This bill would provide temporary tax relief to the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria while also reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and several healthcare programs that are currently set to expire at the end of September 2017.
The following targeted tax relief would be available to the victims and communities impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in affected states and territories:
Deduction for Personal Casualty Losses: The current requirement that personal casualty losses exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income to qualify for a deduction would be eliminated, as would the requirement for taxpayers to itemize their deductions to access it.
Penalty-Free Access to Retirement Funds: An exception to the 10 percent early retirement plan withdrawal penalty would be granted for qualified hurricane relief distributions. Withdrawals made to purchase homes that have been cancelled because of the disasters could be re-contributed, and flexibility would be extended to loans from retirement plans for hurricane relief.
Encouraging Charitable Giving: Limitations on the deduction for charitable contributions would be temporarily suspended for qualified contributions related to hurricane relief before December 31, 2017.
Disaster-Related Employment Relief: A tax credit for 40 percent of wages (up to $6,000 per employee) paid by a disaster-affected employer to an employee from a core disaster area would be provided.
Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit: For 2017, taxpayers would be allowed to refer to earned income from the immediately preceding year for purposes of determining the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would be reauthorized through March 31, 2018 with $4.99 billion in funding available for the period. Included in that funding would be $1.4 billion for air navigation facilities and equipment; $88 million for research, engineering and development; $74.7 million for the Small Community Air Service; and $4.9 million for airports not receiving sufficient service. Taxes that provide revenue to the Airport and Airway Trust Fund would also be extended through March 31, 2018.
The healthcare programs that would be reauthorized by this bill include:
Payments to teaching health centers with graduate medical education programs: $60 million and $15 million for the first quarter of FY2018.
Special Diabetes Program for Indians: $37.5 million for the first quarter of FY2018.
Medicare Patient Intravenuous Immune Globin (IVIG) Demonstration Project: Extended through the end of December 2020.
Funding for the Medicare Improvement Fund would be reduced from $270 million to $220 million during and after FY2021.
The National Flood Insurance Program would be reformed by allowing private insurance plans to be purchased and satisfy the requirement to purchase flood insurance for homes and other properties that have been identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as having a flood risk.