Congress Aids Military With Tax Cuts

After Congress approved President Bush’s $87.5 billion spending package to pay for the rebuilding of Iraq and Afghanistan, legislators took steps to take care of the people in uniform.

The Senate, enhancing the House’s bill passed unanimously last week, doubled to $12,000 the death gratuity paid to families of soldiers killed while on active duty and eliminated all taxes on the benefit.

"It's long overdue," Rep. Sam Johnson, R-TX, told the Associated Press. "It's been a long time since 9-11, and we are trying to take care of our military."

The bill also removed residency requirements for military members who sell their houses so they don’t have to pay capital gains taxes when they are deployed. In addition, childcare will no longer be viewed as a taxable benefit for sailors and soldiers.

To pay for the cuts, Congress extended customs fees, which is expected to offset the military benefits.

"We made modest improvements to help the families of the members of the military who have given the supreme sacrifice," Rep. Amo Houghton, R-N.Y., told the AP.

National Guard and Reserve troops were not forgotten in the new package. If they travel for training, they can use the new tax deduction for travel and lodging to offset their costs.

The bill took further steps to exempt the families of the Columbia space shuttle from income and estate taxes and it made it possible for the government to pull tax-exempt status from groups found to be terrorist organizations, the AP reported.

You may like these other stories...

Renaissance avoided more than $6 billion tax, report saysThe Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said on Monday that a Renaissance Technologies LLC hedge fund’s investors probably avoided more than $6...
A new Gallup survey found that 58 percent of smokers in the United States see increased state and federal taxes on cigarettes as an act of unjust discrimination, while 39 percent believe the tax hikes are justified.The...
Liberal groups object to bill barring taxes on Internet accessThe Internet Tax Freedom Act hasn’t been a controversial bill. In fact, it’s so popular that senators are seeking to pair it up with a far more...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 23
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
Jul 24
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.
Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.