• To Extend or Not to Extend: Hatch Reiterates Need for Individual Scrutiny of Tax Breaks
  • March 3, 2014
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • The end of 2013 saw the expiration of more than 50 temporary tax cuts, including the research and development credit, various renewable energy credits, provisions allowing accelerated depreciation of certain business assets, and certain international tax provisions.  In past years Congress has allowed these provisions to lapse, only to retroactively renew them for limited periods through “tax extenders” legislation.  Late in 2013 Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) indicated that individual consideration of the expiring tax provisions would be part of a comprehensive approach to tax reform, even as he announced that he would not be introducing tax legislation before the end of the year.

    But now, with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) almost certainly stepping down to be the next U.S. ambassador to China, some in Congress are pressing for speedy action on a new round of tax extenders.  These include Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who will succeed Sen. Baucus as Finance Committee chair, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has introduced a clean bill to renew the expired provisions.  Recent remarks by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the Finance Committee’s ranking member, however, suggest that the process could take some time.  Sen. Hatch said that he would “insist that we cut back, rather than just keep all of them.  We should do only the ones that we really should do.”