Tax writers seek Section 179 extension

A bipartisan pair of tax writers is seeking to extend long-term a tax break that allows small businesses to immediately deduct the cost of investments.

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Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) would allow businesses to expense up to $500,000 a year, the expanded levels in place until the end of last year. 

The so-called Section 179 expensing levels dropped to $25,000 this year. The expanded levels were among the more than 50 temporary tax provisions, commonly known as extenders, that expired at the end of 2013.

The Senate tax extenders package, crafted by Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and the committee's top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah), would revive the $500,000 expensing level through 2015. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has signaled that he wants to move soon on the extenders package.

In the House, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has said he wants a longer-term solution for the temporary provisions, keeping some permanently and tossing aside others. Camp has asked tax writers to introduce measures like Tiberi and Kind's Section 179 proposal to help spur that process.

Camp's tax reform draft revives the $500,000 expensing level as well, and lobbyists believe that section 179 would be among the first expired tax breaks that Camp would want to extend. The Ways and Means chairman has signaled that, unlike Senate Finance, he won't move a large extenders package.

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