Senators offer tax bill aimed at helping first responders

Senators offer tax bill aimed at helping first responders
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators offered legislation this week to ensure that first responders' injury-related compensation is tax exempt.

The introduction of the bill by Sens. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesMontana lawmakers cheer recommendation to ban mining north of Yellowstone Congress passes bill to require Senate campaign filings to be made electronically Congress just failed our nation’s veterans when it comes to medical marijuana MORE (R-Mont.), Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsJudiciary Democrat calls for additional witnesses to testify on Kavanaugh Kavanaugh allegations could be monster storm brewing for midterm elections      Sunday shows preview: White House officials on offensive in wake of anonymous NY Times op-ed MORE (D-Del.) and Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyPoll: Democrats hold big leads in Pennsylvania Senate, governor races The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again MORE Jr. (D-Pa.) coincides with National Police Week.

“If these men and women are injured while performing their life-saving work, the last thing we should do is tax the benefits that their families receive," Coons said in a news release.

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Under IRS guidance issued in 1985, service-related disability compensation isn't subject to federal income taxes. The senators' bill would codify the guidance's principles, since many first responders and some IRS auditors aren't aware of it.

“These brave men and women put their life on the line for our safety. It is our duty to make sure they are not unfairly taxed or inappropriately audited by the IRS for the sacrifices they’ve made on our behalf,” Daines said.

The legislation also would allow injury-related compensation to remain tax-exempt when first responders hit the retirement age of 65, a change from current policy.