July 21, 2011

Special Needs Tax Credit Bill

Action Alert From the NDSS:

Act Now! Get your Congressman to Co-Sponsor the Special Needs Tax Credit Bill 
We are asking that you email or call your congressperson to ask him/her to co-sponsor a bill that would provide a refundable tax credit of up to $5,000 for the cost of establishing guardianship for an individual with disabilities 18 years or older.

Background of the legislation: Introduced in the US House of Representatives by Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Fl), the Special Needs Tax Credit bill, H.R. 878, would provide a tax credit for those people whose pursuit of guardianship often involves the expenditure of thousands of dollars in legal fees. 

Problem: For many parents and families the cost of working with an attorney to obtain guardianship, a complex legal process involving expensive legal fees and often many months of effort, is simply unaffordable. The bill would seek to remedy this situation by providing a tax credit of $5,000.  Single people with an income of less than $75,000 and married couples with incomes of less than $150,000 would receive up to the available credit, but the available credit would be reduced as a person or couple’s income rose.
Support of the bill on the part of NDSS, however, should in no way be viewed as a position that encourages the pursuit of guardianship.  Rather, the National Government Affairs Committee of the NDSS, which voted to support the legislation, determined that NDSS should support a bill that would provide monetary relief to those parents who choose to pursue guardianship.

Contact Your Congressman’s Office:  Please call your representative by phone or email as soon as possible.  You can contact the office by calling (202-224-3121). Ask for the name of someone on the staff handling tax matters. Be sure to get a contact phone number or e-mail to deliver your request.

Talking points and email points:
  • I am the parent of a child/adult with Down syndrome and I am calling/emailing to request that Representative ______ cosponsor H.R. 878, the Special Needs Tax Credit bill, H.R. which would provide a tax credit for people who pursue guardianship for a loved one. 
  • The cost of working with an attorney to establish guardianship can total $3,000 to $5,000 dollars.
  • Families with a member with a disability have extraordinary costs to bear across the lifetime of that individual.
  • Many families will have incurred thousands of dollars in expenses for years of therapies, medications and a variety of supports.
  • Many of these families cannot even begin to enter the process of guardianship because of the great expense of legal assistance.
  • A tax credit of up to $5,000 for people who incur costly legal expenses would greatly benefit many parents and families of individuals with disabilities.

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