Washington (June 9, 2003) -- Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, won Senate passage of a compromise version of his legislation to give Americans more family tax relief. The Senate's vote resulted after Grassley worked this week to get a bipartisan consensus on a version of his legislation that could pass the Senate and has the best chance of House passage.

"There's a strong feeling in the Senate that we need more family tax relief, especially for low-income families," Grassley said. "My thought is, let's strike while the iron is hot. We can help create jobs and help people provide for their families. I'd like to have even more family tax relief, and I'll continue to work toward more, but some extra tax relief is better than none."

The legislation, passed by the Senate 94 to 2, contains the following provisions:

(1) an acceleration of the refundability of the child tax credit; (2) uniform definition of a child, a major tax simplification measure to make filing easier for just about anyone with a child and to increase child-related benefits for hundreds of thousands more taxpayers; and (3) marriage penalty relief under the child credit.

Under the new legislation, the tax code would have a uniform definition of a qualifying child for the dependency exemption, the child credit, the earned income credit, the dependent care credit, and head of household filing status. This simplified, uniform definition would make hundreds of thousands more taxpayers eligible for child-related tax benefits.

To make the bill more palatable to the cost-conscious House, its entire cost is offset by the extension of existing Customs Service user fees.

-- WebCPA staff

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