SECURE Act: Benefits for Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Responders

Back in 2007, the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (VRIPA) was enacted, exempting

property tax benefits and up to $600 per year of other incentives that volunteer fire and EMS personnel receive as reward for their services from being subject to federal income tax and reporting requirements. VRIPA became law in 2008, but expired at the end of 2010.

Section 301 of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act reinstates for one year (the 2020 tax year) the exclusions for qualified state or local tax benefits and qualified reimbursement payments provided to members of certified volunteer emergency response organizations, and increases the exclusion for qualified reimbursement payments to $50 for each month during which a volunteer performs services. These provisions are included in the underlying Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act.

Pennsylvania congressman Mike Kelly was one of two bipartisan cosponsors of a standalone VRIPA bill (H.R. 1241), introduced in the House of Representatives in February to make these benefits permanent. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is hoping that enactment of the SECURE Act will improve the chances of getting the bill passed in Congress. NFPA estimates the value of services provided by volunteer firefighters in the U.S. at approximately $46.9 billion annually.

Interested in learning more about the SECURE Act? Download the SECURE Act eBook from the Schneider Downs Retirement Solutions team for a full overview of provisions and highlights at www.schneiderdowns.com/secure-act-ebook.

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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