At the stroke of midnight on December 31, 55 popular tax breaks expired, adding further uncertainty for millions of businesses and individuals across the country. The Associated Press notes that this is a pattern seen virtually every year, where Congress permits the tax breaks to lapse only to renew them later, retroactively, just in time for taxpayers to claim them by the time they file their returns. Unfortunately for the businesses and individuals impacted, this pattern makes it difficult to plan ahead, and may not be guaranteed.
Already facing “pariah” status worldwide due to onerous IRS requirements, millions of Americans living and working abroad are preparing to deal with a deluge of even bigger problems in 2014, when a byzantine new tax regime starts going into effect. Known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, the deeply controversial and incredibly complex scheme is supposedly aimed at preventing tax evasion and gathering extra funds for the federal government. In reality, it will prove to be devastating, experts say — especially for middle-class Americans overseas and the U.S. economy.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) voted against the NDAA, noting that it retained the indefinite detention provisions of past versions.
President Obama has pledged to sign into law the Murray-Ryan budget deal formally known as the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.” The bill would increase discretionary spending limits over levels set by the sequester law signed two years ago, fund ObamaCare, and increase taxes — baggage “fees” for airline traffic.
House Liberty Caucus Chairman Justin Amash (R-Mich.) aptly summed up the bipartisan budget deal being pushed by House Speaker John Boehner in this quip on his Facebook page: “Republicans will agree to more spending, and in exchange, Republicans will get higher taxes.”