Last week, the House passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, which extends many tax provisions that had lapsed at the end of 2014, and the 2016 omnibus appropriation bill that funds the government through September 30, 2016.
Included in these bills are significant changes to the nation's tax code. The PATH Act provides $629 billion in tax relief by making permanent many popular tax breaks that have been routinely approved. Those tax credits that were made permanent include: the research and development tax credit; small business expensing limits; state and local sales tax deduction and expanded child tax credit. Many other tax provisions were extended for either two- or five-years.
Also of interest to many businesses, the package contains a two year delay of the Cadillac tax until 2019. Additionally, beginning in 2019, when the Cadillac is now scheduled to be in force, business will be able to deduct the amount of any Cadillac tax they pay. A full list of the tax items included in the PATH Act can be found here.
The House passed the omnibus appropriation bill on Friday, with the Senate following shortly thereafter.
Last Thursday, the Senate passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which modernizes the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, which all agreed that it failed to properly oversee dangerous chemicals. The legislation was approved in a bipartisan manner, with only a last minute hurdle coming from Senate EPW Ranking Member Barbara Boxer (D-CA). She opposed the bill because it would preempt state toxic laws and on Tuesday requested both a bicameral conference and the right to name Senate Democrat participants. This threat ended when Senate Democratic leadership intervened.