Taxes/Social Security Committee Goals
Legislative Goals for 2017
- Expand and Make Permanent the Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit for Employers
- Who hire Guard and Reserve service members
- Who hire demobilized service members
- Who hire military spouses of both Active and Reserve service personnel
- Authorize Tax Deductions for Premiums Paid on Health Insurance
- Secure legislation allowing service members, retirees and survivors to pay on a pre-tax basis health insurance premiums and enrollment fees for TRICARE, TRICARE supplements, and DoD sponsored TRICARE dental plans
- This is already permitted for Federal civil service personnel and civilians who participate in a "cafeteria plan" offered by civilian employers
- Authorize Tax Deductions for Certain Expenses Paid by Military Spouses
- Military spouses who relocate to a another state as a result of their military spouse’s orders are often forced to obtain new professional certification or a trade license if they pursue professional work
- The expenses incurred in obtaining new certification or licensing should be deductible expenses
- Authorize Tax Deductions for Long Term Care (LTC) Premiums
- Group long term care insurance has been approved for federal employees and uniformed services members - active, reserve, and retired.
- Their family members also need protection against the unforeseen cost of custodial care services that might be needed as a result of a disabling condition. LTC is a self-funded program. In order to promote enrollment in a commercial or the new government LTC insurance plan, it has been suggested that the cost of premiums be allowed as a deductible on personal federal income tax for qualified long-term care insurance plans
- Improve Above-The-Line Deductions for Overnight Travel Expenses of Guard and Reserve Members
- Restoration of full tax-deductibility of non-reimbursable expenses related to military training was accomplished in the FY04 NDAA using a distance of 100 miles
- All other government agencies use a 50 mile provision for travel compensation
- The Internal Revenue Code Section 62(a)(2)(A) should be changed so that "the deductions allowed" for any period during which such individual is more than 50 miles away from home in connection with such services."
- Exclude Certain Student Loan Debt from Taxes
- Amend the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from the gross income of any cosigner or estate of a veteran who has a student loan forgiven in any tax year due to death or disability up to the amount attributable to the discharge of the indebtedness of such loan
- Exempt Children Who Receive a Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) Annuity from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
- Eliminate the punitive burden imposed by the AMT by exempting the SBP amount received by the child; specifically amend 26 USC 59(j)(1)
- The annuity would remain taxable but subject to the normal tax rates for a child's income. (This is a joint initiative with the Survivor Committee.)
- Provide Combat Zone Tax Exclusion for USPHS and NOAA Officers
- Officers of the US Public Health Service PHS and NOAA Commissioned Corps serve alongside their armed service peers in combat zones around the world.
- Yet PHS and NOAA officers were inadvertently omitted from legislation years ago establishing a tax credit for armed services members serving in combat zones - a rare exception to the compensation and benefits parity among the seven uniformed services normally the intent of the Congress.
- Allow members of the Ready Reserve to contribute to the military Thrift Savings Plan even when not drawing a military paycheck
- Allow members of the Ready Reserve of a reserve component of the Armed Forces (who only drill for points) to make contributions on the basis of their military service to the military Thrift Savings Plan by supporting legislation to amend Section 402(g) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
- Oppose the adoption of a Chained Consumer Price Index (CCPI) for Calculating COLA
- The adoption of a Chained CPI for calculating Cost of Living Allowances would greatly reduce the benefits of Social Security recipients and military retirees
- Adoption would be punitive and could potentially place recipients in poverty
- Protect and secure future Social Security benefits
- The future financial viability of Social Security is often portrayed as one which will require either disproportionate benefit reductions or disproportionate tax increases for future generations
- Actions to restore the program's long-term financial viability must fairly balance the legitimate interests of both current and future beneficiaries and no group should be forced to bear disproportionate sacrifice.
- Additionally, problems of fraud, waste, and abuse should be addressed before imposing financial penalties on beneficiaries.