WASHINGTON – Last night, the Senate unanimously passed provisions championed by Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) including a tax credit to small businesses that pay a salary differential to employees called up for active duty. The amendment includes provisions from legislation introduced earlier in the year by Senators Kerry and Smith, the Active Duty Military Tax Relief Act, which would bolster military families and small businesses that employ reservists.

“Small businesses working to ensure that our brave reservists don’t suffer deep pay cuts when they serve overseas should be rewarded, not penalized,” said Senator Kerry, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “We owe our soldiers a huge debt for the sacrifices they make for our country. This tax relief is one small step toward providing our troops the economic security they deserve and I urge my House colleagues to pass this bill as soon as possible.”

The legislation provides small businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers with a 20 percent tax credit of the salary differential they pay the reservist employee who is called up for active duty (with a maximum tax credit of $4,000). Many reservists take a pay cut when they are deployed which often places hardships on their families and businesses. This provision is adopted from Senator Kerry’s Military Family Bill of Rights, a comprehensive set of benefits for military families – parts of which have become law. Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.), and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) included the small business tax relief provision in the Defenders of Freedom Tax Relief Act that the Senate passed last night.