Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Republicans introduced the Tax Extender Act of 2017 before leaving Washington for the Christmas/New Year’s recess. The bill extends many expired energy incentives and some affecting individuals. GOP leadership hopes to get this bill considered and onto the floors of the House and the Senate quickly in January in time to be included on 2017 tax returns.
In related news, House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady, R-Texas, indicated that Congress will likely not take up extending the current suspensions of some of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes.
Year-end 2015 legislation extended or made permanent many temporary tax incentives. However, some energy-related incentives were not extended. Others were extended, but only through 2016. As a result, these credits and deductions are unavailable, under current law, for 2017.
The SFC bill includes extensions for:
- Higher education tuition and fees deduction
- Indian employment credit
- Railroad track maintenance credit
- Mine rescue training credit
- Qualified zone academy bonds
- Seven-year recovery period for motorsports complexes
- Empowerment zone incentives
- Residential energy property credit
- Biofuel producer credit
- Biodiesel incentives
ACA taxesYear-end 2015 legislation also delayed the ACA’s medical device excise tax and health insurance provider fee. Lawmakers also voted to delay the start date of the ACA’s excise tax on high-dollar health plans (known as “Cadillac plans”). Generally, the ACA’s medical device tax and health insurance provider fee return in January.
“We’ll have to move forward next year on those health care taxes,” Brady said on December 21. According to Brady, passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act this year has helped to “clear the deck” for other tax bills after the holidays. Some stakeholders have asked the Treasury Department and the IRS to take administrative action, pending any legislation.