Jan 23, 2002
Press Release

WASHINGTON: Today at the White House, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY) joined the President and members of the New York and New Jersey delegations to Congress in a bill signing ceremony for the Victims Tax Relief Act of 2001. The new law waives income tax liability for the 2000 and 2001 tax years, and will refund any income taxes paid in those years, for victims of terrorist attacks. It also waives tax liability for money a family receives from a victim's employer, the federal government, and an insurance company.

Maloney, an original cosponsor of the bill, said, "It's unimaginable to tax families who lost loved ones on September 11th for funds they receive to help recover. That's just wrong and I'm glad we acted to prevent that through this legislation. In particular, I want to thank Senators Torricelli, Corzine, Schumer, and Clinton and Representatives x, and x, for working so hard to get this bill through Congress so quickly. I also thank the President for signing this bill into law and the country for supporting our efforts to help those who have suffered so much from the terrorist attacks on September 11th."

Summary of legislation:

For all victims of terrorist attacks, waives income tax liability for year of death and at least one previous year. Every victim's family will receive $10,000 or the income tax refund, which ever is greater. This ensures that low-income workers will receive funding regardless of whether they have an income tax liability. Shields first $3 million in assets from both federal and state estate tax and $8.5 million in assets from federal estate tax only for 2001. Excludes workers compensation benefits, death benefits and payments from government retirement plans from taxation. Also excluded disability benefits for all persons injured in a terrorist attack.

The bill also provides an exclusion from income for employees for personal, living, family, or funeral expenses. Exempts from taxation, payments by airlines to victims, payments by federal, state and local governments (ex. FEMA aid). Also makes it easier for charitable organizations to make disaster relief payment to victims.