Tax breaks will go to parents of kids killed in bombing

Tuesday, January 29th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Tax breaks signed into law by President Bush last week will go to parents of children killed in the Oklahoma City bombing, Sen. Don Nickles says.

The tax breaks are to help those who lost loved ones in domestic terrorist acts. But there was some question about whether the parents of dependents would qualify because the act passed by Congress referred to erasing the income tax liabilities of those killed.

The language was broad enough that Nickles and Rep. Frank Lucas, both R-Okla., thought the parents should be eligible. Nickles asked the U.S. Treasury Department for an interpretation and was notified the parents would qualify.

``This is the right decision by Treasury,'' Nickles said Monday. ``My hope is that those who suffered so much at the hand of evil will use these funds for good within their own families or within the community.''

When first proposed, the bill was written to grant tax relief to the survivors of those killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Nickles led the effort to include Oklahoma City bombing victims in the measure.

Lucas said he was pleased with the Treasury Department's decision.

``This was the same interpretation of the law we received from the Joint Committee on Taxation, as well as the IRS office in Oklahoma City,'' he said.

``Nineteen of the 168 people killed in the Oklahoma City bombing were children. Their survivors deserve equal treatment for this tax benefit, and I'm pleased to see the Treasury Department agrees with me.''

For the Oklahoma City victims, the bill guarantees a minimum of $10,000 in income tax relief covering 1994 and 1995. There also are estate tax provisions.

Those who qualify will have until January 2003 to file their amended returns. The Internal Revenue Service is establishing special procedures to handle tax returns of those who qualify. Information can be obtained by calling (800) 829-1040.