NAM: Senate panel advances $95-billion package of tax breaks

The Hill (7/22, Becker) reports that the Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday, 23-3, “to extend the roughly $95 billion collection of tax breaks, known as ‘extenders’ in Washington-speak, through 2016.”

The piece quotes a NAM statement posted to the association’s Shopfloor(7/21, Crooks) blog saying it had “urged Congress to act as soon as possible to extend these provisions for as long as possible, to provide manufacturers with a bridge of certainty to help with business planning decisions until comprehensive tax reform is enacted into law.”

The Hill characterizes the Finance Committee’s two-year extension of various provisions as part of a “hodgepodge of expired tax breaks” that tax-writing senators cleared on Tuesday. Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said: “All of these tax provisions are meant to be incentives — they are meant to encourage and promote certain activities. If they are expired, they aren’t doing much good. We need to move this package forward as soon as possible.”

The desire for swift action, according to The Hill, is shared by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), although the piece notes that the House has taken “a different approach this year, passing permanent extensions of the research credit, an incentive to allow small businesses to more quickly write off purchases, a string of preferences to encourage charitable giving and others.” Final action, however, is unlikely before Congress returns from its monthlong August recess.

White House, Congressional Leaders Discussing Overhaul Of Business Taxes. In a front-page story, the Wall Street Journal (7/22, A1, McKinnon, Subscription Publication) reports that according to those involved in the effort, the White House and top lawmakers have begun discussions about a significant overhaul of how multinational firms are taxed. The talks are part of an attempt to find funding for a long-term infrastructure bill, mainly by offering a US-based multinationals a one-time opportunity to repatriate earnings currently held offshore, which would generate a tax windfall. Other topics of discussion include whether to end the US system of taxing companies on their worldwide income and whether to provide separate tax treatment of intellectual property.