53 Tax Breaks Expired on December 31, 2011

December 31st marked the expiration of 53 tax break commonly referred to as the “extenders.”

December 31st marked the expiration of 53 tax breaks commonly referred to as the “extenders” because Congress usually votes to extend them for one more year.  The expired provisions include several popular tax breaks, such as:
  • the AMT patch (which protects 30 million middle-class taxpayers from the Alternative Minimum Tax;
  • the employee mass transit subsidy;
  • research and development tax credits;
  • bonus depreciation;
  • and 100% expensing.

The Congressional Budget Office assumes the expiration of these provisions, therefore masking the true size of the deficit if they are extended.   Also, many of the 53 tax breaks are questionable at best, but are typically extended as part of the budget package (for which members of Congress troll for campaign contributions from affected individuals and businesses).  For a complete list of the 53 expired tax breaks, see Joint Committee on Taxation, List of Expiring Federal Tax Provisions 2010-2020 (JCX-2-11).