Senate Approves Tax Extenders Bill

Friday, March 12, 2010 US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D – Mont.) has applauded the Senate’s passage of legislation to extend tax cuts, unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility for unemployment benefits and health care for unemployed workers through the end of 2010. The American Workers, State and Business Relief Act, introduced by Baucus last week and passed by the Senate on March 10, extends unemployment insurance benefits and eligibility for the 65% COBRA health care tax credit through December 31, 2010. The COBRA tax credit helps workers who have lost their jobs continue to afford health insurance through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The legislation also retroactively extends tax cuts for middle‐class families and businesses that expired at the end of 2009, including, for businesses:

* The Indian Employment Credit and the New Markets Tax Credit;

* A tax credit aimed at encouraging small firms to hire military reservists;

* The five-year cost recovery period for expenditure on certain farm machinery;

* The temporary 15-year straight-line cost recovery period for certain leasehold, restaurant and retail improvements;

* Accelerated depreciation for business property on an Indian reservation;

* Temporary expensing rules for certain film and television productions;

* Modification of tax treatment of certain payments to controlling exempt organizations;

* Improved treatment of certain dividends for Regulated Investment Companies (RICs);

* Extension of the treatment of RICs as ‘Qualified Investment Entities; and extension of the exception under Subpart F for active financing income;

* Improved CFC ‘look through’ rules. And for individuals:

* Extension of the teacher expense deduction;

* Extension to the additional standard deduction for real property taxes;

* Extension of the deduction of state and local income taxes; and

* Extension of tax-free distributions from individuals retirement plans for charitable purposes. The bill also extends several expiring energy tax provisions and disaster relief provisions.

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