As we approach the end of the year, it appears that our representatives in Washington are up to their old tricks finding time to write "extender" tax bills so they can claim they voted to reduce our taxes. As usual, we predict it will pass. On December 9, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 4213, the "Tax Extenders Act of 2009" by a vote of 241-181. The bill would extend for one year 40-plus provisions that are set to expire at the end of this year, including a number of important tax breaks for individuals.

Are you wondering how the Feds are going to pay for the extensions? The revenue offsets for the extenders would include, among other items, "significant new tools" for Treasury to find and prosecute individuals hiding assets overseas. It seems that increased enforcement is becoming the new way for the Treasury to generate revenue these days. Maybe, just maybe, these new enforcement tools will find all that "hidden" tax revenue and the Feds won't have to raise our taxes in the future. I won't hold my breath.

The extenders themselves won't be controversial in the Senate, but the revenue offsets could prove to be a stumbling block.

For more on the House-passed extenders bill (including the complete text), click here.


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