Carper Votes to Approve Tax Extenders Legislation in Finance Committee Markup

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, participated in the committee’s markup of tax extenders legislation and voted to approve and send it to the floor for consideration by the full Senate.

“Predictability is the key when it comes to planning for important financial decisions,” said Senator Carper. “Both families and businesses alike need certainty as they prepare for the upcoming year – not to mention two, three or more years into the future. To that end, I strongly support a two-year extension of these provisions. However, it is my hope that this tax extenders package can serve as a ‘bridge’ that helps provide some clarity for taxpayers as we work toward comprehensive tax reform.”

Senator Carper offered and withdrew the following research and development (R&D) tax credit amendments:

  • Carper-Toomey R&D Credit Parity for “Contract Research” Amendment: This amendment would expand the reach of the R&D credit by allowing firms undertaking groundbreaking, contract-funded research projects in collaboration with other companies to claim a portion of the current R&D credit. This change would open access to research tax incentives to new sectors of the economy.
  • Carper-Toomey COMPETE Act Amendment: This amendment would strengthen the R&D credit by increasing the credit rate to 25 percent of qualifying research expenditures and would implement a number of other reforms to simplify and improve current incentives for private research.

“Private investment in R&D is the lifeblood of innovation; however, the current R&D credit is too small, too complicated, poorly targeted, and not accessible to some research companies,” said Senator Carper. “The amendments I’ve introduced would boost private research spending by increasing the value of the R&D credit, by simplifying the credit, and by encouraging more collaborative R&D projects between different research companies.”

Senator Carper also offered and withdrew a number of clean energy technology tax credit amendments, including:

  • Carper “Commence Construction” for Fuel Cells Amendment: This amendment would add “commence construction” language to the fuel cell property investment tax credit – allowing investment tax credit eligibility for fuel cell properties where construction begins before December 31, 2016.
  • Carper-Menendez-Cardin Wind Investment Tax Credit Amendment: This amendment would incentivize and accelerate offshore wind deployment through a long-term extension of the investment tax credit that would be offered for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy generated in this country.
  • Carper-Stabenow Alternative Fuel Credit & Infrastructure Amendment: This amendment would extend the investment tax credits for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and alternative fuel infrastructure for five years until December 31, 2019. Currently, both tax credits expired December 31, 2014.
  • Carper-Cardin-Warner-Casey Waste Heat to Power Amendment: This amendment would clarify previous legislation to ensure waste heat to power technology is eligible for investments tax credits under section 48 of the tax code.

“We need to do more to incentivize the adoption and production of clean energy,” said Senator Carper. “By embracing this emerging technology, we will create good-paying jobs and modernize our economy, while helping to reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil. My amendments would update our tax code and help to create the nurturing environment these clean energy industries need to grow and thrive.”

Finally, Senator Carper offered and withdrew a provision to improve taxpayer compliance with the federal tax code.

  • Carper Tax Gap Amendment: This amendment includes four of the remaining provisions that have not yet been enacted from the Senator’s TAX GAP Act of 2011, as well as a new provision that gives the Internal Revenue Service authority to make corrections to a taxpayer’s tax return without the need to trigger an audit.

“Every year, people who don’t properly file and pay their taxes cost our country millions of dollars in lost revenue,” said Senator Carper. “That’s why it’s absolutely critical for us to ensure federal agencies like the IRS have the ability to crack down on these abuses. By working to close the federal tax gap, we can raise much-needed revenue without increasing taxes.”