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September 25, 2000

H.R. 5117 - Missing Children Tax Fairness Act of 2000
(Rep. Ramstad (R) Minnesota and 23 cosponsors)

The Administration supports H.R. 5117, which would clarify that a child who was a dependent of the taxpayer at the time the child was kidnapped from a family will continue to be treated as the taxpayer's dependent during the period the child is missing, until he or she reaches age 18. The Administration believes that it is appropriate to clarify the Federal income tax consequences to a family when a child is kidnapped, so that the family's ability to continue to claim a child credit, the deduction for personal exemptions, and the earned income credit will not be adversely affected. Questions regarding the Federal tax consequences under different fact patterns involving missing children have been raised by commentators recently, and the Internal Revenue Service has not yet issued any official guidance on this matter. With the clarification provided in H.R. 5117, families that are subject to the tremendous hardship of a kidnapping will not also suffer the loss of valuable Federal tax benefits that are justifiably provided to households with children.


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