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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Meng Introduces Legislation to Ensure Tax-Free Death Benefits for Families of Fallen Law Enforcement Officers

May 19, 2017
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), during National Police Week, introduced legislation to ensure that death benefits paid to the families of law enforcement officers killed in the line-of-duty are tax-free.    
 
Last year, the Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act was signed into law in order to guarantee that death benefits paid by states to law enforcement officers’ families were non-taxable. The problem is that “local government” payments were inadvertently left out of the bill when it was passed by Congress. This means that payments which the NYPD and other local police departments pay to fallen officers’ families could be taxed; or, at the very least, could force survivors to go through a lengthy back-and-forth with the IRS in order to not have the payments treated as income. 
 
Meng’s bill, the Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Update Act of 2017 (H.R.2502) would correct this problem by ensuring that these types of local government benefits are not counted as gross income for tax purposes.
 
“I can think of no greater sacrifice than a law enforcement officer giving his or her life to protect us,” said Meng. “The benefits provided to the surviving family of such heroes should certainly not be taxed by the federal government, whether these payments derive from federal, state, or local government programs. I’m proud to introduce this legislation during National Police Week, and I hope my colleagues will work quickly to correct the omission in existing law.”
 
Meng’s measure has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.