TaxAlmanac:Featured article/June 2, 2008

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May 2008 Legislation

House Reaffirms Commitment to America’s Armed Forces

Bill would provide essential tax relief to military families

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House of Representatives approved bipartisan legislation to deliver tax relief to the men and women of our nation’s armed services, as well as others volunteering in service in America. The bill, H.R. 6081, the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act of 2008, also makes a critical change to current law that will enable thousands of active duty military families to qualify for economic stimulus payments. H.R. 6081 passed the House by a vote of 403-0.

“This bill is called the HEART Act, but I would prefer to call it the thank you bill – thank you to the tens of thousands of American men and women who have responded to America’s call to fight this war and place themselves in harm’s way to serve this nation,” said Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), chief sponsor of the HEART Act. “This bill enhances their ability to get tax benefits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, buy homes, make penalty-free withdrawals from their pension plans, access amounts held in a Flexible Savings Account, and remove other impediments that keep them from getting the relief they deserve.

Farm Bill’s Disaster Aid, Reforms & Tax Relief Become Law As Senate Overrides Veto

Finance Chairman Baucus led fight for new disaster assistance trust fund, $2 billion in farm tax reforms funding farm tax relief

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate voted 82-13 to override a presidential veto of the 2008 farm bill, giving America’s farming families a permanent agriculture disaster assistance trust fund and nearly $2 billion in farm tax relief as part of comprehensive farm legislation. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) led the creation and the passage of the reliable disaster assistance program and the bill’s tax and trade title, as well as the successful effort to fully pay for the bill’s $10 billion in new spending over the next ten years. The bill’s farm tax relief is also fully funded with nearly $2 billion in strong farm tax reforms. “When the sun sets on farm country tonight, hard-working folks can know that this Congress believes in America’s agricultural sector. By voting to override the President’s veto, we did what’s right for farm families in Montana and across the country today,” said Baucus. “Farm life will never be easy, but the disaster assistance and tax relief in this new law will help American ag producers shoulder the load of providing food and fuel to the world. Strong reforms make the farm bill fairer and require everyone to do their share. I’m proud to stand up for Montana and for all of America to support this farm bill.”

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