$1 Billion Tax Break For Military Families Proposed

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., on July 29 introduced a bill, the Foreign and Armed Services Tax Fairness Bill (Sen 2816), which would afford tax relief for military personnel. The bill would provide nearly $1 billion in tax breaks over 10 years, according to an estimate offered by Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel.

Baucus said in a floor statement that the measure was intended to correct inequities in tax treatment of military personnel and to provide incentives for them to continue military careers. Specifically, the legislation includes the two major provisions found in the $156 million Armed Forces Tax Fairness Bill of 2002 (HR 5063), approved by the House on July 9 (TAXDAY, 2002/07/10, C2). The House bill restored the tax-exempt status of all death benefits and would ease the regulations on the capital gains tax on home sales for members of the uniformed services (TAXDAY, 2002/07/09, C.1).

The Baucus bill goes beyond the House measure and includes provisions offered by other members as separate bills, including proposals to: extend the period for filing taxes for military personnel involved in contingency operations; provide an above-the-line deduction for overnight travel costs for National Guard and Reserve members; exclude from income child care benefits provided to military personnel; and expand membership for veterans' organizations.

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