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House set to pass spending bill with $600 billion in tax cuts

The Wall Street Journal (12/17, Rubin, Subscription Publication) reports that the House is set to approve a bipartisan spending bill that includes more than $600 billion in tax cuts that will help various businesses and manufacturers as well as many others. The Journal briefly highlights a number of the tax provisions, including a provision that will allow small businesses to write off up to $500,000 in capital cost instead of limiting them to $25,000 and a provision that makes the tax credit for company research and development. The spending bill also delays or suspends certain taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act, including the so-called “Cadillac tax” and medical device tax.

The New York Times (12/17, Pear, Subscription Publication) examines the tax deal, noting that businesses in various industries will benefit from the bill, from cider makers to medical device makers. The AP (12/17, Ohlemacher) states that “there is a tax break for almost everyone” in the measure but “only a few…are new” and most “have been around for years – even decades – and are renewed every year or two, but only temporarily.” While “more than 50 of the tax breaks expired at the start of the year,” the package “would make more than 20 of them permanent, providing certainty to millions of businesses and individuals.” The rest “would be extended for shorter periods.”

A separate piece by the AP (12/17) breaks down the various provisions in the spending bill, identifying that the bill “Permanently extends several business tax breaks, including the research and development credit and a deduction for small business equipment purchases.” The AP adds that other tax breaks were extended, including for “energy produced from renewable sources” and “tax breaks for biodiesel fuels and electric cars and motorcycles.” USA Today (12/16, Tumulty) states that the NAM and other business groups “welcomed the provisions to make the tax breaks permanent.”

The Washington Times (12/17, Dinan) reports that negotiators “said making some tax loopholes permanent will actually make it easier to do an overhaul of the tax code next year because they’ve narrowed the list of breaks that should be protected.” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said, “This bill is an important piece of our plan to replace our broken tax code with a simpler, fairer system that actually works for the American people. … By passing this bill now, Congress will have the freedom in the New Year to move forward with comprehensive tax reform that grows our economy.”

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