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American Bar Association Journal

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Congress and the President have a penchant for giving tax legislation titles that convey ambiguous goals. The bill that President Bush signed into law earlier this year—the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003—is no exception.

Only time will tell whether all the lofty policy ambitions of the act are achieved. But although the act did not include all of President Bush’s tax proposals, it does provide tax relief for many taxpayers.

At the same time, however, the act has added to the complexity of federal tax laws, particularly since the effective dates for each provision vary. In many cases, the tax reductions are temporary and subject to “sunset” provisions. As a result, tax liabilities are likely to jump back up to their pre-2003 levels—or pre-2001 levels—unless Congress acts to make the changes permanent.