House and Senate conferees are in negotiations over a bill to extend the payroll tax cut and 100% percent bonus first-year depreciation through the end of 2012. Current law allows bonus first year depreciation equal to 100% of the cost of qualified property placed in service after Sept. 8, 2010 and before Jan. 1, 2012, and 50% of the cost of qualified property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2011 and before Jan. 1, 2013. The main point of contention amongst the conferees is the funding mechanism to help pay for the lost revenue to the government from enacting these tax benefits. There is also discussion regarding the extension of the research and development tax credit and certain education expense provisions.

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