September 02, 2021

Congressman Neguse Introduces Bill to Lessen Tax Burden on Veterans and Their Families

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Joe Neguse introduced legislation to reduce the tax burden on veterans who take advantage of student loan discharge provisions. His bill, the Veterans Equitable Taxation (VET) of Student Loans Act, seeks to retroactively and perpetually exempt veterans whose student loan debt was discharged due to death or permanent, total disability from tax liability on their forgiven loans.

“We as a nation have made promises to the brave men and women who make incredible sacrifices in the name of our safety, and this bill is about keeping those promises,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Forgiving student debt for veterans who have died or become permanently disabled is a great first step, but taxing that forgiveness is grossly unfair and unjust. We need to ensure that past and future service members, who sacrifice their minds and bodies for this country, will not be saddled with taxes on the benefits they earn through their sacrifice.”

Prior to 2018, discharged student loan debt was taxable as income for those who received debt relief due to death or permanent, total disability. The provision in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 was then amended to cover any person who has been killed or become totally and permanently disabled after December 31, 2017. Though a meaningful step, this excluded the thousands of veterans and families whose service-connected debt forgiveness prior to 2018 has left them with crushing tax bills.

This bill builds on legislation recently introduced by Congressman Neguse to support homeless veterans through job training and placement. 

Throughout his tenure, supporting America’s veterans and their families has been top of mind for Congressman Neguse. In 2019, he successfully advocated for increased funding for the Fisher House Foundation which provides veterans’ families a free place to stay nearby when they receive care at Veterans Affairs hospitals. 

Find bill text HERE.