Tax breaks big and small sweeten financial bailout

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Wind power developers, disaster victims, college students, teachers and millions of taxpayers and businesses stand to see substantial benefits from the tax relief package that lawmakers added to the huge financial rescue plan.

So will more narrowly focused groups, including motor sports racetrack owners, film producers and bicycle commuters.

Virtually all of the tax breaks already exist. But many of them expired Jan. 1 for use in the current tax year, and the others will expire three months from now unless Congress renews them.

The largest group of beneficiaries in what is now the tax portion of the financial rescue bill is about 20 million mainly upper-middle income taxpayers. Without congressional action, the AMT, with originally was supposed to affect only the very rich, would add some $2,000 this year to the tax bill of people mostly earning under $200,000 a year.

Thousands of businesses are waiting for renewal of the research-and-development tax credit, which expired at the end of last year. Without that credit, industry advocates say, high tech, biotech and aerospace companies would have trouble hiring the highly skilled workers needed to compete with foreign competitors.

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