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National Restaurant Association - NRA presses for action on jobs credit, depreciation

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NRA presses for action on jobs credit, depreciation

The NRA is ramping up its requests for Congress to extend two tax provisions important to restaurant operators: the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and a 15-year depreciation schedule for restaurant spending on new construction and building improvements.

Congress let both provisions expire at the end of 2011. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit encourages employers to hire people from nine target groups who have traditionally faced barriers to finding jobs, including long-term welfare recipients and certain veterans with disabilities. The credit is worth as much as $2,400 a year for qualified adults hired, and up to $4,800 a year when employers hire disabled veterans.

The 15-year tax depreciation schedule helps restaurants more quickly recover the costs of improvements and new construction. Congress allowed the schedule to revert to 39.5 years at the end of 2011. The NRA has been instrumental in getting Congress to keep the schedule at 15 years since 2004, arguing that the speedier schedule better reflects the reality of how often restaurateurs renovate.

The NRA this week joined hundreds of other associations and businesses in asking Congress to act quickly to retroactively restore the WOTC and shorter depreciation schedule. "The lack of timely congressional action to extend these [and other] provisions would inject more instability and uncertainty into the economy and further weaken confidence in the employment marketplace," the groups said in a letter to every member of Congress. "Additional uncertainty is not a recipe for improving confidence in this economy."  

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