Daily Tax Update - February 8, 2008

CONGRESS CLEARS  $152 BILLION ECONOMIC STIMULUS BILL--PRESIDENT TO SIGN NEXT WEEK:  Yesterday, the Senate voted 81-16 in favor of an amended version of H.R. 5140 that includes low-income senior citizens and disabled veterans among recipients of tax rebate checks. For businesses, the bill temporarily doubles section 179 expensing limits, letting small companies write off up to $250,000 in costs for assets purchased in 2008. All businesses can take advantage of 50 percent bonus depreciation for certain types of property purchased in 2008 as well. The bill also raises loan limits for the Federal Housing Administration through the end of 2008. The House then passed the Senate bill by a vote of 380-34.

  • Today, the President said, “We are in a period of economic uncertainty and we've acted again. I want to thank the members (of Congress) for passing a good piece of legislation, which I will sign into law next week.” The President added, “This bill reflects our principles. It is robust, it is pro-growth, it stimulates business investment and it puts money into the hands of American consumers.”
  • Regarding processing the rebates, Treasury Secretary Paulson said, “The IRS will manage the current tax filing season and simultaneously prepare to issue these additional payments starting in early May. Payments will be largely completed this summer, putting cash in the hands of millions of Americans at a time when our economy is experiencing slower growth.”
  • A summary of the bill can be accessed via: http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/LEG%202008/020708%20Economic%20Stimulus%20amndt%20Final.pdf
  • The text of the bill can be accessed via: http://www.finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/LEG%202008/020708%20Leg%20Text%20Amend%20HR5140.pdf

TAX BILLS INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 7TH:
H.R.5269: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow additional expenses for purposes of determining the Hope Scholarship Credit, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Brady, Kevin [TX-8] (introduced 2/7/2008)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.5270: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] (introduced 2/7/2008)      Cosponsors (4)

H.R.5294: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the additional 0.2 percent FUTA surtax.
Sponsor: Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2] (introduced 2/7/2008)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.5310: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for investing in companies involved in space-related activities.
Sponsor: Rep Rohrabacher, Dana [CA-46] (introduced 2/7/2008)      Cosponsors (1)

H.R.5316: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide recovery rebates to certain individuals receiving Social Security or certain veterans benefits.
Sponsor: Rep Walz, Timothy J. [MN-1] (introduced 2/7/2008)      Cosponsors (None)

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE - CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE:
As provided for in Treasury regulations, advice (if any) relating to federal taxes that is contained in this communication (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any plan or arrangement addressed herein.

STEPTOE & JOHNSON LLP - TAX PRACTICE
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