Lawmakers File Tax Relief Bill for Spring Disaster Victims

Midwest lawmakers have introduced a bill that would provide tax relief for disaster victims stemming from this spring’s weather catastrophes. Called the Tax Relief Act of 2019, the bill would provide tax deductions for individuals and businesses affected by federally declared disasters that occurred between January 1, and April 15, 2019, including flooding in the Midwest and tornadoes in the South.

Benefits under the bill include special rules allowing access to retirement funds, a special credit for employee retention during business interruption, suspension of limits on deductions for certain charitable contributions, special rules for deductions for disaster-related personal casualty losses, and special rules for measurement of earned income for purposes of qualification for tax credits.

The bill was introduced by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Iowa junior senator Joni Ernst joined Grassley and said the bill would “help provide important and badly-needed relief for Iowans in disaster areas.”

An agriculture disaster aid package to assist farmers affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael last fall passed the House last week, but stalled before reaching a vote in the Senate prior to a two-week recess.