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House Passes One-Year Extension of Section 179 Tax Provision

December 4, 2014

In early December, the House passed and sent to the Senate a one-year extension of more than 50 expired tax breaks, including an important one for farmers that NMPF strongly supported. The Senate is expected to pass the so-called “tax extenders” bill before adjourning for the holidays, but it is uncertain whether it will be identical to the House bill.

The House bill, which passed 378 to 46, allows small businesses, including farms, to write off capital purchases such as equipment immediately, instead of over time.

In November, NMPF joined 41 other agricultural organizations in urging Congress to include this provision, known as Section 179, in any tax bill considered in its post-election session. The farm groups asked that the maximum amount of annual expensing be restored to $500,000, as it was in 2013. In addition, they asked Congress to reinstate the 50 percent bonus depreciation for the purchase of new capital assets, including farm equipment.

“Farming requires significant investments in machinery and equipment,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “By allowing farmers to immediately write off these purchases, Section 179 gives producers an incentive to invest in their businesses while it reduced their record-keeping burden.”

A one-year restoration of Section 179 would reinstate the provision for 2014 only. If final tax legislation does not clear the Congress this month, the issue is likely to return in January.