Tax extenders have gone from the back bench to a starring role in recent weeks. The latest news is that the Ways and Means Committee will hold a markup next Tuesday where they will consider seven separate bills to make permanent certain extender items – including the built in gains tax relief provision and the basis adjustment for S corporation donations that were originally included in Chairman Camp’s tax reform discussion draft. According to our friends at Politico:

EXTENDERS BUZZ. Congress is back next week and the House Ways and Means Committee is kicking up its review of the only tax legislation with a prayer’s chance this year: tax extenders. A mark-up is expected on a batch of corporate breaks on Tuesday, according to lobbyists and others in-the-know. Potential first ups include those debated at the hearing earlier this month, such as the beloved R&D tax credit and the one for active financing income. 

The plan is for the Committee to pass these provisions out next Tuesday and then for the House to take them up later in May.

Meanwhile, on the Senate side the extenders picture is a little less clear. The Finance Committee reported out a much broader list of extenders prior to the Easter recess, and Majority Leader Reid has the legislation on a longer list of items he would like the Senate to take up in May, but exactly how that all happens is still a bit of a mystery.

The House strategy of moving permanent extensions of just six provisions (rather than the full extender package of 50-plus) accomplishes two goals important to them. First, by focusing on just those provisions in the discussion draft, it keeps the focus on their tax reform efforts, which is obviously a priority for the Chairman. Second, it gives them a “House Position” if and when they get into negotiations on extenders later this year. Last go around, there was no House bill, and they were forced to just accept the Finance-approved product. As you can imagine, they would like to avoid that outcome this time.

So there’s lots of work to be done and differences to close, but the headline here is progress is being made and the table appears to be set for more meaningful action, either sometime this summer or post-election. That’s good news indeed.