Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

Have you ever found yourself yearning for swift action from the Senate on that House-approved tax bill? It’s as if the tax world could use a dose of optimism, but reality suggests otherwise. The measure may have some promise, but it appears to be stuck in its tracks – at least for now.

In a noteworthy development last week, the House overwhelmingly supported the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 (HR 7024) on January 31, with a convincing 357-to-70 vote. This bipartisan tax bill, led by Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Chair Jason Smith, aims to retroactively bolster the child tax credit and extend certain beneficial business provisions. Despite the House’s resounding approval, the Senate’s reception has been noticeably less enthusiastic.

To cut to the chase, we’re unlikely to witness any Senate floor action on this bill until we approach March. Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, has been advocating for a committee markup of the bill to vet it thoroughly, address concerns, and gather the necessary support. Similarly, Senator John Thune, the Senate Minority Whip from South Dakota, insists on a process that allows amendments to be made to the bill, ideally within a committee, as a prerequisite for its passage. Without this, Thune warns that the bill won’t secure the 60 votes needed for Senate approval.

As you might have guessed, certain Senate Republicans harbor reservations about elements of the enhanced Child Tax Credit provision, while some Democratic Senators are less than thrilled about extending business tax breaks. Furthermore, the Senate is currently preoccupied with other pressing matters, contributing to the delay. These include tumultuous negotiations for an emergency aid package with border funding and impending government funding deadlines in early March.

To put it plainly, a senior Congressional aide informed Western CPE that there wouldn’t be any significant progress on the tax bill in the coming weeks. They suggested keeping an eye on Wyden and Crapo to see if the Finance Committee schedules a hearing or markup, adding that the tax bill remains behind other legislative priorities like the supplemental and regular appropriations in terms of floor consideration.

For those interested, HR 7024, in its current form, includes several notable provisions:

  • Expansion of the Child Tax Credit until 2025, with increased maximum refundable amounts per child in tax years 2023, 2024, and 2025.
  • A delay in the start date for deducting domestic research or experimental costs under Section 174.
  • Extension of allowances for depreciation, amortization, or depletion in determining the business interest limitation under Section 163(j).
  • Extension of 100-percent bonus depreciation for qualified property placed in service.
  • An increase in the maximum amount a taxpayer can expense under Section 179.
  • A higher threshold for information reporting on Forms 1099-NEC and 1099-MISC.

In addition to these provisions, the bill would halt all Employee Retention Credit claims after January 31, 2024, effectively bringing an early end to the contentious COVID-related relief program while introducing stricter penalties

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