On Tuesday, July 21, the Senate Finance Committee extended a range of tax breaks. The so-called extenders are called that because they expire every few years. Some such as the Research and Development Tax Credit for businesses have been temporarily extended by Congress since the late 1990s. Others are more recent but all have in common that Congress likes them but not enough to make them permanent. The package includes the Research and Development Credit, deductions for teachers who pay for school supplies, mass transit and parking cost deductions, agriculture breaks, deductions of state and local taxes and many other mainly business-related tax deductions.
The ten year cost would be approximately $95 billion but this package only runs for two years. They were last extended in December of last year but that extension covered only 2014 (retroactively). The vote on Tuesday was 23 to 3 and now the package will have to be reconciled with a House version. That is likely to happen after the August break.