Using Business Tax Cuts to Stimulate the Economy [January 18, 2013]   [open pdf - 287KB]

"Business tax cuts were part of the economic stimulus, included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. [Public Law] 111-5), provisions that were subsequently extended (in P.L. 111- 240 and P.L. 111-315) by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, P.L. 112-240. The most important provision is bonus depreciation, which extends to the end of 2013. Bonus depreciations provisions were enacted in 2002, as increased interest in providing business tax cuts to stimulate the economy followed the terrorist attacks of 2001, which heightened concerns about an economic slowdown. Among the tax proposals discussed at that time were a corporate rate cut and an investment subsidy. A March 2002 tax cut contained temporary partial expensing (bonus depreciation) for equipment. Interest in this issue continued, including proposals by President Bush for reductions in taxes on corporations through temporary dividend relief, which were enacted in May 2003. The temporary bonus depreciation expired at the end of 2004. Dividend relief was extended through 2010 in legislation passed in 2006. Temporary bonus depreciation was also part of a recent fiscal stimulus package adopted in 2008 (P.L. 110-185) and 2009 (P.L. 111-5) and has subsequently been extended and expanded."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31134
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