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THE BUDGET IMPASSE : GOP Completes Tax Cut Package

<i> From a Times Staff Writer</i>

Congressional Republicans completed work on their proposed $245-billion tax cut Thursday, agreeing to broad new options for individual retirement accounts.

The package, which also includes the $500-per-child tax credit and a capital gains cut, would liberalize IRAs in key, new ways:

* For the first time, homemakers would be allowed the full, $2,000 IRA tax deduction.

* Penalty-free withdrawals would be allowed for first-home purchases, higher education costs, medical expenses and prolonged unemployment.

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* Taxpayers would have the option of investing in an IRA in which the contribution is not tax-deductible, but income would be tax free if the investment lasts five years and the taxpayer is 59 1/2.

* Income limits for tax-deductible IRAs are phased up gradually to $95,000 for single taxpayers and $120,000 for couples.


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