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July 09, 2008

Congress wants to look busy:

I decided to see how often the Internal Revenue Code and Immigration and Nationality Act have been amended of late. And, as you probably expected, nothing beats the IRC for congressional tinkering. Here's the number of sections of the code amended since 2001:
2007 	141
2006 	229
2005 	259
2004 	370
2003 	67
2002 	125
2001 	140

In the comments to the post I'm quoting from, a reader says many of these amendments are extensions of "expiring provisions," so they shouldn't really count. That's more of an admission than a defense, in my view, because the expiring provisions provide built-in uncertainty and a dandy platform for congresscritters to wheedle favors from lobbyists year after year.

And many of the amendments aren't mere extensions of expiring provisions, as any practitioner who has to work with the Code will tell you. The Section 409A deferred comp nightmare and the Section 199 production deduction are just two of the more egregious examples of legislative malpractice embedded in the Code since 2001.

Via the TaxProf.

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