By The Way, Tax Extenders Are Expired Again

January 8, 2015

It’s worth remembering that the tax extender compromise approved three weeks ago is already expired again.

The “extenders,” tax provisions that are approved on a haphazard temporary basis, were last month approved retroactively only for 2014, leaving their 2015 status in doubt. Taxpayers, including small businesses with expansion plans, will need to plan around deciding whether some of these provisions will be extended retroactively again.

Needless to say, this is just objectively dumb. Instead, we should decide once and for all which of these tax breaks should become permanent and which should be discarded. Around this time last year, we compiled a helpful guide for lawmakers on which extenders could actually be worth preserving.

Instead of rehashing that, I’d just like to consider how short the life of the 2014 extenders was. Two weeks. Tax extenders, we hardly knew ye. If you were spending your holidays with family and friends and not paying attention to legislation, you may have entirely missed the life of the tax extenders. Their life was shorter than most celebrity marriages. It was even shorter than the portion of the NFL season where the Jets actually have playoff hopes.

A tax professional who wrote me in response to a previous article said that her entire profession was “disgusted” with the practice of extenders.

Yes, it’s bad public policy, but even above and beyond that, it’s undignified.

Was this page helpful to you?

No

Thank You!

The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?

Contribute to the Tax Foundation

Related Articles