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 Davis RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate 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 Grant HatchTrump holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom MORE (R-Utah), declined to confirm a mark-up. 

Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate War of words at the White House 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."