Technically, the bill is a one-year, retroactive extension of the tax breaks, even though it only lasts through the end of the month.

Millions of businesses and individuals could be in luck as the House moves to extend a $45 billion package of expired tax breaks through the end of the year.

Businesses and individuals would be able to claim them on their tax returns this year, but there is no certainty they would have the same luck beyond Dec. 31.

Time is short because the House plans to adjourn for the year next week, and the Senate could as well.

“Let’s see what they send us,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., “and we’ll make a decision then.”

The $45 billion would be added to the budget deficit.

The tax breaks would benefit big corporations and small businesses. Commuters, teachers and people who live in a state without state income tax would benefit from the breaks as well. One in six taxpayers would be affected by the extension.

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