Extenders Feed

Does your Thanksgiving Day menu include a turkey, yams and those fancy stuffed potatoes that grandma used to make every time the family gathered at her house? Thanksgiving meal photo courtesy Satya Murthy via Flickr CC Then there are two things you need to do. First, send me your address and set another plate at the table. Then second, when Congress returns to Washington, D.C., after its holiday break, contact your Representative and Senators and urge them to finish up the tax extenders. If the 50+ tax breaks that expired on Dec. 31, 2014, aren't reinstated, then many of the... Read more →

To many, Donald Trump is a blowhard. But it turns out he has a legitimate connection to wind beyond his personal constant stream of hot air. The Republican presidential hopeful told a group of Iowa voters at a town hall meeting this week that he supports the federal tax credit for wind power producers. That's a pretty big surprise. Not just because Trump is actually talking about a piece of tax policy, but also given his hairdo you'd think he wouldn't be a big fan of wind. Yeah, I know, cheap and easy joke, but when someone walks into it,... Read more →

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) took over as chair of the Ways and Means Committee today (Nov. 5), but he shares several tax-writing traits with his predecessor. Rep. Kevin Brady, new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, flanked by New House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (left) and former/retired W&M Chair Rep. Dave Camp (right) during a committee hearing. Like House Speaker Paul D. Ryan before him, Brady favors making the tax extenders permanent pieces of legislation. And Brady wants to get the extenders, more than 50 tax laws that regularly expire and are, per their name, extended by Congress,... Read more →

House Speaker John Boehner swears it wasn't a literal come-to-Jesus talk he had with Pope Francis that led him to announce today that he's resigning his Ohio House seat, and thus the U.S. House leadership post, at the end of October. We'll take the soon-to-depart Republican Speaker at his word. He is, after all a devout Catholic, so he wouldn't be making up stuff so soon after spending face time with the head of his global church. He did acknowledge, however, that he took the Pope's words to heart. At his press conference this afternoon, during which Boehner was in... Read more →

The House Ways and Means Committee plans to mark up seven bills this morning (Thursday, Sept. 17), most of which usually are considered as part of a comprehensive tax extenders package. More than 50 temporary tax laws expired at the end of 2014. Congress is slowly working on getting them back in the tax code for at least a couple more years. Passage of the extenders, so named because they are temporary tax laws that must be renewed (aka extended) periodically by Congress, have become an end-of-the-year pain in the a… a legislative ritual. Such a delay, however, means that... Read more →

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed recently, looking at what was on my to-do list and the time left to do it. Then I saw Congress' schedule and thought, I'm in good shape. The House and Senate are facing a series of deadlines that have much more serious consequences than me getting a story or blog post in at the last minute (please don't tell my editors I said that!). There are four major dates on the remaining 2015 Congressional calendar: October 1 -- The end of 2015 appropriations and the return of sequestration. October 29 -- Expiration of the... Read more →

Oh, Congress. If we were dating, our relationship would be in Ashley Madison level trouble. The bad is that you are so predictable. Same old, same old political demagoguing and no action. Worse, all that talking plays into your tendency to procrastinate, which is incredibly annoying. Worst, your dilly-dallying is really messing up my and millions of other taxpayers' tax planning. Sir Patrick Stewart (left) and Sir Ian McKellen (right), two lions of British theater, teamed up in 2013 for a Broadway production of "Waiting for Godot." Waiting (again) for tax extenders: I am, of course, talking about the tax... Read more →

There were no big surprises -- heck, no surprises of any size -- from the Senate Finance Committee's mark-up Tuesday (July 21) of expired tax provisions known as extenders. Sen. Ron Wyden (left), the Oregon Democrat who is ranking minority member on the Senate Finance Committee, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chair of the tax-writing panel, kick off the July 21 hearing on which expired tax provisions, known as extenders, to temporarily renew. The $95.2 billion tax package would renew for two years -- through the 2016 tax year -- many popular individual and business tax breaks. Here's a quick... Read more →

Stop me if you're heard this before. And before. And before. Yep, I'm talking, again, about tax extenders legislation. These 50+ temporary tax laws must be renewed periodically, with the one to two year extensions, sometimes retroactively, giving them their name. Senate Finance Committee Ranking Minority Member Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), left, and SFC Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will guide their tax-writing colleagues today in examining tax provisions that expired at the end of the 2014 tax year. (Official Senate Finance Committee photo) The current batch of extenders expired on Dec. 31, 2014, after being given new life retroactively for... Read more →

NASCAR fans are gearing up for tonight's night race at Daytona International Speedway. Still referred to as the Firecracker 400 by veteran stock car fans, the corporately renamed Coke Zero 400 marks NBC's return to the sport after a 10 year hiatus. While some race fans are grumbling because the top-tier NASCAR race was bumped from its traditional first Saturday night in July to Sunday to capture a bigger TV audience, it still should be a good show. And it will give those at the track as well as those of us watching on television a chance to see what's... Read more →

