One of the few constants in tax law is change. Because of the amounts of money involved, tax policy attracts much attention from lobbyists and by default Congress. This means that even in years where very little legislation is passed, there are still likely to be some changes made to elements of the tax code.
Tax extenders have been one of those areas that have received yearly attention from Congress, often at the 11th hour. Many of these tax breaks required yearly reauthorization and often were not re-extended until the last week of the congressional session. This year's massive budget bill appears to end the incentive for some of the last minute drama by finally making some tax extenders permanent.
Back in the 1980s, when Congress first employed these extensions, there were eight. In recent years, they have grown to 50. Some in Congress hope the removal of some high profile extenders, like the one for corporate research and development will lower the pressure to pass others and that some may be allowed to disappear altogether.
Congress, of course, pushed the topic out another two years on some of these, and some provisions of the Affordable Care Act may provide the subject matter to bring some of these less high-profile matters along for the ride, but we won't know for sure for another two years.
This constant flux of tax laws is why it is important to consult with a tax attorney when making many decisions in your business. While no one can predict how Congress will behave in two years or ten, it is important to know where potential issues could develop in the future.
By taking into account these potential areas of uncertainty, you can guard against a sudden change in tax policy having a substantial affect on your business.
Source: politico.com, "RIP tax extenders?" Brian Faler, December 24, 2015