Although the House and Senate have each passed numerous tax bills, it looks increasingly unlikely that they will be able to agree on a package that will clear both Houses and get the President's signature. Such an outcome would mean the expiration at year-end of so-called 50% bonus depreciation on new equipment placed in service by December 31, 2004. Clarification of the excise tax treatment of “mobile machinery,” new reporting measures to stop diesel fuel tax evasion, and a proposed tax break for biodiesel might still become law as part of reauthorization of highway spending and taxes. But the stalemate over the funding level for that bill has continued, making its enactment doubtful for this year.
The most likely candidate for enactment is a last-minute bill to restore provisions that have already expired, for research and jobs tax credits. However, there is talk of a post-election (lame duck) session of Congress that might pass broader tax legislation.