The task forces set up last month by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) to study what to do about dozens of expired tax breaks are now hoping to wrap up their work by the end of July.
Grassley had initially said the task forces would report their findings by the end of June. Grassley and Wyden are hoping for solutions on which of the tax breaks should be consolidated, made permanent or allowed to sunset.
“It’s past time for Congress to end its bad habit of waiting until the last minute to extend temporary tax policy,” Grassley said. “This type of tax policy is meant to encourage long-term growth and investment. By definition, that must be done deliberately and ahead of time to be successful.”
Grassley and Senate Republicans were waiting to see what House Democrats proposed to do about tax extenders, and got their answer when the House Ways and Means Committee passed a bill last month on a party-line vote to extend through 2020 a package of tax extenders that expired in 2017 or will expire at the end of this year.
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) proposed paying for extensions of certain tax breaks by ending higher exemption levels for the estate tax at the end of 2022 instead of 2025 as currently scheduled. The package also includes Democratic priorities like expanding both the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit – proposals that congressional Republicans have deemed “non-starters.” Wrapped up in the tax package that advanced out of the Ways and Means Committee is a provision to repeal the 21 percent tax on certain employee benefits provided by associations and other nonprofit organizations. ASAE and its UBIT Coalition have been pushing Congress to repeal the tax for more than a year.
Grassley said summaries of each Senate Finance task force’s work will guide his next steps on tax extenders. Meanwhile, no floor vote has been scheduled on the House extenders package.