Volunteer and Combination

  • November 17, 2017
    Contact your U.S. House representative and urge reauthorization of FIRE/SAFER grant programs. read more
  • November 14, 2017
    I remember the days of riding the back step and so much more. I won’t call them the good old days; we were lucky to have survived them unscathed. But oh, was it easy to recruit and retain new members; the volunteer firehouse was the place to be. read more
  • November 14, 2017
    It’s no surprise that the recruitment and retention of volunteers has become a hot topic and one that many fire departments are constantly trying to overcome. Recruiting new members and retaining seasoned individuals is becoming a challenge. read more

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