TaxAlmanac:Featured article/December 20, 2007

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December 2007 Legislation

December 2007 Legislation

House Protects Millions of Families from AMT

The House of Representatives voted in favor of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3996, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2007, legislation providing immediate tax relief to millions of families who would otherwise pay higher taxes under the alternative minimum tax (AMT) this year. Today’s action followed recent efforts by Senate Republicans to block consideration of House-passed legislation to provide AMT relief without adding to the national debt. The House twice passed revenue neutral AMT relief earlier this fall, but both measures, H.R. 3996 and H.R. 4351 fell victim to filibuster threats by Senate Republicans.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel offered the following remarks during debate on the bill:

"This is an extraordinary time because the Republican minority in the Senate, bolstered by a lame-duck President, has actually dictated to the House of Representatives what they will or will not do with regards to this critical tax relief. The House has twice presented them with AMT relief that would not add to the national debt and they have twice blocked its consideration.

"So, what are our options? We could stick to our fiscal guns, saying that the right thing to do is not to pass a bill that we cannot pay for and that taxpayers are not really entitled to the benefits of waiving PAYGO rules. Or, we could say, why hold 23 million taxpayers hostage because of the irresponsibility of the minority in not being willing to pay for this relief, no matter how many alternatives we give them?

"We chose to protect the taxpayers. Forget the loopholes, forget the revenue losses, forget the indebtedness – at least for now – because we do not want those hardworking families to wake up in the morning and find that there is a feud between Republicans and Democrats that would cause them to carry this burden. We have come out on the side of the taxpayers and we hope we can pass this bill to offer protection from the AMT and then, in a responsible way, maybe Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate can deal with this issue in a more permanent way next year.

H.R. 3996 would extend for one year AMT relief for nonrefundable personal credits and increase the AMT exemption amount to $66,250 for joint filers and $44,350 for single filers to ensure that no additional taxpayers are liable for the AMT this year.

Legislative text

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