Hill tax writers look to extend bonus depreciation

A top congressional tax-writer has introduced legislation that would extend an expensing provision favored by the business community.

The bill from Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), who chairs a House Ways and Means subcommittee that oversees taxes, would allow companies to write off 100 percent of certain purchases for 2012.

That provision, known as 100 percent bonus depreciation, expired at the end of 2011 after being in effect for more than a year. Currently, businesses can deduct half the costs of certain purchases.

“I’ve heard time again from small business owners in Ohio that extending bonus depreciation is the single, biggest factor in allowing their businesses to grow this year,” Tiberi said. “Allowing job creators to use these tools for capital reinvestment is a common-sense way to encourage job creation.”

Several other Ways and Means members from both parties joined Tiberi on the bill, including Reps. Richard Neal (Massachusetts), the ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, and John Larson (Connecticut), a member of the House Democratic leadership team.

Reps. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas), Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) are also original co-sponsors of the measure.

President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget also calls for extending bonus depreciation, and advocacy groups like the National Federation of Independent Business are on board as well.

The House Republicans’ December plan to continue the payroll tax cut for another year would have also extended the depreciation provision as well. But the final compromise to keep that tax holiday for all of 2012, passed last month, did not extend the tax break.

Bonus depreciation is one of a number of tax provisions that expired at the end of last year – the so-called tax extenders – that lawmakers have expressed an interest in extending. But many around Capitol Hill also don’t expect a tax extenders package to be complete until December’s lame duck session.

Tiberi’s new legislation would also allow companies to use more corporate alternative minimum tax credits, and allow businesses using a certain accounting method to employ bonus depreciation.