Curbelo Applauds Newly-Introduced Tax Relief Package for Individuals, Businesses Recovering from Hurricanes

Curbelo will manage debate of the bill on the House Floor Monday, September 25

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Miami, Florida, September 22, 2017 | Joanna Rodriguez (202-225-2778) | comments

On Monday, the House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation to provide additional relief for victims of Hurricane Irma, Harvey, and Maria. On top of over $15 billion in disaster funding that was enacted on September 8, this new bill will provide targeted tax relief to those who need it most. Representative Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), who has been a tireless advocate for the residents of South Florida in the wake of Irma, issued the following statement: 


“This legislation is another strong step forward in Congress fulfilling its responsibility to help those who need it the most, especially after Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria devastated communities in Florida, Texas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. 

 

“Over the last two weeks, I have been on the ground in the Florida Keys and South Dade helping our neighbors rebuild their lives while learning more about what they need to make this process easier. By providing American businesses in the affected areas with a tax credit for wages, we can get these communities back to work as soon as possible. The bill will also ensure hurricane victims keep more of their paycheck, deduct more of the costs from the extensive property damage, and immediate access – without penalties – to their retirement savings for initial recovery.  Lastly, it would temporarily suspend limitations on charitable donations to hurricane recovery efforts, further incentivizing private sector support.


“I thank Chairman Brady and the Ways & Means Committee for allowing me to shape this legislation for the benefit of South Florida residents – especially those in Monroe County who were hardest 
hit by Hurricane Irma.”

 

Curbelo has been calling for this package since seeing the devastation left behind by Hurricane Irma on the groundimmediately after the storm. He also called for it last week when he returned to Washington to work on the proposal with his Ways and Means Committee colleagues.

 

BACKGROUND:

 

The Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017, is expected to be introduced in the House on September 25. Curbelo, an original cosponsor of the legislation, is expected to manage debate of the bill on the House Floor. It is possible this legislation could be signed into law by September 30, 2017

 

The legislation takes the following targeted actions to help American families and communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria:

Deduction for Personal Casualty Losses:

  • With respect to uncompensated losses arising in the disaster area, eliminates the current law requirements that personal casualty losses must exceed 10 percent of Adjusted Gross Income to qualify for deduction.
  • Eliminates the current law requirement that taxpayers must itemize deductions to access this tax relief.

 

Penalty-Free Access to Retirement Funds:

  • Provides an exception to the 10 percent early retirement plan withdrawal penalty for qualified hurricane relief distributions.
  • Allows for the re-contribution of retirement plan withdrawals for home purchases cancelled due to eligible disasters.
  • Provides flexibility for loans from retirement plans for qualified hurricane relief.

 

Encouraging Charitable Giving:

  • Temporarily suspends limitations on the deduction for charitable contributions associated with qualified hurricane relief made before December 31, 2017.

 

Disaster-Related Employment Relief:

  • Provides a tax credit for 40 percent of wages (up to $6,000 per employee) paid by a disaster-affected employer to an employee from a core disaster area.

 

Special Rule for Determining 2017 Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit:

  • For 2017, allows taxpayers to refer to earned income from the immediately preceding year for purposes of determining the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.


The legislation also includes temporary extensions of health programs within Ways and Means jurisdiction. This includes extending the Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) demonstration policy for three years to ensure this program can continue to operate and provide care to patients with severe immunodeficiency diseases. The IVIG demonstration would otherwise stop providing services to patients after September 30, 2017.

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