Sunday's Daytona 500 was great. Well, it was until a late-race wreck forced a contrived green-white-checkers finish and the dreaded but always expected "big one" mass crash at the back of the field. Despite that disappointment, congratulations to 2015 Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano. He deserves the trophy. He and his #22 Shell Ford were the class of the field all day. Daytona is the first NASCAR race every season. It's the sport's Super Bowl and an event the stock car community prizes. A few years ago, NASCAR set out to memorialize past and future Daytona 500s and other notable... Read more →

Tax time is doubly annoying for most U.S. taxpayers. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia collect taxes on wage and salary income, requiring folks to fill out an annual state return in addition to their federal Form 1040. Some residents of Tennessee and New Hampshire also have to file a state return if they have enough dividend and interest income. The one tiny silver lining to these income taxes is that they can be claimed as an itemized deduction on the taxpayers' federal returns. Writing off sales taxes, too: What about us Texans who don't have any state income... Read more →

The adage that those who don't know history are destined to repeat it definitely applies to taxes. So that we -- and by we, I mostly mean our lawmakers and the Internal Revenue Service -- don't make the same tax missteps in this fresh new year, it's good to look at what happened in taxes in 2014. The one word that best sums up the tax world last year was combative. Political groups, especially conservative ones, fought with the Internal Revenue Service. IRS personnel, including the agency's head honcho, fought with Congress. Members of Congress fought with each other over... Read more →

I grew up in West Texas, where the wind sweeping down the desert rivals any Oklahoma show tune boast. So it's no surprise to me that wind power is big in the Lone Star State. In fact, it took Texas wind energy producers just 11 months to break last year's record for generation. Electricity-generating giant turbines on the Desert Sky Wind Farm near the West Texas town of Iraan. (Photo by Pismo, own work licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons) The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) reports that through November, wind power generated 33.2 million megawatt hours (MWh)... Read more →

This post was updated March 27, 2017. Original text can be found here. Uncle Sam encourages us to save for retirement by offering a variety of tax breaks. However, in the case of tax-deferred retirement plans, such as traditional IRAs and 401(k) workplace retirement accounts, he eventually wants his share of tax on our nest eggs. Are you comfortable enough in your golden years to share some of your IRA money with your favorite charity? That option now is a permanent part of the Internal Revenue Code. This is accomplished via required minimum distributions, or RMDs. But the tax code... Read more →

Happy Holidays tax world! Last night, Dec. 16, the Senators decided they'd had enough and finally rubber-stamped the House version of tax extenders. The bill now heads to President Obama, who is expected to sign it. But did the Senate act in time? Oh sure, Congress got the job done retroactively for the 2014 tax year so for the next two weeks folks can make some tax moves they've been postponing while the tax breaks were in limbo. But did the Senate approval come soon enough for tax filing season 2015 to start on time? We're still waiting on official... Read more →

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid plans this week to handle some presidential nominations (thanks showboating Texas senator Ted Cruz), then take up the tax extenders that the House sent over on Dec. 3. The good news, depending on your perspective when it comes to the temporary tax concept, is that the Senate is expected to approve the House measure as is. So as soon as the Upper Chamber is done, the bill can go straight to the president for signature. When the ink is dry, then the Internal Revenue Service -- and taxpayers, tax pros and tax planners -- can... Read more →

Congress obviously didn't read the 2014 Taxpayer Attitude Survey before passing the $1.1 trillion fiscal year spending bill this weekend. The latest annual look by the Taxpayer Oversight Board at what we think of our tax system found that the majority of taxpayers support more funding for Internal Revenue Service services and enforcement. Sixty-one percent say the IRS should receive extra funding to assist more taxpayers, up two points from 2013. Another 56 percent say the IRS should receive extra funding to enforce tax laws, up one point from 2013. The House on Dec. 11 and Senate late Dec. 13... Read more →

After running into a probable veto wall, the House on Wednesday evening, Dec. 3, decided to just deal with the 2014 tax year. By a 378-to-46 margin, Representatives approved (as I noted over at Bankrate Taxes Blog) around 55 tax provisions retroactively for the 2014 tax year. But 2015 and beyond …. Well that's a totally different question. House members said they felt they had no other option after the White House threatened to veto a wider ranging plan to make some expired tax breaks permanent parts of the Internal Revenue Code. Keeping the popular individual and business tax breaks... Read more →

In an effort to get out of town before Christmas and mollify taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service and the White House, Congress reportedly is looking at splitting tax extender consideration. The latest proposal under discussion is approving most of the expired tax breaks, essentially the Senate's EXPIRE Act, retroactively for the 2014 tax year. Outgoing Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has introduced H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, to do just that. H.R. 5771, according to the bill's summary, would extend through the end of this year "a number of tax relief provisions that expired... Read more →