Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law

Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law
© Anna Moneymaker

Sens. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Thursday introduced legislation to fix a provision in President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE’s 2017 tax-cut law that adversely affects the retail and restaurant industries.

“The federal tax code should not make it more difficult for a restauranteur or a retailer,” Toomey said in a statement. “Capital invested in a company should be fully deductible at the time of the investment.”

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Before the law's enactment, retail stores and restaurants could write off the costs of their renovations over a span of 15 years. The authors of the 2017 tax legislation intended for the statute to allow businesses to write off the full costs of those renovations in the year they were made.

But as a result of what's been called a drafting error, or the "retail glitch," stores and restaurants now have to write off the costs of renovations over the course of 39 years.

The measure offered by Toomey and Jones would allow businesses to immediately deduct the full cost of renovations. The fix would apply retroactively, as if it had been included in the 2017 tax law, and the Joint Committee on Taxation has said the change would not have an impact on federal revenue.

“Making sure our local small businesses can invest in themselves is critical for the economic success of Alabama’s communities," Jones said in a statement. "That’s why this bipartisan legislation is so important: to make sure the tax code works as intended, and restaurants, retailers, and other businesses can make the improvements they need to make their stores competitive, vibrant, and safe.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Angus KingAngus KingHillicon Valley: FTC rules Cambridge Analytica engaged in 'deceptive practices' | NATO researchers warn social media failing to remove fake accounts | Sanders calls for breaking up Comcast, Verizon Bipartisan senators call on FERC to protect against Huawei threats Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware MORE (I-Maine), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinStatesmen seek bipartisan solutions to big challenges Both sides have reason to want speedy Trump impeachment trial No one wins with pro-abortion litmus test MORE (D-W.Va.), Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanLawmakers call for investigation into program meant to help student loan borrowers with disabilities Senators sound alarm on dangers of ransomware attacks after briefing Senate roundtable showcases importance and needs of women entrepreneurs MORE (R-Ohio), Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsThe Hill's Morning Report - Intel panel readies to hand off impeachment baton The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' The Hill's Morning Report — House set for Phase 3 of impeachment push MORE (R-Kan.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenOvernight Defense: Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East | Putin offers immediate extension of key nuclear treaty Putin offers immediate extension of key nuclear treaty Biden reveals four women he could pick as his running mate MORE (D-N.H.) and John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneCongress races to beat deadline on shutdown Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware Senators inch forward on federal privacy bill MORE (R-S.D.). It is also backed by a number of industry groups, including the Alliance to Save Energy, the National Restaurant Association and the National Retail Federation.

While the provision is a priority for a number of lawmakers and businesses, it’s unclear whether the bill will make it to President Trump's desk.

The House in December passed a year-end tax package, with a fix to the error, when Republicans controlled the chamber. That legislation wasn’t taken up by the Senate before the end of the 115th Congress, meaning the bill expired.

Many congressional Democrats have said they don’t want to make technical corrections to Trump’s tax law unless those changes include more substantive changes.

Updated at 11:48 a.m.