Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008:
“On the same day Democrats led passage of the G.I. Bill to ensure our brave veterans can readjust to civilian life, we continued to support our troops by passing $2 billion in tax breaks for military families. In a weakening economy and a time of war, we are giving military families relief as we continue working to strengthen both our economy and national security. We call on the President to join us in supporting our troops and sign this bill into law.”
Highlights of H.R. 6081, the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008:
- The bill corrects a flaw in the stimulus bill that prevents members of the military from getting the economic stimulus checks where their spouses are in the U.S. legally but do not have Social Security numbers.
- The bill permanently extends the election for members of the military to include combat pay as income for purposes of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
- The bill permanently extends the penalty waiver for active duty guardsmen who tap into their IRAs for living expenses.
- The bill permanently extends the rule that allows veterans to be eligible for home loans under the mortgage revenue bond program.
- The bill includes tax credits for employers who provide “differential pay” for their employees who are reservists called to active duty.
- The bill shuts down the loophole whereby some U.S. contractors use offshore companies to avoid paying employment taxes.
- The bill shuts down the ability for U.S. citizens to renounce their citizenship in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes.