E nduring Tax Relief for Oklahomans
On Dec. 18, the Senate passed permanent tax relief for small businesses and individuals and it was enacted as P.L. 114-113. The law makes a number of tax provisions that are important to Oklahomans permanent, including:
• The research and development tax credit used by innovative businesses across the country. This tax credit encourages companies to invest in new technology to create and support the jobs of tomorrow. In the past decade, this provision was only extended by just a few years at a time. Section 179 ensures Oklahoma small businesses will be able to expense $500,000 in equipment purchases each year. This provision will provide Oklahoma farmers and small businesses the longterm certainty needed to make the best possible decisions when investing capital into their business property or when purchasing equipment to expand their businesses and create jobs. The exclusion of military basic housing allowances from determining income for housing program eligibility, ensuring our military service members are able to secure the housing their families need. The 20 percent employer wage credit for employees called to active military service, encouraging employers to retain employees during periods they are called to serve. This bill also modifies the provision so that it applies to all employers instead of just those with 50 or fewer employees. The child tax credit to assist low income Oklahomans while ensuring the provision is not abused by requiring individuals to have a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer ID number to qualify for receiving the credit in any amended filings.
Indian Lands Accelerated Depreciation On April 15, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe introduced legislation to make permanent the Indian Lands Accelerated Depreciation tax provision, which encourages development and investment in Oklahoma by allowing businesses to depreciate business property at an accelerated rate when it is placed into service on former or current Indian lands. This provision was a leading reason Macy’s invested $170 million in a state-of-the-art facility Inhofe Annual Report 2015
in Owasso, Okla. that is expected to create 1,500 new permanent jobs and an additional 1,000 more during the Christmas shopping season. Inhofe has introduced this legislation in every Congress since 2005. Language extending this provision through 2016 was enacted as Section 167 of P.L. 114-113 in December, and it included a modification sought by Sen. Inhofe that makes the provision elective to the taxpayer, providing Oklahoma companies with flexibility to choose the depreciation schedule that best suits their needs. Inhofe speaking at the Macy’s groundbreaking ceremony.
Advancing Oklahoma Energy On April 15, Inhofe introduced S. 948, a bill that would permanently eliminate the taxable income limit on percentage depletion for oil and natural gas produced from marginal properties. This provision would encourage the continued production of marginal wells, which account for nearly 28 percent of domestic production in the lower 48 states, in order to achieve energy independence. There are over 770,000 marginal wells in the United States. Holding the IRS Accountable Inhofe is a coauthor of S. 273, a bill prohibiting the intentional discrimination of a person or organization by an employee of the Internal Revenue Service. This bill was introduced in response to the IRS’s practice of discriminating against conservative nonprofits and preventing them from getting the approvals they needed on a timely basis. Language similar to S. 273 was enacted as Section 407 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, which was included in P.L. 114-113 and enacted on Dec. 18. It gives the IRS explicit authority to terminate any employee who takes official actions (to include delaying official actions) for political purposes. In addition, it establishes a clear appeal procedure process for organizations facing an adverse determination of their tax-exempt status. 36