The House has approved H.R. 2029 as amended with The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act, which both renews and expands various tax credit programs. In particular, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program (WOTC) will be renewed for a period of 5 years, with a retroactive start date of January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2019.
Also included in the renewal of the WOTC program is an expansion in which a new target group has been added to the existing nine groups. The new target group is the long-term unemployment recipient, which includes individuals who have been receiving federal or state unemployment for a period of at least 27 consecutive weeks prior to their hiring.
Other incentives included in the amendment are the New Market Tax Credit Program, also renewed for a period of 5 years, as well as Indian Employment Tax Credit program and the Empowerment Zone program; which are both renewed through December 31, 2016, and Research and Development Tax Credit program which is made permanent by this amendment.
The bill cannot be sent to the Senate for final passage until the House passes Amendment No. 1 to H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016, which is scheduled for debate Friday, December 18, 2015.
The bill will then go to the Senate. On Thursday, December 17, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) received unanimous consent for the motion to take up and pass H.R. 2029, the vehicle for enacting the Omnibus and Tax Extenders, when the bill is received from the House. It will then be sent to the President who has said he will sign it into law by midnight December 22nd.