ICFE eNEWS #08-08 - July 3rd 2008
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$1.2 Billion in Tax Relief for Service Members and Veterans

San Diego, CA - Last month, President Bush signed into law tax relief for service members and veterans that will provide more than $1.2 billion in tax relief. These new provisions included allowing active duty troops to withdraw money from retirement plans without a tax penalty for two years, and allowing families of reservists killed in the line of duty to collect life insurance from civilian employers.

The ten main benefits of the new legislation are listed below.

  • Benefit 1: The ability for active duty troops to withdraw money from retirement plans, and an allowance of two years to replace the funds without tax penalty.

  • Benefit 2: A 180-day period for reservists called to active duty to use unspent funds in a health flexible spending account or cafeteria plan.

  • Benefit 3: The ability for military families to count most military cash allowances beyond basic pay to be treated as earned income for purposes of determining supplemental security income (SSI) eligibility and benefit amounts, and treat certain housing payments as in-kind support and maintenance.

  • Benefit 4: Clarification that members of the military who file a joint tax return would be eligible for the stimulus rebate payment even if the spouse does not have a social security number.

  • Benefit 5: A one year extension of parity between mental and physical health benefits. Honoring our veterans.

  • Benefit 6: A permanent allowance for all veterans to use qualified mortgage bonds to purchase their homes.

  • Benefit 7: Extension of a provision that gives retired veterans more time to claim a tax refund on some types of disability benefit payments.

  • Benefit 8: The ability for families of reservists killed in the line of duty to collect life insurance and other benefits provided by the civilian employer.

  • Benefit 9: The ability for families of soldiers killed in the line of duty to contribute up to 100 percent of survivor benefits to retirement savings accounts or to education savings accounts.

  • Benefit 10: IRS web site for military personnel the IRS has added a special section to its web site, www.irs.gov to explain the benefits and services available to those serving in the us armed forces.

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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