Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Conference report filed in House (11/17/1999)

Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 - Title I: Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency and Related Provisions - Subtitle A: Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency - Amends part A (General Provisions) of title XI of the Social Security Act (SSA) to direct the Commissioner of Social Security to establish a Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program (TWSSP) under which a disabled beneficiary may use a TWSSP ticket issued by the Commissioner to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services, pursuant to an appropriate individual beneficiary work plan that meets specified requirements. Includes among such requirements goals for earnings and job advancement, at the Commissioner's expense, from a participating employment network, public or private. Allows State agencies administering or supervising the administration of the State plan under title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to elect to participate as an employment network. Sets forth requirements applicable to agreements between State agencies and employment networks. Describes employment network payment systems, including an outcome payment system and an outcome-milestone payment system.

(Sec. 101) Provides that during any period for which an individual is using a TWSSP ticket, the Commissioner and any applicable State agency may not initiate a continuing disability or similar review to determine whether the individual is or is not disabled.

Requires payments to employment networks: (1) out of the social security trust funds in the case of SSA title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) (OASDI) disability beneficiaries who return to work; or (2) from the appropriation for making Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments under SSA title XVI, in the case of SSI disability beneficiaries who return to work.

Establishes within the Social Security Administration the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel to advise the President, the Congress, and the Commissioner with respect to TWSSP work incentive issues, and those issues under OASDI, SSI, Medicare (SSA title XVIII), and Medicaid (SSA title XIX) as well. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle B: Elimination of Work Disincentives - Amends SSA titles II and XVI (Procedural and General Provisions) to prescribe specified measures designed to eliminate work disincentives. Prohibits review of an individual's disability status on the basis of work activity. Provides for expedited reinstatement of entitlement to OASDI or of eligibility for SSI disability benefits.

Subtitle C: Work Incentives Planning, Assistance, and Outreach - Amends SSA title XI part A to direct the Commissioner to establish a community-based work incentives outreach program for disabled beneficiaries that includes technical assistance to organizations and entities designed to encourage disabled beneficiaries to return to work.

(Sec. 121) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2000 through 2004.

(Sec. 122) Authorizes the Commissioner to make certain minimum payments in each State to the protection and advocacy system established under the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act for the purpose of providing services to disabled beneficiaries, services which may include advocacy, or other services that such a beneficiary may need to secure or regain gainful employment. Authorizes appropriations for FY 2000 through 2004.

Title II: Expanded Availability of Health Care Services - Amends SSA title XIX to provide for expanding State Medicaid options for workers with disabilities, including options to: (1) eliminate income, assets, and resource limitations for workers with disabilities who buy into Medicaid; and (2) provide opportunity for employed individuals with a medically improved disability to make such a buy. Provides that Federal funds paid to a State for Medicaid payments may not generally be used to supplant the level of State funds expended for a fiscal year for programs to enable working disabled individuals to work.

(Sec. 202) Amends SSA title II to extend the period of Medicare coverage for OASDI disability insurance beneficiaries.

Directs the Comptroller General to report to Congress on specified consequences of such extension.

(Sec. 203) Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to: (1) award grants to eligible States to support establishment of State infrastructures to support working disabled individuals as well as to enable State outreach campaigns on infrastructure existence; and (2) submit a recommendation to specified congressional committees on whether such grant program should be continued after FY 2010. Makes appropriations for FY 2000 through 2011.

(Sec. 204) Authorizes State demonstration projects for certain Medicaid coverage of up to a specified maximum number of workers with a potentially severe disability, coverage equal to that afforded under the State option for eliminating income, asset, and resource limitations for disabled workers buying into Medicaid. Makes appropriations for FY 2000 through 2006.

(Sec. 205) Allows disabled Medicare beneficiaries to request the suspension of Medicare supplemental policy (Medigap) insurance when covered under a group health plan.

