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S. 3521 (112th): Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Aug 28, 2012.

Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2013 expiring tax expenditures for individuals, businesses, and the energy sector.

Title I: Individual Tax Provisions - Subtitle A: Alternative Minimum Tax Relief - (Sec. 101) Extends through 2013 the increased alternative minimum tax (AMT) exemption amount for individual taxpayers and the offset against the AMT for certain nonrefundable personal tax credits.

Subtitle B: Other Individual Tax Provisions - (Sec. 111) Extends through 2013: (1) the tax deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers, (2) the exclusion from gross income of income attributable to the discharge of indebtedness incurred with respect to a principal residence, (3) the equalization of the exclusion from gross income for employer-provided commuter transit and parking benefits, (4) the tax deduction for mortgage insurance premiums, (5) the tax deduction for state and local general sales taxes in lieu of state and local income taxes, (6) the tax deduction for contributions of capital gain real property made for conservation purposes, (7) the deduction from gross income for qualified tuition and related expenses, and (8) tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes.

Subtitle C: Tax Administration - (Sec. 121) Make permanent the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to disclose tax returns and other information to federal and state prison officials concerning inmates who may have filed or facilitated the filing of false or fraudulent tax returns. Allows disclosures of such information to contractors responsible for the operation of a federal or state prison and to the legal representatives of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, of a state agency or contractor charged with the responsibility for administration of prisons, or of the incarcerated individual accused of filing the false or fraudulent return.

Extends through 2013 the disregard of tax refunds in determining eligibility for means-tested federal assistance programs.

Title II: Business Tax Extenders - (Sec. 201) Extends through 2013: (1) the tax credit for research expenditures; (2) the 9% low-income housing tax credit rate for newly constructed non-federally subsidized buildings; (3) the Indian employment tax credit; (4) the new markets tax credit; (5) the tax credit for qualified railroad track maintenance expenditures; (6) the tax credit for mine rescue team training expenses; (7) the tax credit for differential wage payments to employees who are active duty members of the Uniformed Services; (8) the work opportunity tax credit; (9) the authority for issuing qualified zone academy bonds; (10) accelerated depreciation of qualified leasehold, restaurant, and retail property, for motorsports entertainment complexes, and for business property on Indian reservations; (11) the tax deduction for contributions of food inventory by taxpayers other than C corporations; (12) increased expensing of depreciable business assets; (13) the election to expense advanced mine safety equipment expenditures; (14) the enhanced expensing allowance for certain film and television production costs; (15) the tax deduction for income attributable to domestic production activities in Puerto Rico; (16) the tax rule for payments between related foreign corporations; (17) rules relating to regulated investment company (RIC) dividends; (18) the subpart F income exemption for income derived in the active conduct of a banking, financing, or insurance business; (19) the 100% exclusion from gross income of gain from the sale or exchange of small business stock; (20) the basis adjustment rule for stock of an S corporation making charitable contributions of property; (21) the reduction of the recognition period for the built-in gains of S corporations; (22) tax incentives for investment in empowerment zones; (23) the authority for issuing New York Liberty Zone bonds; (24) the increased limitation for payments of excise taxes on distilled spirits into the treasuries of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands; and (25) the tax credit for American Samoan economic development expenditures.

Amends the Housing Assistance Tax Act of 2008 to extend through 2013 the exemption of the basic military housing allowance from the income test for programs financed by tax-exempt housing bonds.

Title III: Energy Tax Extenders - (Sec. 301) Extends through 2013: (1) the tax credit for residential energy efficiency improvements; (2) the tax credit for alternative fuel vehicle refueling property expenditures; (3) the tax credit for two- or three-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles; (4) the cellulosic biofuel producer tax credit; (5) the income tax credit for biodiesel and renewable diesel used as fuel; (6) the placed-in-service dates for facilities producing electricity from renewable resources, including wind, biomass, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities; (7) the tax credit for energy efficient new homes; (8) the tax credit for energy efficient appliances; (9) accelerated depreciation of cellulosic biofuel plant property; and (10) the excise tax credit for alternative fuels.

Title IV: Other Provisions - (Sec. 401) Expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) comprehensive tax reform is vital to U.S. economic growth and competitiveness and should begin in 2013; (2) a major focus of comprehensive tax reform should be broadening the tax base so as to lower tax rates, including by reforming, eliminating, or significantly reducing tax expenditures; and (3) whenever possible, federal energy tax expenditures should be responsibly phased-out so that energy technologies can function without reliance on federal subsidies

Title V: Budget Provisions - (Sec. 501) Provides for compliance of the budgetary effects of this Act with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.