While the Obama administration highlighted a number of corporate tax reform issues in its fiscal year 2012 budget, tax experts agree that major changes–especially those likely to be unpopular with business–probably will be postponed until after the 2012 presidential election. Hank Gutman, a principal in the national tax practice of KPMG in Washington, predicts little reform will occur this year. "These issues are very complex–as a matter of economics and policy, and as a matter of politics," he says.

Gutman points to the Tax Reform Act of 1986 as an example of the far-reaching scale of the tax reform that's under discussion but says, "The 1986 experience is not particularly relevant to today because the economic and fiscal situations are entirely different."

Rafic Barrage, a tax partner at the law firm of Mayer Brown, agrees major tax changes will have to wait until after the elections, but points to some issues that could move forward this year, including provisions on deferring deductions related to interest expense, an alteration that's opposed by the business community. "If that were eliminated, it would be a significant change to the system," Barrage notes.

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