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U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie introduced a bill eliminating tax on social security benefits for retirees looking to boost senior citizens’ income.
On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Massie introduced HR 3894, the Senior Citizens Tax Elimination Act, which would cease income tax on social security benefits.
The Henry County Local asked Massie via email several questions including what the inspiration was for introducing the bill.
“Inspiration was inflation. I saw the purchasing power of senior citizens on fixed incomes being eroded by inflationary monetary policy,” Massie said. “ I looked into the social security program and realized that benefits weren’t always taxed in the past, and realized that they shouldn’t be taxed now.”
Massie doesn’t expect much opposition in the bill’s passage.
“The real challenge will be building enough support for the bill to bring it to a vote on the floor of the house. I suspect if I could get a vote on it, it would pass both chambers easily,” Massie said.
When asked if there was previously a valid reason for taxing social security benefits, Massie didn’t see any.
“There is no legitimate reason to double-tax social security. However, the social security trust fund is a tempting target for politicians looking for new sources of money to spend,” Massie said. “That’s why it’s taxed when payments are distributed — to siphon off some of the trust fund for other areas of the government spending.”
Massie emphasized senior citizens have already paid taxes on the contributions to social security and double taxing reduces their benefits. Social security should provide financial support and not function as another source of tax revenue for the federal government.
The bill’s legislation would make social security benefits nontaxable and wouldn’t require reporting on individual tax returns.
“Taxing these benefits is an accounting sleight of hand that redistributes portions of the Social Security trust fund to other areas of government,”Massie stated in a press release.
Rep. Bridenstine (R-OK) and Rep. DeSantis (R-FL) cosponsored the bill, which currently has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill can tracked at www.1.usa.gov/1f8z32S.