Spending Bill Includes Tax Relief

In December, at the same time it was voting on the fifth COVID-19 relief package, Congress passed a federal spending bill—the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021—that included several NAR-supported provisions.

  • 179D energy-efficient buildings deduction. Congress made 179D a permanent part of the tax code, with some updates. Since 2006 the provision has allowed commer­cial property owners to deduct up to $1.80/square foot for qualifying energy-efficient improvements. Going for­ward, the deduction will be indexed for inflation. The act requires that the ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers) standards that govern the deduction be updated.
  • PPP-paid business expenses. In spring 2020, the IRS issued guidance stating that expenses paid with for­given PPP loan money would not be tax deductible. The guidance would have resulted in struggling small businesses having to use valuable resources to pay tax on expenses not normally taxed. Congress clarified its intent that such expenses be deductible, and the IRS has since reversed its ruling.
  • Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Congress created a permanent 4% floor for the portion typically used for rehabilitation of older rental housing and the preserva­tion of subsidized rental developments.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit. The ERTC was ex­tended through June 30, 2021, and modified, increas­ing the credit rate from 50% to 70% of qualified wages and expanding eligibility by reducing the year-over-year gross receipts decline from 50% to 20%. The act increased the limit on per-employee creditable wages from $10,000 per year to $10,000 per quarter, in­creased the 100-employee delineation to 500 or fewer, and allowed businesses with PPP loans to qualify.
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Details, Details

Visit nar.realtor for more on these topics: 

  • For details on rental assistance, search for “Housing Provider FAQs.” 
  • For a complete summary of the December 2020 coronavirus relief and spending measures, as well as the March 2021 coronavirus relief measure, known as the American Rescue Plan Act, go to nar.realtor/coronavirus.


The latest from NAR about about COVID-19 (coronavirus), its impact on the real estate industry and events, and federal programs affecting REALTORS®.

Coronavirus: Housing Providers FAQs

Housing providers need to maintain and, if necessary, increase the steps they have already taken to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

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