Congress Divided Over Extension of Expired Tax Provisions

by: Smith and Howard

November 3, 2015

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Congress is considering several measures that would extend tax provisions that were previously allowed to expire.

Here are the facts:  

  • On September 17, 2015, the House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation to permanently extend expired tax provisions for bonus depreciation, qualified leasehold improvements and certain expenses for teachers
  • The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the extension of various expired provisions would increase the federal deficit by over $400 billion over the 10-year budget period
  • The House bill would make permanent the 50% additional first year depreciation deduction for qualified purchases. Bonus depreciation would also be allowed for qualified leasehold improvements (QLIs)
  • The bill removes the requirement that QLIs must be placed in service more than three years after the date the building was first placed in service
  • The House bill also would make permanent the $250 above-the-line deduction for eligible educator expenses and index that amount for inflation.
  • In July, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation to provide for a two-year retroactive extension of over 50 expired tax provisions, including bonus depreciation and increased Section 179 expensing limitations.


Republicans are in favor of extending these expired tax provisions permanently. However, Democrats oppose this noting that permanent extensions would be included in the official budget baseline, which explains why making them permanent would add to the federal debt.

While President Obama and many Democrats support the aim of the tax breaks, the president has vowed to veto the permanent extensions because of the deficit impact.

Though none of these measures have been enacted, both the House and Senate are working on various packages to extend expired provisions. Many are predicting it will be December before final action is taken. It also remains unclear whether we will get permanent relief or just another short-term “extender package,” as was done at the end of 2014.

If you would like to discuss how these tax provisions could affect your business, or would like to discuss any other tax matters with Smith and Howard, please contact Debbie Torrance or anyone in the tax group at 404-874-6244. We’ll keep you posted on status updates.

If you would like to contact a member of Congress to express your viewpoint about these measures, simply click here to find contact information.

How can we help?

If you have any questions and would like to connect with a team member please call 404-874-6244 or contact an advisor below.