Steven Mnuchin Unsure if Bill Needed to Shore Up Tax Law

By Kate Davidson Features Dow Jones Newswires

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday it isn't clear whether Congress will need to take up a bill to make technical corrections to the sweeping new tax law that took effect this month.

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It is possible some corrections may be necessary and officials have discussed it, but said no major problems have been identified yet, Mr. Mnuchin told an audience at a Washington Economic Club breakfast.

"There's nothing that we've identified so far that we think is particularly problematic," he said.

Republican lawmakers have said they intend to pass a technical corrections bill, but any new law is likely to need 60 votes in the Senate, a difficult hurdle. Lawmakers have already started to re-examine one change that would give some farmers and cooperatives a significant tax advantage over their competitors.

Mr. Mnuchin also said the administration is seeking additional funding for the IRS this year to implement the new law, which he said will require a tremendous amount of work by the Treasury Department and IRS.

"We expect that we would hire an additional number of people to help with the implementation," he said of the IRS.

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A recent report from that agency's in-house advocate said it would struggle to implement the new tax law without more money, after years of budget cuts. The agency needs to update forms, create new definitions, write regulations and field questions from taxpayers.

Mr. Mnuchin also said he was confident lawmakers would come to an agreement, either long-term or short-term, to fund the government and avoid a shutdown before a current short-term spending bill expires Jan. 19.

Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 12, 2018 09:47 ET (14:47 GMT)