Title III: Demonstration Projects and Studies - Amends SSA title II to provide for an extension of disability insurance program demonstration project authority. Directs the Commissioner to develop and carry out experiments and demonstration projects, subject to specified guidelines which include the authority to waive compliance with benefits requirements, with regard to various alternative methods of treating the work activity of individuals entitled to OASDI disability benefits, altering other limitations and conditions applicable to such individuals, and implementing sliding scale benefit offsets. Authorizes the Commissioner to: (1) expand the scope of any such experiment or demonstration project to include any group of OASDI benefit applicants with impairments that reasonably may be presumed to be disabling for purposes of such demonstration project; and (2) limit any such demonstration project to any such group of applicants, subject to the terms of such demonstration project which shall define the extent of any such presumption.

(Sec. 302) Directs the Commissioner to conduct certain demonstration projects designed to provide for specified reductions in disability insurance benefits based on earnings. Requires expenditures for such demonstration projects to come out of the social security and Medicare trust funds, as determined appropriate, to the extent provided in advance in appropriation Acts.

(Sec. 303) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on: (1) existing tax credits and other disability-related employment incentives; (2) coordination of the OASDI disability insurance (DI) program and the SSI program as they relate to individuals entering or leaving concurrent entitlement under them; and (3) the impact of the substantial gainful activity limit on return to work.

Directs the Commissioner to report to Congress on disregards under the DI and SSI programs.

Requires the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on the Social Security Administration's efforts to conduct disability insurance program demonstrations.

Title IV: Miscellaneous and Technical Amendments - Amends the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 with respect to the following: (1) final adjudication of denied claims by drug addicts and alcoholics for SSA title II disability benefits; and (2) the effective dates of certain requirements concerning representative payees and treatment referrals for such individuals.

(Sec. 402) Amends SSA title II to provide for: (1) payments to State and local prisons for monthly reports on the identities of inmates whose OASDI benefits are determined by the Commissioner not to be payable as a result of such reports; (2) a 50 percent reduction in such payments under SSA titles II and XVI in cases involving a comparable payment under the other title with respect to the same prisoner; (3) transfer from the social security trust funds of any sums necessary to enable the Commissioner to make such payments; (4) provision of inmate identification information to any agency administering a Federal or federally-assisted cash, food, or medical assistance program for eligibility purposes under such program; (5) elimination of the requirement that confinement stem only from a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year (thus denying OASDI benefits to individuals confined for any criminal offense); and (6) continued denial of benefits to sex offenders remaining confined to public institutions upon completion of prison term.

(Sec. 403) Provides for a two-year open season for members of the clergy who wish to revoke their exemption from social security coverage.

(Sec. 404) Amends SSA title XI to make a miscellaneous technical amendment relating to cooperative research or development projects under SSA titles II and XVI.

(Sec. 405) Amends SSA title XI to make miscellaneous technical amendments to provisions concerning the requirements of State income and eligibility verification systems, among other changes allowing a State to permit certain employers that make returns with respect to domestic service employment taxes on a calendar year (quarterly) basis instead to make such reports on an annual basis.

(Sec. 406) Amends SSA title II to direct the Commissioner to impose on attorneys who are owed a fee from a claimant's past-due benefits an assessment, determined according to a specified formula, for crediting to the OASDI trust funds. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 407) Amends SSA title XIX to: (1) grant State Medicaid fraud control units, with the approval of the Inspector General of the relevant Federal agency, authority to investigate any aspect of the health care services and activities of service providers under any Federal health care program if the suspected fraud or violation of law is primarily related to the State plan; and (2) allow such units the option of having procedures for reviewing complaints of abuse or neglect of residents in non-Medicaid board and care facilities.

(Sec. 408) Directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to contract for its multiyear program for climate database modernization and utilization in accordance with a specified contract and a specified task order.

(Sec. 409) Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to establish a special allowance adjustment for student loans under the Federal Family Educational Loan Program disbursed between January 1, 2000, and July 1, 2003.

(Sec. 410) Establishes a schedule for payments under SSI State Supplementation Agreements.

(Sec. 411) Amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to apply to FY 2001 through 2009 certain requirements that any commodities acquired by the Department of Agriculture for farm support reasons, and then donated to schools in the school lunch program, be counted when judging whether the 12 percent requirement under such program has been met.

(Sec. 412) Amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to provide that, for purposes of the earned income credit, the definition of a foster child is modified to include a child who either is the taxpayer's brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any such relative or is placed with the taxpayer by an authorized placement agency.

