Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle continue to look for the right legislative vehicle to renew dozens of expired tax breaks known as extenders. Tax extenders include many popular tax breaks that enjoy bipartisan support but have proven difficult to pass as stand-alone legislation due a variety of concerns - not the least of which is how to pay for them.
These temporary tax breaks expired at the end of 2017 and would need to be retroactively extended by Congress for taxpayers to be able to claim them this filing season. Extenders were not attached to the government funding bill that Congress passed last week, however, and pressure from different industries that rely on the tax breaks continues to mount.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) said in a floor speech last week that he will introduce legislation as soon as possible to renew tax extenders for two years to give individuals and businesses more certainty about the tax incentives that are available to them.
Grassley is particularly supportive of renewing the biodiesel tax credit and the railroad track maintenance credit, but he made clear that extending temporary tax breaks year after year is not a long-term solution.
“In the long term, Congress needs to decide whether or not these provisions should be allowed to expire, be phased out, or made permanent as current policy or modified in some way,” Grassley said. “Those decisions need to be made after we have resolved the immediate crisis that is being caused by the current lapse of these provisions for 2018.”
In the House, an extenders package will be subject to a new House rules package adopted by Democrats that requires spending increases or tax cuts to be offset.