Tax credits bring much needed relief

For many Americans there comes a time when we must care for a loved one that can no longer manage on their own. I have experienced this first hand in my own family. The generations that came before us laid the foundation for our entire livelihood, and they need to have the care they deserve in their final years. 

For too long, the caregivers who sacrifice so much to care for their elderly loved ones have gone without the necessary support. We must work toward making the caretaking process financially manageable for friends and family who have stepped up to the plate as caregivers. The Credit for Caring Act is a means to give economic relief to caregivers across the country.

{mosads}Even at a time when political tensions seem high, we are embracing our friends across the aisle to work on such an important issue. I have joined with Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), as well as with Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), to reintroduce the bipartisan, bicameral Credit for Caring Act. The legislation would provide working family caregivers with a nonrefundable tax credit up to $3,000 to assist with out-of-pocket expenses related to caregiving.

Family and friends often pay out-of-pocket for transportation, home modifications, medication management services and training when caring for an aging loved one. The Credit for Caring Act is perfectly aimed at aiding those who are attempting to balance work and caregiving.

An estimated 40 million Americans currently provide care to a loved one. These families need our help and assistance. We need to do more as a country to help those impacted by long-term illness and the people that care for them. With over 20 organizations ranging from AARP to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society supporting this legislation, we can get this bill on the president’s desk and signed into law. 

In 2016, family caregivers spent an average of 20 percent of their income on care-related expenses. This equates to roughly $7,000 per year, which is a substantial sum for many families, particularly in upstate New York. Other families pay much more depending on the ailment afflicting their loved one. These hefty payments can make a substantial difference in a family’s financial well-being.

It pains me to think that there may be a family right now unable to send their kid to college or having to skip a mortgage payment because they haven’t financially recovered from the costs of caregiving. A family of four making up to roughly $68,000 per year will see their federal income tax liability wiped out with this legislation, which is why it is important we pass this bill.

I am pleased that this is a bipartisan issue that is has not been impacted by the divisive rhetoric we often see in Washington. It is important that we, in Congress, do our part to help accommodate families for their selfless actions in regards to taking care of their loved ones. I am very passionate about utilizing these tax credits to bring financial relief to millions of Americans that deserve it the most. We are trying to implement real solutions that help real people. This is a sound plan that delivers positive results to all Americans in a caregiving situation. We feel very strongly about caring for families and ensuring financial stability for these individuals. The Credit for Caring Act will bring comprehensive tax policy changes to an often forgotten group of the American public.

Reed represents New York’s 23rd District and is a member of the Ways and Means Committee.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.

Tags Cost of Caring Elizabeth Warren Michael Bennet Shelley Moore Capito

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