Higgins Pushes for House to Pass Legislation Relieving Families of Fallen Military from Excessive Tax Burden
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) took to the Floor of the House of Representatives calling for swift approval of legislation to fix a provision of the new tax law which created steep tax increases on benefits for families of fallen soldiers. Higgins is an original cosponsor of the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, bipartisan legislation (H.R. 2481) which corrects the problem.
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Higgins said in part, “Our country is indebted to the selfless Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice. No amount of financial support can ease the pain of losing a loved one, but veteran benefits to surviving spouses and children provide an important lifeline during these times of need. The 2017 tax law brought many unintended consequences that Congress is now trying to fix, including a significant increase in tax rates on benefits for children of these fallen servicemembers. This is completely unacceptable. Congress must pass legislation to fix this now; so families that have already given so much are not asked to give even more.”
Gold Star Families, those who have lost a loved one during service in the U.S. Armed Forces, recently saw huge spikes in how their benefits are taxed under the new policies implemented in the 2017 tax bill. Many spouses allocate their survivor benefits to their children. Previously those benefits were taxed at around 15%, but due to changes in the “Kiddie Tax” under the new tax bill, benefits to families are currently being taxed at up to a 37% rate.
Legislation rectifying the steep spike in taxes felt by Gold Star families was introduced in the House earlier this month. The fix is included in legislation set for a vote in the House this week. Similar legislation (S. 1370) was approved unanimously in the Senate on May 20, 2019.