House Passes Two Small Business Tax Provisions

Date: June 13, 2014

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Fate uncertain due to disagreements with Senate, Obama Administration

The House of
Representatives voted on Thursday to make permanent a tax provision that would
allow small businesses to write off up to $500,000 in new equipment purchases,
and some improvements to real property, instead of depreciating the costs
over time. This change to section 179 of the tax code, which
overwhelmingly passed the House on a 272-144 vote, would prevent the expensing
level to fall all the way to $25,000 in 2014, after being at $500,000 from 2010
through 2013. It also indexes the level to inflation. The issue is
a major concern for small businesses, with more than 150 business groups
sending a letter urging them to back the legislation. In addition, the
House also passed a bill that eases the tax burden on companies that change
from taxable C-corporate status to S-Corporate status.

What It Means Going Forward:

The two bills are tied up in a debate over
the handling of numerous tax provisions that expired at the end of
2013. While the Senate Finance Committee approved a measure that extends
the bulk of these so-called tax extenders through the end of 2015, the measure
has not been considered on the Senate floor due to procedural disagreements
between Republicans and Democrats. The different approaches between the
House and Senate are likely to complicate the ultimate enactment of these
expired provisions. In addition, the Obama Administration announced its
opposition to both measures that passed the House, saying that the
Administration preferred to only extend these provisions for two years.

But NFIB praised the House vote and called for permanent relief, saying “Making this
popular and effective tax provision permanent will help small businesses streamline
recordkeeping, invest in their business and purchase equipment or other
business improvements from their local community. Members of Congress often say
they want to help small business—well, this is a way to help right now. We thank those members that followed through
when it counts and actually voted for small business.”

Further Reading:

The Wall Street Journal and Business Journals both provide coverage of the
House passage of the measures.

This news article is intended to keep small business owners apprised
of current events that may affect them. It does not necessarily reflect
NFIB’s policy position on such issues.

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