President Biden Signs Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

November 2021

BY

Todd SimmensManaging Partner, National Tax Policy and Legislation Technical Practice Leader

Surrounded by Democratic members of Congress and a handful of Republicans, President Biden on November 15, 2021 signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will fund investment in improvements to the country’s roads, bridges, highways and Internet connections.

The law also contains a few tax-related provisions, including the following:
  • A provision that expands information reporting requirements to include brokers or any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets, including cryptocurrency, on behalf of another person. The measure also adds digital assets to current rules that require businesses to report cash payments over $10,000. This provision applies to returns required to be filed after December 31, 2023.
  • A provision that will retroactively end the employee retention credit on October 1, 2021 for most employers, three months earlier than the current January 1, 2022, end date.
  • A provision that modifies applicable minimum and maximum percentages with respect to certain pension plans, known as “pension smoothing,” which is estimated to raise approximately $2.9 billion over a 10-year period by reducing the level of deductible employer pension contributions required under the pension funding rules. These amendments apply to plan years beginning after December 31, 2021.
  • A provision that reinstates and modifies some expired Superfund excise taxes imposed on the production of specified chemicals through December 31, 2031 and extends various highway-related excise taxes (including fuel taxes and heavy vehicle use taxes) and related exemptions for six years.
 

What’s Next?

The focus for tax legislative activity remains on the House of Representatives, which is expected to vote on the reconciliation bill known as the Build Back Better Act in the coming weeks. If the reconciliation bill passes in the House, it will move to the Senate, where the administration will need all 50 Democratic votes – and Vice President Harris’ tie-breaking vote – to pass the legislation.

In its current version, the Build Back Better Act would lift the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap to $80,000 for years 2021 to 2030 and return the cap to $10,000 in 2031. The act also would introduce a new 5% surcharge on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) in excess of $10 million, plus 3% on MAGI above $25 million. Unlike previous versions of the act, the current version does not raise the corporate income tax rate, but it does impose a 15% minimum tax on corporate book income for corporations with profits over $1 billion, effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2022. (For a more detailed discussion of the tax provisions in the Build Back Better Act, see BDO’s alert, White House Announces Reworked Infrastructure Framework).