Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., announced Tuesday, May 15, that legislation she supported to prevent changes in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from unduly harming Gold Star military families passed the Senate.
Under current law, spouses of deceased service members are eligible to receive two different survivors benefits-the Department of Veterans Affairs' dependency and indemnity compensation and the Department of Defense survivor benefits plan.
Many spouses choose to sign the DOD benefit over to their children. Previously, children receiving this benefit were taxed at the parent's rate, but President Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act drastically raised the tax on the benefit-up to 37% compared with an average of 12% to 15% prior to the 2017 tax bill. The Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act will correct the mistake in the tax law and bring the tax hike on survivors benefits back down to its previous level for Gold Star military families.
"No one has given more to our country than the families of our fallen heroes," Klobuchar stated in a news release. "When I learned about the unacceptable mistake in the 2017 tax law that unduly burdened our Gold Star families, my colleagues and I moved immediately to fix the problem, and today the Senate took a huge step forward in getting this done. Gold Star families have already made the ultimate sacrifice for our country-their surviving family members shouldn't have to sacrifice more."
The bill is also led by Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Doug Jones, D-Ala, and Pat Toomey, R-Pa, and has 25 other bipartisan cosponsors.