— by Alexandra Thornton and Samuel Rubinstein
As Congress digs into its fall legislative agenda, one important item of business it faces is which expiring tax provisions to extend and for how long. So far, the Senate has managed to sidestep this question by approving a bill that extends many already expired provisions for two years. The House of Representatives, on the other hand, has passed bills that make selected expiring provisions permanent. Unfortunately, these bills strongly favor businesses at the expense of working families.
The House voted to make permanent two expiring provisions—known as the R&D credit and Section 179 expensing—that have obvious benefits for corporations and other businesses. However, 2009 changes to the existing Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit—which helped lift an additional 1.8 million Americans out of poverty and provided needed support for higher education—are all due to expire in 2017 unless Congress takes action. For roughly the same amount of money as the R&D credit and Section 179 extensions, Congress could permanently extend the 2009 temporary expansions of three tax provisions that benefit working families and their children.
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