The House and Senate conference committee has agreed to a compromise corporate tax bill that will modify, amend, create, and end various specific corporate tax provisions.
Part of the initial impetus for the bill was a ruling by the WTO that an aspect of US tax law violates WTO rules. The specific tax provision that needed to be changed was that governing “foreign sales corporations” (FSCs), which are offshore entities that US exporting firms can set up to channel their exports through. Current tax law allows FSCs to exempt part of their income from taxes. But since only exporting firms can take advantage of this particular tax break, it amounts to an export subsidy, which is something that violates WTO rules. This bill will end the preferential tax treatment that firms which set up FSCs get.
Naturally, Congress has attached lots of other interesting changes to corporate tax law to this bill. This document from Taxpayers for Common Sense gives a lot of the dirty, gory details of the bill. Who knew that there was an excise tax on fishing tackle boxes?