Sinema & Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Bill Standing Up for Human Trafficking Survivors

Feb 7, 2023

Legislation would exempt trafficking survivors’ restitution from federal taxes as they rebuild their lives

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Republican Senators John Cornyn (Texas) and James Lankford (Okla.), and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (Ore.) introduced the Human Trafficking Survivor Tax Relief Act. The bipartisan legislation exempts civil damages, restitution, and other monetary awards granted to human trafficking survivors from federal income taxes.
“Human trafficking survivors deserve our support as they rebuild their lives. It is common sense and the right thing to protect these individuals from harmful federal taxes,” said Sinema.
In addition to protecting trafficking survivors from burdensome taxes, Sinema’s bipartisan legislation would also guarantee the current Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance that provides federal tax relief for restitution payments awarded to survivors in criminal cases. 
Currently, under the Internal Revenue Code, civil damages awarded to victims and survivors of human trafficking are considered taxable income. The bipartisan Human Trafficking Survivor Tax Relief Act exempts these civil damages from federal income taxes, freeing trafficking survivors from additional tax burdens while they rebuild their lives.