IAFC Urges Congress to Exempt Volunteer Incentives from Taxation
On May 26, 2016, the IAFC submitted comments to the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means on the need to exempt nominal incentives for volunteer fire and EMS personnel from taxation. The IAFC offered these comments as part of a larger comment on the need to reform the tax code to address several important fire service issues such as volunteer recruitment/retention and fire sprinkler installation. Read the IAFC's full comments today!
Reinstate and Extend the VRIPA
State and local governments use property tax rebates and other incentives to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters, yet the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) views these incentives as income. The Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (VRIPA) excluded from taxable income any property tax benefit and up to $360 per year of all other payments to volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel from a state or local unit of government. However, this law expired at the end of the 2010 tax year.
In February 2015, Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (S. 609) to reinstate the tax benefit and raise the $360 cap to $600 through the end of the 2017 tax year. In June 2015, Representatives John Larson (D-CT) and Dave Reichert (R-WA) introduced an identical House bill (H.R. 2752).
Action Item: Urge your members of Congress to reinstate VRIPA by cosponsoring H.R. 2752 and S. 609. Send a letter to your Representative and to your Senators to explain the need for action on this issue. Find out here who your members of Congress are and how to contact them!
IRS Clarifies Taxes on Uniforms
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidance to help fire departments understand which uniform items must be declared on a volunteer's W-2 and which uniforms items may be excluded. Learn more today about how this decision will impact your volunteers' W-2s.
House Passes Bill to Exempt Volunteers from PPACA
The House of Representatives voted 415-0 in favor of passing the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act (H.R. 1191) which would codify the IRS decision to ecempt volunteer fire department personnel from being classified as full-time employees for the purposes of enforcing the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. H.R. 1191 now rests in the Senate where it is awaiting action.
Lame Duck or Productive Duck: How Congress Could Impact Volunteer and Combination Fire Service Issues
November 1, 2014
IAFC Comments to U.S. House on Definition of Volunteers Under PPACA (pdf)
April 10, 2014
Senate Passes Bill to Exempt Volunteers from PPACA
April 7, 2014
House Votes 410-0 to Exempt Volunteers from PPACA (Vote tally, video)
March 10, 2014
IRS Exempts Volunteers in PPACA Final Rule
February 10, 2014 (see page 26)
Treasury Clarifies Treatment of Volunteers Under PPACA
January 10, 2014
Reps. Larson and Latham Introduce VRIPRA in House
December 12, 2013
House and Senate Legislation Introduced to Exempt Volunteers from PPACA
December 10, 2013
Oregon Fire Chiefs Association Releases 2013 Volunteer 260 Report (pdf)
December 10, 2013
IAFC Comments on Potential PPACA Impacts on Volunteers (pdf)
September 10, 2013
PPACA Causes Concerns for Fire Departments
July 1, 2013
IAFC Comments on Need for VRIPRA (pdf)
April 15, 2013
Tax Reform: Not a Nickel and Dime Issue
April 15, 2013
IAFC Releases Manual on FLSA Compliance