Senate panel passes bill to renew dozens of expired tax breaks for businesses, individuals

The Senate Finance Committee has passed a bill to renew dozens of temporary tax breaks that expired at the start of the year.

The bill would extend more than 50 tax breaks through 2016, beyond the upcoming presidential election. The bill would add $95 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.

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The tax breaks benefit big corporations and small businesses, as well as struggling homeowners and people who live in states without a state income tax. More narrow provisions include tax breaks for filmmakers, theatrical productions, racehorse owners and rum producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Congress routinely lets the tax breaks expire, only to retroactively renew them. Business groups complain that the patchwork of temporary tax breaks makes it difficult for them to plan.