On Monday, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D., NY) and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D., NJ) announced comprehensive legislation to reduce the tax burden on those financially impacted by Superstorm Sandy. It’s called “The Hurricane Sandy and National Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2012.”
Within its mixed bag of proposed tax benefits, we find this jewel: a new WOTC category for Hurricane Sandy victims.
As described in the legislative summary.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit– This provision allows the work opportunity credit to be claimed for wages of Hurricane Sandy employees. Eligible employees are individuals who had a principal place of abode in the core disaster area on October 27, 2012, and either (1) are hired during the 2-year period beginning on that date for a position in the area or (2) were displaced by the hurricane and are hired between October 27, 2012, and January 1, 2013.
Other benefits proposed that specifically target the Hurricane Sandy region include:
- Relaxed retirement plan distribution rules
- Housing exemption for displaced individuals
- Discharge of indebtedness (mortgage cancellation relief)
- Worker retention credit
- Lookback rule for Earned Income Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit earned income determination
- Increased low-income housing tax credit availability
- Increased rehabilitation credits
- Recovery Zone bonding authority
- Tax-exempt advanced refunding
- Increased depreciation allowance
- Mitigation and preparedness tax credits
In addition to these Sandy-specific benefits, the proposed legislation includes new tax benefits that would assist disaster victims generally.
Read the Senators’ press release here.