The voices of Tax Policy Center's researchers and staff
Nice piece by Tax Notes reporter Lindsey McPherson describing the recent history of the tax extenders. Four take-aways: There is always last-minute drama over bringing them back, most are repeatedly extended, they are almost never paid for, and they are frequently rolled into a bigger bill.
In 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 the subsidies were not extended until October or later. Of the 55 expired provisions currently being debated, 39 have been have been renewed at least three times. Congress has never fully paid to extend (or restore) the tax breaks: There were no offsets at all in 2004, 2006, and 2010, and only partial offsets in 2008. The American Tax Relief Act (ATRA) of 2012 did include some revenue raisers, but they were supposed to pay for delaying sequestration not for the tax cuts.
In sum, if the current debate over the expired tax provisions seems familiar, that’s because it is.
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