Roundtable Weekly
Senate Democrats Reintroduce Legislation to Tax Carried Interest at Ordinary Income Rates
April 19, 2024

A group of Senate Democrats introduced legislation this week that would tax carried interest capital gains income at ordinary income tax rates of up to 40.8%. (Bloomberg Tax April 16)

Carried Interest Proposals

  • The Carried Interest Fairness Act was introduced on April 15 by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) along with Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Joe Manchin (WV), and several other Democratic co-sponsors.
  • According to Sen. Brown, the change would raise $6.5 billion in revenue over 10 years. The Senators introduced a similar bill in 2021. (Sen. Brown news release; Crain Currency, April 16)
  • This week’s carried interest bill is part of a broader effort by congressional Democrats to position legislative changes in anticipation of the expiration of 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions at the end of 2025. The approaching expiration of those individual provisionsis likely to drive tax negotiations next year into what some policymakers have referred to as the “Super Bowl of Tax.” (Bloomberg Tax, Jan. 4 and Axios, Feb. 16)

Democratic Proposals

FY2025 proposed Biden administration budget
  • President Biden’s 2025 budget also proposes taxing all carried interest as ordinary income. Most of the Biden tax agenda is carried over from his prior budgets. (Roundtable Weekly, March 15 and March 8 | White House Fact Sheet, March 11)
  • Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced legislation last year to treat the grant of carried interest as deemed compensation in the form of an interest-free loan from the limited partners to the general partner (GP). (Bloomberg Tax, Nov. 15, 2023)
  • The Roundtable has consistently opposed these and similar proposals since 2007 for failing to recognize that carried interest is actually granted for the value a General Partner adds beyond routine services, such as business acumen, experience, and relationships.  Carried interest also reflects a recognition of the risks the GP takes with respect to the partnership’s liabilities—e.g., funding predevelopment costs, guaranteeing construction budgets, and potential litigation.
  • Carried interest changes would also harm small businesses, stifle entrepreneurs and sweat equity, and threaten future improvements and infrastructure in neglected areas. They would increase the cost of building or improving infrastructure, workforce housing, and other socially desirable projects.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 created a three-year holding period requirement for carried interest to qualify for the reduced 20% long-term capital gains rate.

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