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Rangel Plans to Renew Expiring Tax Breaks

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By Michael Cohn
November 20, 2009

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., intends to introduce legislation next month that would keep a variety of tax breaks from expiring before the end of the year.

Instead of sending the bill through his committee, Rangel plans to dispatch the bill directly to the floor of the House, according to Bloomberg.com. There are about 73 tax provisions scheduled to expire by Dec. 31, including the credit for research and experimentation expenses, deductions for tuition and state and local taxes, film and TV production expensing rules, a deduction for contributions of food inventory, tax breaks for certain expenses by school teachers, and a host of other goodies.

The AMT patch probably won’t be one of the expiring provisions included in the legislation Rangel will introduce, but the Recovery Act already included the patch for this year. Congress will be able to patch up the AMT once again next year to keep it from spreading to millions more taxpayers.

One of the most hotly anticipated questions is the estate tax. Currently the first $3.5 million of a person’s estate is exempted from the tax, and then the estate is taxed at up to 45 percent for estates valued at $7 million or more. Next year, the tax will temporarily go away, only to return with a vengeance in 2011, when it tops out at 55 percent on estates valued at over $1 million. The legislation may include a permanent estate tax provision, but that’s far from a done deal at this point.

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