Tags: baucus | hatch | tax | breaks

Baucus, Hatch Reach Deal to Extend Tax Breaks

By    |   Wednesday, 01 August 2012 02:35 PM

The top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Finance Committee reached an accord early Thursday to continue billions of dollars worth of business and personal tax breaks.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah agreed to extend planks of the “tax extenders” package, including the research and development tax credit and protection for individuals from the alternative minimum tax (AMT), Politico reports.

But the duo agreed to let 25 percent of current tax breaks expire to satisfy Republicans who wanted to make sure the package doesn’t cause a loss of revenue. Continuation of the tax breaks represents a win for various businesses that pressed their cause.

Editor's Note The IRS’ Worst Nightmare — How to Pay Zero Taxes

While Baucus and Hatch played up the idea that bipartisanship isn’t dead, the two parties have made no progress in reaching common ground on broader tax and spending issues.

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee weren’t part of the negotiations, and it’s unclear when the House will take up the extensions. The extenders constitute “a piece” of what Congress needs to address when it comes to taxes, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., told Politico before the agreement was announced.

Hatch and Baucus accentuated the positive. “This effort has proven that legislating can still be done if both sides work together,” Baucus said.

The agreement represents the “first step towards the ultimate goal of comprehensive tax reform,”
Hatch said. The Finance Committee will mark up the bill Thursday.

The agreement would subtract $151.7 billion from government revenue over the next 10 years, with $92 billion of that coming from a provision to keep 27 million taxpayers from paying the AMT.

Editor's Note The IRS’ Worst Nightmare — How to Pay Zero Taxes

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