On Friday, December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law H.R. 2029 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016. This measure is the vehicle for the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 and the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, in which the tax extenders have been renewed for various periods and, in some cases, expanded.
The compromise legislation included both the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill and the $622 billion for the tax extenders. Within the legislation is a five-year renewal of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program, 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 unemployed for a period of at least 27 consecutive weeks and receiving unemployment compensation for a period of time prior to their hiring.
Along with the WOTC program, the New Market Tax Credit program and a popular corporate tax break, which allows companies to more quickly depreciate the value of new equipment, were renewed for a period of five years. The Indian Employment Tax Credit Program and Empowerment Zone program were both renewed through December 31, 2016. The Empowerment Zone program also included an expansion into certain census tract areas.
The Research and Development Tax Credit program and the enhanced Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit were made permanent.