(Sec. 413) Delays the final rule entitled "Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network" promulgated by the Secretary, together with its amendments.

Title V: Tax Relief Extension Act of 1999 - Tax Relief Extension Act of 1999 - Subtitle A: Extensions - Amends the IRC, with respect to the allowance of nonrefundable credits against the regular and minimum income tax liability, to: (1) treat the alternative minimum tax as zero for taxable years beginning in 1999; and (2) for taxable years beginning in 2000 and 2002, limit the aggregate amount of credits to the sum of the regular tax (reduced by any foreign tax credits) and the alternative minimum tax.

(Sec. 502) Extends through June 30, 2004, the research and experimentation credit, and makes it available for research undertaken in Puerto Rico and U.S. possessions. Increases by one percentage point per step the credit rate applicable under the alternative incremental research credit.

(Sec. 503) Extends for two years the temporary exceptions from subpart F foreign personal holding company income, foreign base company services income, and insurance income for certain income derived in the active conduct of a banking, financing, or similar business, or in the conduct of an insurance business.

(Sec. 504) Extends until January 1, 2002, the suspension of the net income limitation on percentage depletion from marginal oil and gas wells.

(Sec. 505) Extends through December 31, 2001, the work opportunity and welfare-to-work tax credits, as well as the exclusion from an employee's income of employer-provided education assistance.

(Sec. 507) Extends through December 31, 2001, with specified exceptions, the tax credit for electricity produced from facilities using present-law qualified sources (wind and closed-loop biomass) and from poultry waste facilities (placed in service after December 31, 1999).

(Sec. 508) Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to extend through FY 2001 the duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences of eligible articles from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs). Makes such extension retroactive to June 30, 1999, for certain liquidations and reliquidations.

(Sec. 509) Amends the IRC to authorize through 2001 the issuance of qualified zone academy bonds (and thus extend the tax credit for holders of such bonds), with two-year carry-forward authority.

(Sec. 510) Extends for one-year the tax credit for first-time District of Columbia homebuyers, so that it applies to residences purchased on or before December 31, 2001.

(Sec. 511) Extends through December 31, 2001, the expensing of environmental remediation costs.

(Sec. 512) Increases from $10.50 to $13.25 per proof gallon the rum excise tax coverover to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands during the period from July 1, 1999, through December 31, 2001.

Subtitle B: Other Time-Sensitive Provisions - Treats any advance pricing agreement entered into by a taxpayer and the Secretary of the Treasury, and any related background information, or any application for such an agreement, as confidential taxpayer information. Requires the Secretary to report annually on advance pricing agreements, omitting any information that would identify particular taxpayers.

(Sec. 522) Authorizes the Secretary to disregard a period of up to 90 days in determining, with respect of any tax liability of any taxpayer affected by a Y2K failure: (1) whether certain tax compliance, assessment, or collection acts were performed by specified deadlines; and (2) the amount of any credit or refund due.

(Sec. 523) Amends IRC to add certain vaccines against streptococcus pneumonia to the list of vaccines subject to a certain sales tax.

Amends the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Modification Act to: (1) remove vaccines against rotavirus gastroenteritis from the list of taxable vaccines; and (2) repeal authority for payment from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund of unlimited Federal expenses for administration of compensation for vaccine-related injury or death (but retain the otherwise mandatory limit on payable expenses of $9.5 million per fiscal year). Repeals the prohibition against appropriations to the Trust Fund that are not specifically permitted by the Code provision establishing the Fund.

Changes from August 5, 1997, to December 31, 1999, the effective date of certain authority for the payment of vaccine injury compensation from the Trust Fund.

Directs the Comptroller General to report to specified congressional committees on the Trust Fund's operation and adequacy to meet future claims.

(Sec. 524) Delays the effective date of the requirement under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 that registered motor fuel terminals offering diesel fuel or kerosene must offer dyed versions of such fuels.

(Sec. 525) Provides that any option to accelerate the receipt of any payment under a production flexibility contract which is payable to a farmer under the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 shall be disregarded in determining the taxable year for which such payment is properly includible in gross income for purposes of the IRC.

