Legislative Christmas Tree

We're getting close to the end of the year, which means it's time for a bit of legislative mischief, when lamwakers try to cram certain items into other bills in hopes they will get approved before the New Year arrives.

The focus right now is what known as the "Tax Extenders" package.  It is basically a group of short term tax breaks that are expiring.

Instead of renewing them on a permanent, long term basis, Congress gives them another year or two of life, and then we repeat the same breathless rush to renew them every other year or so.

We've been hearing about the extenders bill in the halls of the Capitol for a number of weeks now, but it was only this week that we actually saw the legislative language of the bill from Democrats.

Here is the table of contents, which gives you an idea how many specific provisions there are in this package of special tax breaks.

They range from letting people who live in states without income taxes deduct the state and local sales taxes on federal tax returns to tax incentives for investment in the District of Columbia and the 7-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes.

Take a look at this list of sections in the bill, which is H.R. 4213.


Subtitle A--Individual Tax Relief
Sec. 101. Deduction of State and local sales taxes.
Sec. 102. Additional standard deduction for State and local real property taxes.
Sec. 103. Above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses.
Sec. 104. Deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers.

Subtitle B--Business Tax Relief
Sec. 111. Research credit.
Sec. 112. Exceptions for active financing income.
Sec. 113. Look-thru treatment of payments between related controlled foreign corporations under foreign personal holding company rules.
Sec. 114. 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements, and qualified retail improvements.
Sec. 115. 7-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes.
Sec. 116. Railroad track maintenance credit.
Sec. 117. Special expensing rules for certain film and television productions.
Sec. 118. Expensing of environmental remediation costs.
Sec. 119. Mine rescue team training credit.
Sec. 120. Election to expense advanced mine safety equipment.
Sec. 121. Employer wage credit for employees who are active duty members of the uniformed services.
Sec. 122. 5-year depreciation for farming business machinery and equipment.
Sec. 123. Treatment of certain dividends and assets of regulated investment companies.
Sec. 124. Look-thru of certain regulated investment company stock in determining gross estate of nonresidents.
Sec. 125. RIC qualified investment entity treatment under FIRPTA.
Sec. 126. Suspension of limitation on percentage depletion for oil and gas from marginal wells.

Subtitle C--Charitable Provisions
Sec. 131. Contributions of capital gain real property made for conservation purposes.
Sec. 132. Enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory.
Sec. 133. Enhanced charitable deduction for contributions of book inventories to public schools.
Sec. 134. Enhanced charitable deduction for corporate contributions of computer technology and equipment for educational purposes.
Sec. 135. Tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes.
Sec. 136. Modification of tax treatment of certain payments to controlling exempt organizations.
Sec. 137. Exclusion of gain or loss on sale or exchange of certain brownfield sites from unrelated business taxable income.
Sec. 138. Basis adjustment to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property.

Subtitle D--Miscellaneous Provisions
Sec. 141. Indian employment tax credit.
Sec. 142. Accelerated depreciation for business property on an Indian reservation.
Sec. 143. Deduction allowable with respect to income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico.
Sec. 144. Temporary increase in limit on cover over of rum excise taxes to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Sec. 145. American Samoa economic development credit.

Sec. 201. Empowerment zone tax incentives.
Sec. 202. Renewal community tax incentives.
Sec. 203. New markets tax credit.
Sec. 204. Tax incentives for investment in the District of Columbia.
Sec. 205. Tax incentives for New York Liberty Zone.
Sec. 206. Tax incentives for the Gulf Opportunity Zone.
Sec. 207. Election for refundable low-income housing credit for 2010.

Sec. 301. Deductibility of personal casualty losses attributable to federally declared disasters.
Sec. 302. Expensing of certain qualified disaster expenses.
Sec. 303. 5-year carryback of net operating losses attributable to Federally declared disasters.
Sec. 304. Waiver of certain mortgage revenue bond requirements for residences located in Federally declared disaster areas.
Sec. 305. Expensing and special depreciation allowance for qualified disaster assistance property.

Sec. 401. Incentives for biodiesel and renewable diesel.
Sec. 402. Alternative motor vehicle credit for heavy hybrids.
Sec. 403. Alternative fuel credit for natural gas and liquified petroleum gas.
Sec. 404. Special rule for sales or dispositions to implement FERC or State electric restructuring policy for qualified electric utilities.

Subtitle A--Increased Disclosure of Beneficial Owners
Sec. 501. Reporting on certain foreign accounts.
Sec. 502. Repeal of certain foreign exceptions to registered bond requirements.

Subtitle B--Under Reporting With Respect to Foreign Assets
Sec. 511. Disclosure of information with respect to foreign financial assets.
Sec. 512. Penalties for underpayments attributable to undisclosed foreign financial assets.
Sec. 513. Modification of statute of limitations for significant omission of income in connection with foreign assets.

Subtitle C--Other Disclosure Provisions
Sec. 521. Reporting of activities with respect to passive foreign investment companies.
Sec. 522. Secretary permitted to require financial institutions to file certain returns related to withholding on foreign transfers electronically.

Subtitle D--Provisions Related to Foreign Trusts
Sec. 531. Clarifications with respect to foreign trusts which are treated as having a United States beneficiary.
Sec. 532. Presumption that foreign trust has United States beneficiary.
Sec. 533. Uncompensated use of trust property.
Sec. 534. Reporting requirement of United States owners of foreign trusts.
Sec. 535. Minimum penalty with respect to failure to report on certain foreign trusts.

Subtitle E--Substitute Dividends and Dividend Equivalent Payments Received by Foreign Persons Treated as Dividends
Sec. 541. Substitute dividends and dividend equivalent payments received by foreign persons treated as dividends.

Subtitle A--Partnership Interests Held by Partners Providing Services
Sec. 601. Partnership interests transferred in connection with performance of services.
Sec. 602. Income of partners for performing investment management services treated as ordinary income received for performance of services.

Subtitle B--Time for Payment of Corporate Estimated Taxes
Sec. 611. Time for payment of corporate estimated taxes.

Subtitle C--Tax Expenditure Study
Sec. 621. Findings.
Sec. 622. Study of extended tax expenditures.