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Saturday March 28, 2015

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Tax Extenders Pass Senate Finance Committee

On April 3, 2014, Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) held a hearing to mark up the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act of 2014. He and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) approved the effort to move the IRA charitable rollover and other tax extenders forward.

Approximately 50 tax provisions must be passed each year. If the bill is passed by both House and Senate, the IRA rollover and other provisions will be effective for 2014 and 2015.

Chairman Wyden noted, “This bipartisan extenders package is the product of a finance committee that came together to provide needed certainty to the economy, protect jobs and maintain important priorities for working families.”

However, Wyden indicated that this would be “the last extenders bill” under his leadership. He expects to reform the “broken tax code” in the next two years.

Senator Hatch also agreed that it was important to pass the provision but to later address the entire tax code. He stated, “The last time we marked up a tax extenders package was in 2012. The bill we reported at that time represented roughly a 25% reduction in the number of expiring tax provisions. By reducing the number of extenders, I believe we were, as a committee, acting to eliminate wasteful and distortive provisions in our already complicated tax code.”

The individual provisions in the bill include the $250 teachers’ supplies deduction, a mortgage relief deduction for homeowners who have cancelled mortgage debt, mass transit and parking benefits, a deduction for mortgage interest insurance premiums, the state and local sales tax deduction and the qualified higher expense deduction.

There were also four charitable provisions in the bill.

1. IRA Rollover – IRA owners over Age 70 ½ will be able to transfer up to $100,000 per year to charity.

2. Food Inventory – There is an enhanced deduction for businesses that give apparently wholesome food to relief organizations.

3. Subchapter S Gifts – There is a favorable deduction rule for gifts of appreciated property from subchapter S corporations.

4. Conservation Easements – The increased deduction limits for conservation easements, particularly from farmers and ranchers, would also be extended.

Editor’s Note: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has indicated that he is open to voting on the extenders bill in the full Senate. The key question remains whether or not House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp will move the tax extenders bill to markup before the November election.

Published April 4, 2014

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