• Congress Delivers Holiday Gift in Form of Permanent Extenders Package
  • January 5, 2016 | Authors: Amanda Wilson; Joseph W. Zitzka
  • Law Firm: Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed Professional Association - Orlando Office
  • This week, Congress delivered a holiday gift to the country in the form of a permanent extenders package. The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 ("PATH Act") passed in the House of Representatives yesterday and is expected to be passed in the Senate today. President Obama has expressed support of the package and is expected to sign it into law.

    The main tax benefit of the PATH Act is that it makes permanent several popular tax provisions that otherwise are subject to expiration each year. Congress would traditionally extend the tax provisions, but would do so at the last minute through a temporary tax extenders package. Taxpayers routinely faced uncertainty as to whether the provisions would be extended. The PATH Act will make permanent tax extenders such as the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, the American opportunity tax credit (for college tuition), the research credit, itemized personal income tax deductions for state and local sales tax, Section 179 expensing, and the subpart F active financing exception. While not made permanent, the PATH Act also provides for longer extensions (through 2019) of the new markets tax credit, the work opportunity tax credit, and first year bonus depreciation.

    An additional, and somewhat unexpected, tax benefit provided for in the PATH Act is that the built-in gains tax period that applies to S corporations has been permanently reduced from ten years to five years.

    The PATH Act will also delay for two years the "Cadillac Tax" that was otherwise set to go into effect in 2018 on certain employer-sponsored health insurance plans. In addition, any Cadillac tax paid will be deductible against income tax, which is not generally the case for excise taxes such as the Cadillac tax