Jan 1 2014, 2:22pm CST | by Forbes
In all, 55 provisions of the Internal Revenue Code died an unceremonious death as the possum dropped last night, but understand – this is nothing new. The Code is about as permanent as a Kardashian marriage, with provisions routinely being written for a finite period, expiring, and then either proactively or retroactively being extended. It’s the worst business model imaginable – particularly because many of these short-term provisions were written specifically as business incentives, yet there tenuous nature makes it impossible for businesses to plan for them – but it’s a model that Congress has maddeningly embraced.
Consistent with this cycle, Congress is currently working to resurrect the dead provisions. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), recently introduced Senate Bill 1859, which would extend the overwhelming majority of the expired provisions. But don’t get too excited; the extensions would only be through the end of 2014, which means we’ll be right back in this will-they-or-won’t-they mess next December.
So what would be extended by Senate Bill 1859? It’s times like this I wish I wrote for Bleacher Report, because I’d put each provision on a separate page in a gallery, make you click through all 50-plus of them, and get rich off the ad revenue. But since Forbes doesn’t care about ad revenue*, I’ll just list them out here. Remember, all provisions would be extended through December 31, 2014.
Govtrack.us gives the bill a 20% chance of being enacted. Realistically, while many of these provisions enjoy mutual support from both political parties, others, such as the exclusion for principal residence COD and the various depreciation benefits, are less universally backed. As you might imagine, if even ONE of the provisions becomes a political bargaining chip, it could hold up the extension process for months. And as I discussed above, this largely defeats the purpose of many of the provisions, because their sole goal is to provide incentive to businesses; incentive to buy, to expand, and to invest in themselves. It’s awfully hard for a provision to accomplish this goal when it, you know…no longer exists.
*not accurate. Forbes cares a great deal about ad revenue.
Follow along on twitter @nittigrittytax
Source: Forbes Business
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