Sinema-Backed Bill that Provides Tax Relief for Gold Star Families Passes the Senate

May 24, 2019

WASHINGTON – Bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema that provides tax relief for Gold Star Families passed the Senate. Sinema’s commonsense legislation fixes a problem with the 2017 tax law that unfairly raises taxes on military survivor benefits.

“Gold Star families gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It is our duty to ensure they have the support and financial security they deserve, and I am glad the Senate passed our critical legislation,” said Sinema.

A provision in the 2017 tax law carelessly resulted in military survivor benefits being taxed at a much higher rate. The bipartisan legislation fixes this error by treating military survivor benefits as earned income, and the legislation is retroactive so the fix is effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. The bill now moves to the U.S. House.

Sinema has long been a champion for military families. She is a cosponsor of the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act, which prevents the reduction of survivor annuities under the Survivor Benefit Plan. Sinema also cosponsored the Gold Star Leasing Relief Act, which enables spouses of servicemembers who died, or were severely injured, while in military service the flexibility to end specific financial burdens and prevent a downgrade in the family’s credit rating.