these tax rules to taxable years beginning after 1983. Permits a noncustodial parent to continue to claim a tax exemption for a dependent child in cases where such parent entered into an agreement with the custodial parent prior to January 1, 1984 which allocated the exemption to the noncustodial parent, and the noncustodial parent contributes at least $600 to the child's support for the year. Revises requirements relating to the exemption from liability of spouses who have no knowledge of substantial understatements of tax liability of their spouses with respect to jointly reported items of income and community property. Allows an estate tax deduction for transfers of property in settlement of marital or property rights not subject to the gift tax.
Revision of At-Risk Rules for the Investment Tax Credit
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to revise the at-risk rules on the investment tax credit. Reduces the credit base of property eligible for investment tax credit treatment by the amount of nonqualified nonrecourse financing with respect to such property. Defines "nonqualified nonrecourse financing" (financing in which the taxpayer is protected against loss) as any nonrecourse financing which is not qualified commercial financing. Defines "qualified commercial financing" as any financing with respect to property if: (1) such property is not acquired from a related party (family, controlled corporations etc.); (2) the amount of the nonrecourse financing does not exceed 80 percent of the credit base of the property; and (3) such financing is obtained from certain business lenders or from any Federal, State, or local government. Sets forth special rules for the treatment of S corporation shareholders and partners with respect to the at-risk rules. Provides rules for the treatment of subsequent increases and decreases in nonqualified nonrecourse financing with respect to investment tax credit property.
Estate Tax Provisions
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to provide a permanent rule for the reformation of charitable split interest instruments for purposes of meeting the requirement for the tax deduction for gifts of split interests to charity. Requires that the charitable and noncharitable interests in the split interest trust generally remain the same before and after the reformation. Treats the premature death of an income beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust as the equivalent of a reformation. Permits the executor of an estate to elect an alternate date for valuing estate property only if such election will result in a decrease of the value of the gross estate and the amount of estate tax liability. Permits the executor to elect an alternate valuation date on a late filed return.
Foreign Tax Provisions
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to define "resident alien" for U.S. tax purposes. Treats any individual as a resident alien if such individual: (1) is a lawful permanent resident of the United States at any time during the calendar year; (2) has an application for an immigrant visa pending at any time during the year and is physically present in the United States during at least 60 days; or (3) is present in the United States for a substantial period of time (at least 183 days during a three year period weighted toward the present year - "substantial presence test"). Exempts an individual from the application of the substantial presence test if such individual is present in the United States for fewer than 183 days and establishes that he has a closer connection with a foreign country than with the United States. Treats foreign government-related individuals, teachers or trainees, or students as nonresident aliens even if they meet the substantial presence test criteria. Authorizes the Secretary to require aliens who claim exemption from the substantial presence test to file statements explaining the basis for their exemption. Prohibits a married couple, both of whom are nonresident aliens, from using community property laws to split the U.S. earned income of one spouse for purposes of computing U.S. tax liability. Eliminates rules which attribute ownership of foreign personal holding company stock held by a nonresident alien to the alien's U.S. blood relatives. Treats stock of a foreign personal holding company owned by a partnership, estate, or trust which is not a U.S. shareholder, or a foreign corporation as being owned proportionately by its partners, beneficiaries, or shareholders, for purposes of the foreign personal holding company rules. Provides that shareholders of controlled foreign corporations will not be subject to taxation at ordinary income rates on previously taxed distributions from such corporations with respect to accumulated earnings and profits of such corporations. Prohibits the crediting of foreign taxes of a controlled foreign corporation that another U.S. taxpayer has already credited. Provides that earnings and profits accumulated by a foreign corporation while controlled by U.S. shareholders are subject to ordinary income treatment whether its owners controlled it directly or indirectly. Coordinates the taxation of foreign corporations in cases where there is a conflict between the application of the foreign personal holding company rules and the controlled foreign corporation rules of the Internal Revenue Code. Treats a foreign corporation as a domestic corporation, for income tax purposes, where the foreign corporation and its domestic counterpart are stapled entities. Defines "stapled entities" as any group of two or more entities if more than 50 percent in value of the beneficial ownership in each of such entities consist of stapled interest. Provides rules for determining controlled corporation status and stock ownership of stapled entities, and whether a stapled entity is a real estate investment trust or a regulated investment company.
Miscellaneous Treasury Administrative Provisions
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to require the submission of reports on domestic international sales corporations and possessions corporations on a biennial basis. Requires the submission of the international boycott report every four years. Revises requirements for determining which taxpayers will be included in the high income taxpayer report. Repeals the $1,000,000 limitation on the working capital fund in the Department of the Treasury. Increases the limitation on the real property redemption revolving fund to $10,000,000 (such fund is used by the Internal Revenue Service in exercising redemption rights upon sale of property on which the IRS has a lien). Authorizes the Secretary to accept gifts and bequests of property for purposes of facilitating the work of the Department of the Treasury. Repeals provisions which require the placing of strip stamps over the neck and cap of distilled spirits containers. Extends the period of court review of IRS jeopardy assessments in cases where the IRS has not been properly notified of court proceedings.
Tax Court Provisions
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to permit taxpayers to be represented in Tax Court by certified public accountants or enrolled agents (authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service) in tax disputes involving $5,000 or less. Increases the maximum annuities receivable by dependent survivors of deceased Tax Court judges from $900 per year per family to $4,644 per year per family. Specifies types of cases which the chief judge of the Tax Court may assign to commissioners, subject to review and final decision by a Tax Court judge. Renames commissioners of the Tax Court as special judges. Empowers the Tax Court to take action necessary to prevent the disclosure of trade secrets and other confidential information.
Simplification of Income Tax Credits
Tax Credit Simplification Act of 1983 - Revises provisions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to income tax credits. Groups all credits into nonrefundable personal credits (allowable first against tax liability), foreign tax credit, orphan drug credit and fuel production credit, nonrefundable credits, and business related credits. Combines business credits and the investment tax credit into one general business credit. Establishes the general business credit at 100 percent of the first $25,000 of tax liability and 85 percent of the remaining tax liability. Permits a three year carryback and a 15 year carryforward of unused business credits.
Repeal of Certain Obsolete Provisions
Repeals provisions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to qualified bond purchase plans and retirement bonds with respect to bonds issued after December 31, 1983. Repeals rules relating to gains from the disposition of property used in farming where farm losses offset nonfarm income.
House Republican Conference Summary
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
No summary available.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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