Subtitle C: Revenue Offsets - Part I: General Provisions - Amends IRC to provide that: (1) taxpayers with a preceding year's adjusted gross income above $150,000 who make estimated tax payments based on the preceding year's tax must do so based on 108.6 percent (currently 106 percent) of the preceding year's tax for estimated tax payments made for taxable year 2000; and (2) taxpayers with a preceding year's adjusted gross income above $150,000 who make estimated tax payments based on the preceding year's tax must do so based on 110 percent (currently 106 percent) of the preceding year's tax for estimated tax payments made for taxable year 2001.

(Sec. 532) Excludes from the meaning of capital assets (thus treating such capital gains and losses as ordinary): (1) any commodities derivative financial instrument held by a commodities derivatives dealer, unless it is established to the Secretary's satisfaction that such instrument has no connection to the activities of such dealer as a dealer; (2) any hedging transaction clearly identified as such before the close of the day on which it was acquired, originated, or entered into (or such other time as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe); or (3) supplies of a type regularly used or consumed by the taxpayer in the taxpayer's ordinary course of a trade or business.

(Sec. 533) Requires informational reporting to the Internal Revenue Service on indebtedness discharged by any organization a significant trade or business of which is the lending of money.

(Sec. 534) Declares that if a taxpayer has gain from a constructive ownership transaction with respect to any financial asset, and such gain would otherwise be treated as a long-term capital gain, then: (1) such gain shall be treated as ordinary income to the extent that it exceeds the net underlying long-term capital gain; and (2) to the extent such gain is then treated as a long-term capital gain, the determination of the applicable capital gain rate (or rates) shall be determined on the basis of the respective rate (or rates) that would have been applicable to the net underlying long-term capital gain. Increases the tax on any gain thus treated as ordinary income by the amount of interest assessable for underpayment of tax, determined with respect to each prior taxable year during any portion of which the constructive ownership transaction was open. Denies any credit against such increase in tax.

(Sec. 535) Extends through FY 2009 specified treatment of qualified transfers of excess pension assets to retiree health accounts. Prescribes minimum employer cost requirements for plans transferring assets during the five-year cost maintenance period following a qualified transfer.

(Sec. 536) Prohibits accrual method taxpayers from using the installment method of accounting for installment sales. Revises the special nondealer rules for pledges of installment obligations to declare that a payment on an installment obligation shall be treated as directly secured by an interest in an installment obligation to the extent an arrangement allows the taxpayer to satisfy all or a portion of the indebtedness with the installment obligation.

(Sec. 537) Disallows any charitable contribution deduction for transfers to or for the use of a charitable remainder trust if in connection with such transfer: (1) the trust directly or indirectly pays, or has previously paid, any premium on any personal benefit contract with respect to the transferor (split-dollar arrangement); or (2) there is an understanding or expectation that any person will directly or indirectly pay any such premium. Defines personal benefit contract as any life insurance, annuity, or endowment contract in which any direct or indirect beneficiary is the transferor, any member of the transferor's family, or any other person designated by the transferor (except an organization which may receive a deductible charitable contribution). Excepts from treatment as indirect beneficiaries: (1) certain organizations which incur obligations under charitable gift annuity contracts; and (2) persons entitled to payments under certain charitable remainder trusts or unitrusts.

Imposes an excise tax in the amount of any premiums paid in connection with such transfers.

(Sec. 538) Sets forth a rule for distributions by a partnership to a corporate partner of stock in another corporation. Requires reduction by the specified excess amount in the basis of property held by a distributed corporation where: (1) a corporation (corporate partner) receives a distribution from a partnership of stock in another corporation (distributed corporation); (2) the corporate partner has control of the distributed corporation immediately after the distribution or at any time thereafter; and (3) the partnership's adjusted basis in such stock immediately before the distribution exceeded the corporate partner's adjusted basis in such stock immediately after the distribution. Exempts from such requirement any distribution of stock in the distributed corporation if: (1) the corporate partner does not have control of such corporation immediately after such distribution; and (2) the corporate partner establishes to the satisfaction of the Secretary that such distribution was not part of a plan or arrangement to acquire control of the distributed corporation.

