The House of Representative, by unanimous vote of 420-0, passed the Military Family Tax Relief Bill of 2003 (H.R. 3365), on November 5. The President is expected to sign the bill by Veterans’ Day. On November 3, the Senate passed H.R. 3365 by unanimous consent.
The bill provides a variety of tax breaks for U.S. military personnel, including :
- exclusion of gain from the sales of a principal residence by members of the uniformed services or the U.S. Foreign Service;
- exclusion of death gratuity payments (which would double to $12,000) from gross income with respect to deceased members of the military, effective for deaths after September 10, 2001; and
- above-the-line income tax deduction for the overnight travel expenses of National Guard and Reserve members.
In addition, in response to the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, it extends the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-134) to the families of astronauts who die while on a mission.