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Bipartisan House Bill Aims to Fix “Retail Glitch”


Thomas Zanata

Bipartisan House Bill Aims to Fix “Retail Glitch”

A bipartisan House bill has been introduced that would fix a GOP tax law drafting error known as the “retail glitch.” The House bill, having over a dozen co-sponsors, is a companion measure to a bipartisan Senate bill introduced in March.

Immediate Expensing

The Restoring Investment in Improvements Act (HR 1869), sponsored by House tax writers Reps. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., would allow restaurants, retailers, and other leaseholders to immediately write off the cost of certain improvements. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) ( P.L. 115-97), enacted at the end of 2017, inadvertently excludes qualified improvement property (QIP) from the new 100 percent bonus depreciation provision.

The measure is a “small but critical fix for our job creators, and technical corrections like this are a normal part of the process when Congress enacts major reforms,” Walorski said in a recent press release. “This bipartisan, commonsense bill will allow restaurants, retailers, and other small businesses to unlock the full benefits of tax reform and continue driving our nation’s economic growth.”

Similarly, Panetta highlighted the negative impact that the loss of immediate expensing has caused many small businesses. “Our bill will allow restaurants, retailers, and other businesses to make the improvements they need to keep their stores competitive and safe and plan for the future,” he said.

Although the “retail glitch” measure has solid bipartisan support, Democrats in general have seemed hesitant to fix any errors in the GOP tax law. To that end, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., has said he would like to hold a hearing on technical corrections for the TCJA. The committee’s March 27 hearing on the TCJA did not specifically address technical corrections.