Legislation would allow special exceptions.
U.S. Rep. George Holding has introduced legislation to offer tax relief for victims of Hurricane Florence.
The legislation, The Hurricane Florence Tax Relief Act, is aimed at giving temporary tax breaks to both businesses and individuals facing recovery.
“Hurricane Florence has devastated the Carolinas, inflicting billions of dollars in damages and upending the lives of countless families,” Rep. Holding said. “It will take years to rebuild our communities and for many, this storm is a life-changing event.”
Under the legislation victims will have access to retirement funds without the normal early-withdrawal penalties, normally 10 percent. It also allows for the re-contribution of retirement plan withdrawals for home purchases canceled due to eligible disasters and provides flexibility for loans from retirement plans for qualified hurricane relief.
Another major issue addressed is the creation of a deduction for personal casualty losses. As far as uncompensated losses arising in the disaster areas, it eliminated the current law requirements that personal casualty losses must exceed 10 percent of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income to qualify for the deduction.
It also eliminates the current law requirement that taxpayers itemize deductions to access this relief.
The act would also encourage charitable giving by temporarily suspending limitations on the deduction for charitable contributions associated with qualified hurricane relief made before Dec. 31 of this year. And it will provide a tax credit for 40 percent of wages, up to $6,000 per employee, paid by a disaster-affected employer to an employee from a core disaster area such as North Carolina.
It will also allow taxpayers to refer to earned income credit from the immediate preceding year for purposes of determining the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. Both bring extra money in tax refunds, especially for working families.
“My bill will enable penalty-free access to retirement savings and provide tax incentives for employers and small businesses to ensure they keep employees on the payroll,” Mr. Holding said. “It will also make it easier for folks to claim tax deductions for the cost of destroyed property and will encourage people across the country to donate to recovery efforts by suspending limits on the charitable contributions deduction. Altogether, this bill is a great first step in our recovery efforts that will lessen the tax burden on Carolinians so they can use more of their money to recover, rebuild and get back on their feet.”
Rep. Holding, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, was joined in sponsorship of the act by Rep. David Rouzer of North Carolina’s 7th District and South Carolina 7th District Rep. Tom Rice.
-The Daily Record