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9/10/2002 5:29:00 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Action Alert--Education Tax Deduction Vote Scheduled for Thursday

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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September 10, 2002

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The U.S. Congress is poised to vote on important education tax relief
legislation, H.R. 5193, this Thursday, September 12, 2002. However,
the National Education Association and other influential teachers'
unions are now attempting to defeat this bill. This legislation,
though small, could be the first step toward giving parents more
choice in their child's education by allowing them to deduct
education expenses from their federal taxes.

REQUESTED ACTION

Please call your Congressman on Wednesday and Thursday and give him
or her the following message:

"Please vote for H.R. 5193, the Back to School Tax Relief Act of
2002, and help families improve their child's education."

The capitol switchboard number is 202-225-3121. To locate your
congressman, visit http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .

BACKGROUND

On September 5, 2002, the United States House of Representatives
Committee on Ways and Means passed the Back to School Tax Relief Act
of 2002 (H.R. 5193), 22-14. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Bob Schaffer
of Colorado, would allow families of K-12 students, whose joint
adjusted gross income is less than $40,000 ($20,000 for singles), to
claim up to a $3000 deduction for education expenses, including home
education. This deduction would apply whether a family itemizes their
deductions or not. While we would prefer that there be no income
limitations on eligibility for general tax relief, congressional
budget rules foreclosed that approach this year. HSLDA worked with
Congressman Schaffer as he crafted this legislation.

Currently the law states:

Families may claim an above-the-line deduction for up to $3,000 of
HIGHER education expenses. Families do not have to itemize to claim
this deduction; it may be claimed in addition to the standard
deduction.

This provision was enacted into law last year as part of President
Bush's tax relief package.

Changes Under H.R. 5193:

1. H.R. 5193 would allow families to claim the $3,000 deduction for
qualified K-12 educational expenses at a public, private, religious,
or homeschool.

2. Qualified expenses would include tuition, fees, academic tutoring,
special needs services, books, supplies, uniforms, transportation,
and expenses for the purchase of computer technology and equipment.

3. The deduction would be available to families with adjusted gross
incomes of $20,000 or less ($40,000 or less for married couples).

To put it simply, say a married couple is earning $35,000 and
homeschooling one child. The family incurs $3,000 of tutoring
expenses throughout the year.

Under Current Law/Under H.R. 5193:
Income:$35,000/$35,000
Standard deduction: $7,850/$7,850
Personal Exemptions: $9,000/$9,000
K-12 Qualified Expenses: $0.00/$3,000
Taxable Income: $18,150/$15,150
Tax Liability: $2,723/$2,273
Tax Savings under new plan: $450

Please join us in supporting this legislation that will help home
educators.

Very truly yours,

Tom Washburne
Director, National Center for Home Education

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