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Government News
Taxpayers May Gain New Option For Supporting Medical Research
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 16 page 4-4

Federal taxpayers may have another choice next year of where they want their IRS overpayment to go automatically.

When taxpayers file their federal tax form, they may be able to designate any amount over $1 for biomedical research, if Congress passes the Biomedical Research Assistance Voluntary Option (BRAVO) Act. Taxpayers can already designate a specific dollar amount of their tax refund to be used for political election campaigns.

William Narrow, M.D., associate director of APA’s Division of Research, told Psychiatric News, "This bill recognizes the enormous strides made by NIH in biomedical research over the last several years. Congress and the public realize that the taxpayers’ donations will be put to good use by improving our understanding of medical illnesses, including psychiatric, and leading to better treatments."

The bill (HR 1340) was introduced in April by Rep. Michael Bilirakis (R-Fla.) and had 34 cosponsors at press time. Last month the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved the measure, along with several other public health bills. The committee, chaired by Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), is expected to approve the public health bills in the next few months.

HR 1340 would require the Secretary of the Treasury to transfer the taxpayers’ contributions to the National Institutes of Health periodically. The proposed legislation prohibits the tax donations to be used to offset future congressional funding of NIH.

The text of the bill can be accessed on the Web at http://thomas.loc.gov by searching on HR 1340.

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