After a long anticipated and hotly contested debate in both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, the Congress on January 1, 2013, passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.1 and sent the bill to the President for signature. The legislation marked the first significant step in resolving the “fiscal cliff” issue which involved a self-imposed deadline of January 1, 2013, for dealing with the federal budget deficit. The vote was 89 to 8 in the Senate on December 31, 2012, and a vote of 257 to 167 in the House of Representatives on January 1, 2013. The legislation changed the Internal Revenue Code in a major way with the provisions modifying, repealing or making permanent enactments in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001,2 and the Jobs and Growth Tax relief Reconciliation Act of 2003,3 as extended by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 20104 The legislation also extended, with exceptions, some provisions of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 20085 for one year, through September 30, 2013.6



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