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BY JOHN SAVIGNANO, CPA
What is going on with the tax extender? We are getting a lot of
questions about the fate of the 26 tax breaks that expired at the end
of 2017. They include the private mortgage insurance write-off, the
$2 million exclusion for forgiven debt on a home, the deduction for
college tuition, faster depreciation for motor sports complexes, the
biodiesel credit, plus lots of other business and energy incentives.
It’s still a wait-and-see game, unfortunately. Senate taxwriters are
urging a speedy fix. There’s a bill to renew all the breaks for 2018 and
2019. But the house isn’t in as big a hurry. Taxwriters will start to
hold hearings on the temporary provisions in the tax law, which will
touch on extenders. One holdup is the number of new members who
need to get up to speed on the issue.
We still believe it’s a matter of when, and not if, the breaks will be
renewed. At the end of the day, we see passage of a two-year extension
of all the provisions. But it wouldn’t surprise us to see this drag
into summer. In the meantime, affected taxpayers and their preparers
need to weigh the circumstances and decide whether to file
returns and amend later or wait and apply for a filing extension.
What are other tax items on Congress’s plate that might see action
A fix for slipups in the tax reform law. Republicans continue to
clamor for a slew of technical corrections to the legislation. Democrats
aren’t so keen on this, but they’re getting increasing pressure
from lobbyists and businesses to act.
Enhanced tax advantages for retirement savings. This is a priority
for Richard Neal, the new chairman of the House Ways and Means
Relief for individuals and businesses affected by major natural
disasters, similar to the 2017 easing given to the victims of hurricane
Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Also, a delay of the 2.3% tax on medical device sales. This Obamacare
tax is now slated to take effect in 2020. There’s a bipartisan push
to get rid of it. That likely won’t happen, but another one- or twoyear
delay is in the cards.
What do we see languishing in Congress? Tax relief for marijuana
firms, which currently can’t write off most expenses…even those
businesses located in states in which it is legal to sell or use the drug
for recreational or medicinal purposes. Support for legal pot firms to
claim deductions is growing, but it’s an uphill battle.
A tax on financial transactions. Newly introduced bills in the
House and Senate would impose a 0.1% excise tax on stock, bond
and derivative trades. This is a no-go. Similar proposals have failed
to gain any traction in the past.
Federal legislation on online sales taxes. Congress will let states
sort this out in light of last year’s Supreme Court decision that
upheld S.D.’s tax on remote sales.
Long-requested state tax relief for people who work briefly in
another state. Sen. Chuck Schumer opposes a bill that would bar
states from taxing wages paid to nonresidents working in a state
unless they worked there over 30 days.
John Savignano is a partner with Savignano Accountants & Advisors
located at 47-46 Vernon Blvd., Second Floor, in Long Island City.
If you have any questions or require additional information, please
call John at 718-707-0955.