The House voted, 415 to 0, yesterday to give U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf region extra time to file income tax forms.
The measure, expected to pass the Senate today, goes beyond President Bush's executive order last week giving U.S. military personnel certain tax advantages for serving in a combat zone as of Jan. 17.
The House bill applies to all military personnel serving in the region after Aug. 2, the day Iraq invaded Kuwait. "This is the least we can do," said Rep. Bill Archer (Tex.), ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee.
Under the legislation, military personnel serving in the gulf and their spouses would not have to file income tax forms until six months after leaving the area.
Those wounded in the war would not have to file income tax returns as long as they are hospitalized anywhere in the world, for up to five years. Under current law, delayed tax filing is available only to wounded service personnel recovering in hospitals outside the country.
The provisions apply to some civilians in the region, including war correspondents and Red Cross workers. The measure will cost the Treasury about $10 million in lost income.
The House also voted, 416 to 0, to condemn Iraqi attacks on Israel and 418 to 0 to condemn Iraqi treatment of prisoners of war.