Congress agreed to temporarily extend government funding through
Dec. 9, allowing a recess for the elections in anticipation of
returning for a lame duck session to wrap up final unresolved
The lame duck agenda should include several potential tax
issues. Congressional leaders have said they will try to reach
agreement to extend some of the energy provisions left off of last
year's big tax agreements. This effort could expand to include
many of the 30-plus other provisions that were not made permanent
as part of that deal and are set to expire at the end of the year.
Some of the most popular provisions expiring on Dec. 31
Above the line deduction for
Mortgage insurance deduction
Exclusion for home debt
Accelerated depreciation for
racehorses and motorsport tracks
Credits for alternative fuel and
biofuel, energy efficient new homes and home improvements, and the
deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings.
Many lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are also expected to
make last-ditch efforts to push their pet project tax bills through
before Congress adjourns. Some of the bills that could be
Mobile Workforce State Income
Tax Simplification Act of 2015 (H.R. 2315) – Bars
states from taxing the income of nonresident employees who stay
less than 30 days.
Empowering Employees through
Stock Ownership Act (H.R. 5719) – Allows qualifying
employees of certain private companies to generally defer income on
stock awards until the stock is sold, the company goes public or
it's seven years after the stock vests.
Emergency Citrus Disease
Response Act of 2016 (H.R. 3957) – Expands expensing
for replacing damaged citrus trees to allow investors who own less
than half a grove to qualify as well as taxpayers who buy a
United States Appreciation
for Olympians and Paralympians Act (H.R. 5946 and S. 2650)
– Excludes Olympic and Paralympic medals and prize money from
income (House version limits the benefit to medal winners with
income of $1 million or less).
Stop Taxing Death and
Disability Act (H.R. 5204) – Excludes student loan
forgiveness from income for students who have died or become
Water and Agriculture Tax
Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 4220) – Relaxes the
governance rules and income limitations for tax-exempt mutual ditch
or irrigation companies.
Modify the Credit for
Production from Advanced Nuclear Power Facilities (H.R.
5879) – Extends the advanced nuclear power
production tax credit and allows public entities to pass the credit
on to certain taxable partners.
Lawmakers could also make progress on long-term tax projects in
the lame duck session. Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch,
R-Utah, is expected to release a long-awaited discussion draft on
corporate integration. Finance Committee ranking minority member
Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has released discussion drafts on depreciation
and retirement accounts and could offer additional proposals. House
Republican tax writers, meanwhile, are working on fleshing out the
framework for a tax overhaul offered earlier this year.
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The election of President Donald J. Trump, combined with Republican control of Congress, makes fundamental U.S. federal income tax reform more likely than at any time since the enactment of the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
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