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Suggested New Year’s Resolution for Congress:

Don’t leave taxpayers hanging!

Cliffhangers at the end of a TV series provide entertainment—a characteristic taxpayers don’t look for in their tax planning. Rather than feeling anticipation, taxpayers simply become annoyed when Congress adjourns for the holidays without specific guidance on whether certain federal tax provisions will expire or be extended.

Thirty-five temporary tax provisions expired at the end of 2016, making tax and financial planning for the year ahead difficult. Congress just started its new session; will it retroactively extend some or all of these provisions soon?

While we wait and watch, review this list to determine which cliffhangers affect you:

Individual Taxes

  • Exclusion for discharge of indebtedness on a principal residence
  • Treatment of mortgage insurance payments as deductible interest
  • The 7.5% (of adjusted gross income) floor for medical expense deductions for taxpayers aged 65 and older
  • Deduction of qualified tuition and related expenses

Business Taxes

  • Indian employment tax credit
  • Railroad track maintenance credit
  • Mine rescue team training credit
  • Three-year depreciation for race horses two years old or younger
  • Five-year cost recovery for certain energy property
  • Seven-year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complexes
  • Accelerated depreciation for business property on reservations
  • Election to expense mine safety equipment
  • Expensing rules for certain film, television, and live theatrical productions

Energy-related Provisions

  • Credit for certain non-business energy property
  • Credit for residential energy property
  • Qualified fuel cell motor vehicle credit
  • Alternative fuel vehicle refueling property credit
  • Credit for 2-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles
  • Second-generation biofuel producer credit
  • Credits for biodiesel fuel and related products
  • Beginning-of-construction date for non-wind renewable power facilities eligible to claim the electricity production credit or investment credit in lieu of the production credit
  • Credit for production of Native American coal
  • New energy-efficient home construction credit
  • Hybrid solar lighting system property credit
  • Credit for geothermal, small wind, and combined heat and power properties
  • Credit for qualified fuel cell and stationary microturbine power plant property
  • Special depreciation allowance for second-generation biofuel plan property
  • Energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction
  • Excise tax credits for biodiesel, renewable diesel and alternative fuel mixtures
  • Excise tax credits for alternative fuel

Community assistance programs

  • Qualified zone academy bonds
  • Empowerment zone tax incentives
  • American Samoa economic development credit


For tax accountants who stay current with the most recent tax law developments, contact the team at Patrick & Robinson CPAs: or 904-396-5400.

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