Senate Passes Tester Bill to Eliminate Tax on Gold Star Families

May 22, 2019

Bipartisan legislation eliminates Trump’s tax on Defense Department benefits for surviving children 

(U.S. Senate) – The Senate today unanimously passed legislation from U.S. Senator Jon Tester to eliminate the tax burden placed on Gold Star children and their families by President Trump’s disastrous tax bill. The bill’s passage comes on the same day Tester joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to call for passage of the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act, a push to help the more than 65,000 military widows and widowers nationwide receive the full survivor benefits they are due.

The Military Kiddie’s Tax Elimination Bill, also known as the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, amends a provision in Trump’s 2017 tax bill that substantially increased taxes on children receiving survivor benefits because they lost a parent in the line of duty. The legislation retroactively reverses the increase for Fiscal Year 2018 and permanently repeals the malicious provision inserted in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.

“Gold Star families have endured the unimaginable on behalf of our nation,” said Senator Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “In return for the life of a loved one, our country provides these grieving families with some basic financial support. But these families have been subjected to loopholes that have slashed these basic benefits—and today is a step in the right direction towards the fix they deserve.”

In Montana, there are about 3,500 military survivors affected by the “Widow’s tax” and about 200 affected by the “Kiddie Tax.”