Tax writers make plans for expired breaks

The tax writing committees in both the House and the Senate are preparing to deal with the string of tax breaks that expired at the end of 2014. 

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanRangel: Trump puts Ryan in tough spot Dems find voice with disruption Democrats plan 'day of action' to keep spotlight on guns MORE (R-Wis.) said Thursday that he wants his panel to act on the so-called tax extenders in September, once lawmakers return to Washington from their August recess.

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"The last thing we want to do is have another Dec. 11 experience, where people don't know what their taxes look like until Dec. 11 and then they're adjusted retroactively for a year," Ryan said at an event sponsored by Politico. "That is not good for the economy."

Ryan and other GOP lawmakers want to make permanent some of the incentives, which were extended for 2014 in December before expiring again weeks later.

The Senate Finance Committee could act even sooner. Senators and lobbyists have said the committee could consider a measure as soon as next week, though the committee's chairman, Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchMedicare trust fund running out of money fast Long past time to fix evidence-sharing across borders Overnight Tech: Facebook's Sandberg comes to Washington | Senate faces new surveillance fight | Warren enters privacy debate MORE (R-Utah), declined to confirm a mark-up. 

Sen. John ThuneJohn ThuneRepublicans question Trump's trip to Scotland Short-term FAA bill would likely extend into next year, GOP chairman says Civil liberties group mobilizes against surveillance amendment MORE (R-S.D.) told reporters that he expected action next week. "Obviously, we'd like to see some of this made permanent law," Thune said. "But I suspect it'll probably be a couple year extension, along the lines of what we did last time."

The Finance panel passed a two-year extension of the expired breaks, which include incentives for both businesses and individuals, in April 2014. The House and Senate eventually agreed on the one-year extension after broader negotiations that would have made some of the preferences permanent fell apart due to complaints from liberals.

Still, tax writers will face a challenge in getting the tax breaks restored before December, with government funding challenges facing them when they return in September and a potential debate over the debt ceiling late this year.

Democrats and Republicans have also sparred over whether to make some more popular incentives permanent, with Democrats accusing the GOP of being fiscally irresponsible by not seeking to offset the costs.

"Everybody agrees to do it a year at a time without quote unquote paying for it – without raising taxes on other people to keep them where they are," Ryan said, referring to a particular incentive for small-business expensing. "So why don't we just make this permanent? It makes perfect sense."