Two new Senate bills were recently introduced that would prevent attempts to patent tax strategies. The Patent Reform Act (S. 23) and the Equal Access to Tax Planning Act (S. 139) include provisions to prevent any strategy to reduce, avoid, or defer tax liability under federal, state, local or foreign law.
S. 23 is a comprehensive patent overhaul bill that is moving swiftly; the tax strategy patent language in Section 14 also survived Judiciary Committee mark-ups last week. S. 23 may get bogged down, however, in larger patent politics between various interest groups.
S. 139 deals solely with tax strategy patents, but it does not have a hearing scheduled yet and needs more co-sponsors to improve its chances.
TSCPA and AICPA have been strong advocates for several years on the banning of tax strategy patents. TSCPA recently issued a letter to Senator John Cornyn on the Judiciary Committee, urging that he support language in Section 14 of S. 23. If the patent overhaul bill begins to stall, the profession will redirect attention to move S. 139. Members may contact the Senator to request that he co-sponsor both S. 23 and S. 139. The Senator’s office phone number in Washington is (202) 224.2934 or complete Senator Cornyn's online contact form.
TSCPA letter to Senator Cornyn