Number: 111- 66
Date: December 17, 2010

President Signs H.R. 4853,
the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization,
and Job Creation Act of 2010

On December 17, 2010, the President signed H.R. 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which became Public Law 111-312.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on December 16, 2010 by a vote of 277-148, and the Senate passed the bill on December 15, 2010 by a vote of 81-19.

Following are provisions of interest to SSA.

Payroll Tax Holiday

  • Section 601 reduces the OASDI payroll tax by 2 percentage points for wages and salaries paid in calendar year 2011 and self-employment in calendar year 2011, applied to the portion of the tax paid by the worker.  Transfers are to be made from the General Fund of the Treasury to the Trust Funds and earnings are to be credited to the records of workers.1
  • Limited only to payroll taxes for 2011.

Consideration of Tax Relief

  • Section 728 excludes certain tax refunds paid to an individual from consideration as income (in the month received) or as a resource (for a period of 12 months from receipt) for Federal or federally-assisted program purposes, including SSI.   The exclusion applies to refunds resulting from the extension of certain expiring tax provisions, such as State and local sales tax deductions and teacher expense deductions.  In addition to tax refunds, the exemption applies to advance payment of refundable tax credits.   
  • Effective for refunds received between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2012.

Monthly Transit Benefit

  • Section 727 extends to January 1, 2012, the maximum allowable $230 monthly transit benefit for Federal employees who use public transportation to get to and from work.  (Without this provision, the maximum transit benefit would have reverted to $120 a month in January 2011.) 
  • Effective for months after December 31, 2010.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

  • Section 757 extends the deadline for an employer to receive a work opportunity tax credit.  Specifically, this tax credit applies in cases in which a member of an eligible group (such as a Ticket to Work participant) begins working for an employer by December 31, 2011; the current deadline is August 31, 2011.



1 The Office of the Chief Actuary estimates that the projected levels of the OASI and DI Trust Funds will be unaffected by this provision.