Congresswoman Luria Secures IRS Tax Guidance on Gift Distributions to Virginia Beach Shooting Victims

June 14, 2019
Press Release
Luria Sought Clarification After Questions From City Officials Following May 31 Tragedy

WASHINGTON – Responding to a request for clarification from Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) in the wake of the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has confirmed that payments “that individuals receive … from members of the public in response to a disaster or emergency hardship” are not considered taxable income for recipients.

“My focus remains on the families of the 12 wonderful people who were taken from us before their time and those who were injured,” Congresswoman Luria said. “I am glad that the IRS has recognized the unfathomable hardships that our community experienced, and I will continue to do everything possible to assist the victims, their families, and our Virginia Beach community.”

City officials had approached Congresswoman Luria with questions surrounding taxation of disbursements from a fund they established to help victims, survivors, and their families. For more information about the city’s efforts, please click here.

PDF iconIn a letter sent this week to IRS Commissioner Charles R. Rettig, Congresswoman Luria asked the IRS “to confirm that such payments are excluded from income as gifts.”

PDF iconCommissioner Rettig responded in a letter dated June 13: “Payments that individuals receive, directly or indirectly, from members of the public in response to a disaster or emergency hardship are considered gifts and are excluded from the gross income of the recipients under Section 102 of the Internal Revenue Code.”

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.