Washington (June 16, 2003) -- The All-American Tax Relief Act, which contains the House version of a refundable child tax credit for the "working poor," passed the House by a vote of 224-201. The stage is now set for a contentious conference committee to iron out differences with the Senate version, the Relief for Working Families Tax Bill.

The House bill extends the increase in the child tax credit of $1,000 through 2010 and accelerates the increase in the refundable child credit to 15 percent. The bill eliminates the marriage penalty in the child credit by raising the phase-out threshold for married couples to $150,000.

"Sadly, rather than focusing on the merits of this legislation, some have used this as a political opportunity," said Bill Thomas, R-Calif., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. "I am not interested in the business of politics. I am interested in creating sound policy."

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Committee on Finance, said he supports much of the substance of the House bill.

"I'd like to see some improvements, such as retaining the Senate's uniform definition of a child provision," he said. "According to Joint Tax and Treasury, this proposal would simplify the tax code for millions of families with children. If we don't change the House bill, I don't know if there are enough Senate votes to pass it, but the point of a conference is to come up with a product that both chambers can pass."

-- WebCPA staff

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