U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, was in Lancaster on Friday touting a bipartisan tax relief bill he has introduced to help small businesses.
The Small Business Tax Certainty and Growth Act would make permanent the maximum allowable deduction under Section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code. That section allows small businesses to deduct the cost of acquired assets more rapidly.
Casey's bill would set the deduction limit at $250,000, indexed for inflation, and ensure that only small businesses could avail themselves of the benefit by phasing it out as acquisitions exceed $800,000.
The maximum deduction has changed three times in the past six years and is usually addressed as a year-end extender, Casey said, which makes this benefit unpredictable from year to year.
The legislation encourages capital investment by extending, for one year, provisions that benefit businesses of all sizes: bonus depreciation and 15-year depreciation for improvements with respect to restaurants, retail facilities and leaseholds.
In addition, Casey said the bill would allow more companies to use the simpler cash method of accounting by permanently doubling the threshold at which the accrual method is required. That would jump to $10 million in gross receipts, indexed for inflation, according to the bill.
Co-authored by Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, S.B. 1085 also permanently doubles the deduction for business start-up expenses to $10,000. This provision is targeted to provide a benefit only to small businesses by phasing out the deduction as start-up expenses exceed $60,000, according to the bill.
Casey said he hopes to get the bill to President Obama's desk this year. It is currently in the Senate Finance Committee.