Veterans Service Organizations Endorse Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act

May 20, 2019
Press Release
Support Building to Fix Tax Glitch for America’s Most Heroic Families

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) today announced that key veterans service organizations — including the American Legion, Gold Star Wives of America, Inc., Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and Military Officers Association of America — have endorsed her Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, marking new momentum for a bill that has garnered 124 cosponsors and the endorsement of a bipartisan veterans caucus in Congress

Congresswoman Luria’s Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, H.R. 2481, would fix a consequence of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that is causing Gold Star Families to see drastic tax increases.

“As a veteran myself, I know it’s not just the brave men and women who fight for America, but the families who support them every step of the way,” Congresswoman Luria said. “Military wives, husbands, daughters, and sons deserve our highest attention and devotion — especially survivors of the fallen. I am thankful for the broad support for our Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, and I am hopeful it will soon become law so that America’s most heroic families won't have to wait any longer for financial certainty."

“I am proud of the bipartisan effort that Congresswoman Elaine Luria is leading in the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure that surviving spouses and the children of fallen service members receive the compensation that was earned through service to our country,” said Crystal Wenum, President of the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. “As a military veteran herself, Congresswoman Luria is well aware of the hardships of many military spouses and their families. H.R. 2481, the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, will ensure that our members and their children will receive the hard-earned compensation their loved ones earned through their sacrifice and that these families will not face additional financial burdens."

“The American Legion wants to thank Rep. Luria for her leadership and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle for their important work on the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act,” said Brett P. Reistad, National Commander of the American Legion. “The American Legion encourages quick action so certainty can be provided to these families whose parents paid the ultimate price. This unforeseen problem has caused a severe hardship for surviving families and deserves to be above partisan politics.”

“On behalf of the 1.6 million members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliary, I am pleased to offer our support for H.R. 2481, the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act,” said Carlos U. Fuentes, Director of VFW’s National Legislative Service.

The Military Officers Association of America also has endorsed Congresswoman Luria’s Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act.

Background:

The Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act will fix a consequence of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that is causing Gold Star Families to see drastic tax increases.

Relatives of fallen service members receive two forms of compensation to help them cope in the aftermath of their loss. In order to ensure that the family receives all of the benefits they have earned, spouses of the fallen sometimes sign over one of the benefits to their children.

Because the new tax law brought changes to how children’s assets are taxed, Gold Star Families who formerly were obligated to pay 12 to 15 percent in taxes on such income saw their tax rate jump to 37 percent, according to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Congresswoman Luria’s Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act would classify such survivor benefits as earned income, significantly reducing the tax burden.

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.

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