Provides that, if the amount of any such reduction exceeds the aggregate adjusted bases of the property of the distributed corporation: (1) such excess shall be recognized by the corporate partner as long-term capital gain; and (2) the corporate partner's adjusted basis in the stock of the distributed corporation shall be increased by such excess.

Requires reduction of the basis of any stock in a controlled corporation which is property held by a distributed corporation with respect to these requirements.

Part II: Provisions Relating to Real Estate Investment Trusts - Subpart A: Treatment of Income and Services Provided by Taxable REIT Subsidiaries - Amends the IRC with respect to real estate investment trusts (REITs). Modifies the asset diversification test for a REIT to: (1) allow up to 20 percent of total assets at the close of each quarter to be represented by securities of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries; and (2) disregard in calculating the permissible 25 percent of total assets represented by securities any straight debt meeting specified requirements.

(Sec. 542) Excludes from impermissible tenant service income (thus including as rents from real property meeting the requirements of a REIT) any amount received or accrued by the REIT for services furnished or rendered, or management or operation provided, through a taxable REIT subsidiary.

Sets forth a special rule including in rents from real property, if specified rental and lodging facility requirements are met, any amounts paid to a REIT by a taxable REIT subsidiary.

(Sec. 543) Defines taxable REIT subsidiary.

(Sec. 544) Disqualifies for the corporate deduction for interest on indebtedness any interest paid or accrued (directly or indirectly) by a taxable REIT subsidiary to the REIT (earnings stripping).

(Sec. 545) Imposes on a REIT a tax equal to100 percent of redetermined rents, redetermined deductions, and excess interest.

(Sec. 546) Makes the amendments made by this subpart applicable to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2000.

(Sec. 547) Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to conduct a study and report to Congress on how many taxable REIT subsidiaries are in existence and the aggregate amount of taxes paid by such subsidiaries.

Subpart B: Health Care REITs - Amends IRC to set forth a special foreclosure rule for health care properties acquired by a REIT as the result of the termination of a lease of such property (other than a termination by reason of a default, or the imminence of a default, on the lease).

(Sec. 551) Requires disregard of income derived or received by a REIT from an independent contractor to the extent it is attributable to: (1) any lease of property in effect on the date the REIT acquired the qualified health care property; or (2) any lease of property entered into after such date if a lease of such property from the trust was in effect on such date, and under the terms of the new lease, the REIT receives a substantially similar or lesser benefit in comparison to the first kind of lease.

Subpart C: Conformity With Regulated Investment Company Rules - Amends IRC to reduce from 95 percent to 90 percent of REIT income and of the excess of the net income from foreclosure property over the tax on foreclosure property specified components of the formula for determination of the amount of dividend deductions which help establish the taxability of REIT income.

(Sec. 556) Reduces from 95 percent to 90 percent of REIT gross income a specified component of the formula for determining the amount of tax imposed on a REIT for failure to meet certain requirements.

Subpart D: Clarification of Exception From Impermissible Tenant Service Income - Amends IRC to require that only persons who own, directly or indirectly, more than five percent of a certain class of stock regularly traded on an established securities market be taken into account as owning any of the stock of such class for purposes of the 35-percent ownership rule determining whether a person is (under 35- percent ownership) or is not (over 35-percent ownership) an independent contractor for purposes of determining rents from real property, and of the special rules for foreclosure property, with respect to REIT taxation.

Subpart E: Modification of Earnings and Profits Rules - Amends IRC to declare that any distribution by a regulated investment company (RIC) made in order to comply with certain tax requirements shall be treated as made from earnings and profits which, but for distribution, would result in a failure to meet non-RIC year requirements (and allocated to such earnings on a first-in, first-out basis). Revises the REIT deficiency dividend rules.

Subpart F: Modification of Estimated Tax Rules - Amends IRC to revise rules for calculating the annualized estimated income installment for a corporation where such installment would be lower than a prescribed amount. Declares that any dividend received from a closely held REIT by any person which owns ten percent or more (by vote or value) of the stock or beneficial interests in the REIT shall be taken into account in computing annualized income installments in a manner similar to the manner under which partnership income inclusions are taken into account. Defines closely held REIT as one with respect to which five or fewer persons own 50 percent or more (by vote or value) of the stock or beneficial interests in the REIT.