Political News for Senior Citizens
Political News for Seniors
Tax credit for family caregivers proposed in U.S. House
AARP, others support bipartisan bill
March 9, 2016 – A bill introduced in the House of Representatives this week, the Credit for Caring Act, that supports America’s family caregivers by offering a federal tax credit of up to $3,000 for those who qualify, has won the support of AARP.
AARP issued a news release commending U.S. Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) and U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) on the bipartisan introduction of H.R. 4708. In a news release the organization said, “AARP urges Congress to pass the Credit for Caring Act.”
This tax credit would provide eligible family caregivers caring for loved ones of all ages with some financial relief and help them pay for services such as home care, adult day care, respite care, and other supports.
Family caregivers help older adults and people with disabilities live independently in their homes and communities, saving taxpayer dollars by helping to delay or prevent more costly nursing home care and preventing unnecessary hospital readmissions. In addition to other assistance family caregivers provide, nearly 70% of family caregivers pay out-of-pocket to help provide care to their loved ones.
“The bipartisan Credit for Caring Act sends a clear message that support for family caregivers is not bound by political ideologies,” said AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond.
“This legislation will help ease the financial burden faced by many family caregivers today.” The strong majority (83%) of registered voters age 40 and older, across party lines, support providing a federal income tax credit to family caregivers for the support and care of loved ones, according to a poll conducted by AARP.
Many family caregivers pay for caregiving expenses with their personal savings, too often causing them to reduce or stop saving for their own future. One survey found that over 40% of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 a year on caregiving expenses. (See notes below news report.)
Another survey found family caregivers of people age 50 and older reported spending an average of more than 10% of their annual income on caregiving expenses, an average of $5,531 out-of-pocket. Long-distance family caregivers averaged $8,728 in annual expenses.
The Credit for Caring Act is important for America’s silent army of family caregivers who provide 37 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at an estimated $470 billion annually.
In addition to AARP, other groups supporting this legislation include the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Council on Aging, Autism Speaks, Caregiver Action Network, and the Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, Altarum Institute.
For more information on caregiving, visit AARP’s Caregiving Resource Center at www.aarp.org/caregiving.
Survey: L. Feinberg, S. Reinhard, A. Houser & R. Choula, Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update, The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving (AARP PPI, 2011).