December 17, 2019

Bipartisan Hassan Measures to Reverse Tax Increases on Gold Star Families and Students Included in Government Funding Legislation

Bipartisan Hassan-Backed Repeal of Military “Widow’s Tax” Also Included in National Defense Authorization Act that Is Heading to President’s Desk

WASHINGTON – Bipartisan measures backed by Senator Maggie Hassan to reverse tax increases from the 2017 Republican tax law that hurt Gold Star families and students are expected to be signed into law as part of year-end government funding legislation. Additionally, a bipartisan measure supported by Senator Hassan to repeal the so-called “Widow’s Tax” that prevents as many as 65,000 surviving military spouses nationwide from receiving their full survivor benefits was also included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which is on its way to the President’s desk.

“Ending the unfair ‘Widow’s Tax’ on surviving military spouses, as well as reversing the outrageous tax hikes on Gold Star families and students that were included in the 2017 Republican tax law, have been top priorities of mine, and I’m glad that members of both parties were able to come together to get this done,” Senator Hassan said. “These common-sense fixes will provide much-needed relief for families of fallen service members and students pursuing their education, and I look forward to seeing these measures signed into law.”

Senator Hassan has helped lead bipartisan efforts to reverse tax increases in the 2017 Republican tax law on Gold Star families and students. Earlier this year, she led a bipartisan bill to reverse a tax increase in the 2017 tax law on student scholarships that cover non-tuition expenses, such as room and board. She also joined colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act to reverse a tax increase in the 2017 tax law on survivor benefits for children who have lost a parent serving in the military. Both the tax increases on Gold Star children and students are reversed in the government funding legislation.

Another major priority for Senator Hassan has been eliminating the “Widow’s Tax” that also hurts Gold Star families. The Senator joined colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act to repeal an unfair law that prevents as many as 65,000 surviving military spouses nationwide from receiving their full Department of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) survivor benefits. Until now, the widows and widowers of retired service members who elected to pay into the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) would find their annuity payments deducted by the amount they were qualified to receive from the VA’s Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) program. The Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act, which fixes this issue, is on its way to the President’s desk as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.

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