U.S. House votes to make permanent adoption tax credit & tax relief to Holocaust survivors.

WASHINGTON – No bills have yet passed both houses of Congress to make permanent the historic tax relief plan signed into law by President Bush last spring. But as time passes, and the day when the tax-relief law expires draws closer, some members of Congress are trying a piecemeal approach to making the tax relief permanent.

Today, the U.S. House will vote to make permanent the adoption tax credit and tax exemption for Holocaust survivors, both of which passed in the June 2001 tax relief legislation. Unless amended, both provisions, as well as the entire tax relief plan, will expire on December 31, 2010 due to obscure budgetary rules invoked when the bill passed the Senate last year.

The adoption bill, HR 4800 will make the expansion of the adoption credit and adoption assistance programs permanent. Without making these provisions permanent, families will face greater obstacles and higher levels of uncertainty concerning adoption. If the bill is not made permanent, families that adopt special-needs children will receive a tax credit that is 40% less than under current laws, and fewer families will be eligible, as the income limits on the credit will be dropped from $150,000 to $75,000 – both a huge loss for taxpayers.

The Holocaust Restitution Tax Fairness Act, or HR 4823, will make permanent the exemption on restitution paid to the holocaust victims of the Nazi regime. Settlements can range into the billions of dollars, which will be taxed as income after 31 December 2010, unless the exemption is made permanent.

Taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington, called both bills "an important step toward making all of last year\’s tax relief permanent."

"The adoption credit and the survivor\’s exemption are common sense public policy that have a consensus of support in America," said Norquist. "It would be silly, inefficient, and morally wrong to allow those elements of last year\’s tax relief plan to arbitrarily dry up once ten years have gone by," he continued.

"But once the House passes these two bills, the much larger question will arise: When will the Senate make all of last year\’s tax relief permanent, as the U.S. House did earlier this year?" continued Norquist. "It is silly for public policy to dictate that an adoption credit will decrease 40% in one day – but what of a reinstated death tax that will destroy countless small businesses? Congress needs to move now to make all tax relief permanent."