The mutual fund industry is pushing to make a relatively obscure, short-term capital gains tax exemption, broadly known as the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, a permanent rule in accounting books before it expires in 2008.

A provision that reduced a tax bias against U.S. mutual fund investment by foreign investors, the law applies to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2004 and before Jan. 1, 2008. When President Bush signed it last year, the act was hailed as the most sweeping change in business tax laws since 1986.

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