Tax News Archive:

Forthcoming Legislation From Congress

House Approves New Taxpayer Bill of Rights - On April 11, the House of Representatives unanimously approved new taxpayer rights legislation. The bill will increase safeguards to protect against illegal disclosure of tax taxpayer information, simplify the estimated tax rules and ease IRS penalties and interest charges for individuals.

Congress OKs Budget Blueprint With Minimum $150 Billion in Tax Cuts - On April 13th, Congress approved a fiscal 2001 budget resolution that calls for at least $150 billion in tax cuts over five years, and also leaves room for additional tax cuts that could bring the total to more than $200 billion. The House vote was 220-208 while the Senate vote was 50-48.

House Tax-Writers Approve Estate Tax Repeal - On May 25th, the House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation to phase out federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes over 10 years. The White House has threatened to veto the new measure because of its cost which will be more than $100 billion during the phase-out and $50 billion a year after the repeal.

House Votes Five Year Extension of Internet Tax Moratorium - On May 10th, the House of Representatives voted 352 to 75 to extend the current moratorium on new state and local taxation of the Internet for an additional five years. The current moratorium is due to expire in October, 2001. The Clinton Administration said that they would only support a two-year extension.

Senate Rejects Temporary Rollback of 4.3 Cent Per Gallon Gas Tax - On April 11th, The Senate rejected a proposal to temporarily cut federal gasoline taxes by 4.3 cents per gallon. The measure was being pushed in order to give motorists some relief from the recent rise in fuel prices but the measure fell 17 votes short of the 60 needed to end debate and allow a final vote.

House OKs Bill Requiring Mutual Funds to Report After-Tax Returns - On April 3rd, the House of Representatives voted 358-2 to require mutual funds to disclose the impact of taxes on investor returns.

Senate Finance Committee Approves $248 Billion "Marriage Penalty" Relief Bill - On March 30th, the Senate Finance Committee voted to narrowly approve legislation to provide relief from the so-called "marriage penalty" by a vote of 11-9. The bill is estimated to cost $248 billion over 10 years. This bill exceeds the cost of the $182 billion relief plan passed last month by the House of Representatives. The Senate bill is similar to the House bill as both would increase the standard deduction for married couples, expand the earned income tax credit and enlarge the 15 % income tax bracket so more money is taxed at a lower rate.

House Panel Approves Education IRA Expansion - On March 15th, despite a veto threat, the House Ways and Means Committee approved controversial legislation that would allow education IRAs to be used for elementary and secondary-school expenses, including tuition at private and parochial schools. The Senate recently approved similar legislation.

House Approves Small Business Tax Cuts - On March 9th, despite a veto threat, the House of Representatives approved a tax-cut package that would give small businesses as well as many individuals $46 billion in tax relief over the next five years. The vote was 257-169. The small business tax bill would allow bigger write-offs for business equipment purchases, self-employed health insurance premiums and business meal and entertainment expenses.