Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 5507

Should Wealthy Taxpayers Have to Pass a Drug Test to Get Big Tax Deductions?

Argument in favor

If some states are going to require welfare recipients to pass drug tests to collect benefits, the federal government should require wealthy taxpayers with over $150,000 in itemized deductions to provide proof of a clean drug test or else they lose the ability to itemize.

Brenna's Opinion
···
06/18/2016
No one should have to pass a drug test to receive welfare, but this is a good way of emphasizing how ridiculous the concept is, especially because it is applied to just the poor.
Like (165)
Follow
Share
Ashley's Opinion
···
06/18/2016
I think it raises a good point that if welfare recipients are required to drug test for governmental benefits why not have those who want tax cuts do the same. However I don't think that either should be drug tested.
Like (69)
Follow
Share
Paul's Opinion
···
06/17/2016
It's a stupid idea, but no stupider than testing low income beneficiaries .
Like (14)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

There’s a big difference between having to pass a drug test to receive welfare benefits and having to pass a drug test to file your taxes a certain way. It’s worth debating whether welfare recipients should have to pass a drug test, but this is a petty way of starting that dialogue.

Bryan's Opinion
···
06/18/2016
There is a huge difference between someone living off the government and someone working and producing for society.
Like (69)
Follow
Share
operaman's Opinion
···
06/18/2016
Astounding question. Making up nonsense questions to create controversy. About the same as developing a solution for a problem not yet present. This one big step over the line. Would this be called a Wealth Test? Is this Wealth Test like a alcohol test at a bar or liquor store qualifying drinker to purchase his next adult beverage.
Like (45)
Follow
Share
Todd's Opinion
···
06/18/2016
Welfare and taxes cannot be treated the same. If we are going to begin requiring drug tests to get your deductions, then welfare benefits received should now also be treated as taxable income.
Like (33)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 5507?

This bill would require people who have at least $150,000 in itemized deductions on their tax return to submit proof of a clean drug test or else their itemized deductions would be disallowed. In effect, this would require those taxpayers who fail the test or don't submit it to file returns that only claim the standard deduction ($6,300 for single people in 2016), which could cause the high-income filers that this legislation impacts to pay more in taxes.

Proof of a clean drug test would be submitted to the IRS, and could be conducted by the taxpayer’s employer, through a state certified program, or a medical review officer who meets federal qualifications for workplace drug testing.

If enacted, this bill’s requirements would be in effect for the 2016 tax year, meaning that affected taxpayers would have to take and pass a drug test within the three month period before their return is filed.

Impact

Taxpayers who have more than $150,000 in itemized deductions on their return; people administering drug tests; and the IRS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5507

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: In response to what she believes is the “criminalization of poverty” by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), sponsoring Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced this bill to get people to think about how requiring welfare recipients to pass drug tests reinforces stereotypes about those in poverty:

“It is my sincere hope that my bill will help eradicate the stigma associated with poverty and engage the American public in a substantive dialogue regarding the struggles of working- and middle-class families. As I’ve said time and time again, the notion that those battling poverty are somehow more susceptible to substance abuse is as absurd as it is offensive.”

According to The Guardian, 2011 tax data from the IRS indicates that this proposal would mainly affect households with an annual income of more than $1 million.


Of Note: As of March 2016, there are 15 states that require people applying for public assistance to pass a drug test or screen — plus another 17 states that have proposed legislation to that effect so far this year.



Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user markus spiske)

AKA

Top 1% Accountability Act

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit certain taxpayers from itemizing deductions for a taxable year if the taxpayers fail to submit proof of clean drug tests with their tax returns.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJune 16th, 2016
    No one should have to pass a drug test to receive welfare, but this is a good way of emphasizing how ridiculous the concept is, especially because it is applied to just the poor.
    Like (165)
    Follow
    Share
    There is a huge difference between someone living off the government and someone working and producing for society.
    Like (69)
    Follow
    Share
    I think it raises a good point that if welfare recipients are required to drug test for governmental benefits why not have those who want tax cuts do the same. However I don't think that either should be drug tested.
    Like (69)
    Follow
    Share
    Astounding question. Making up nonsense questions to create controversy. About the same as developing a solution for a problem not yet present. This one big step over the line. Would this be called a Wealth Test? Is this Wealth Test like a alcohol test at a bar or liquor store qualifying drinker to purchase his next adult beverage.
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    Welfare and taxes cannot be treated the same. If we are going to begin requiring drug tests to get your deductions, then welfare benefits received should now also be treated as taxable income.
    Like (33)
    Follow
    Share
    This is extremely petty. They've made a living for themselves, only welfare recipients should have to pass a drug test. If I have to pass a drug test to work, they need to pass a drug test to live off of the government.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    Why single out wealthy taxpayers?! Let's just make EVERYONE pass a drug test before they get a dime back from Uncle Sam! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! When did our government become a totalitarian dictatorship?! Oh, yeah, that was in 2008, wasn't it?! Thank God Almighty my generation got to grow up in a FREE AMERICA! I wish I could say the same for the children growing up today. . . .
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    It's a stupid idea, but no stupider than testing low income beneficiaries .
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Mandatory drug testing is ridiculous and a waste of taxpayer dollars and time.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a stupid idea that has no basis in logic. Just a liberal reaction to a law that had actual reasoning.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    tax breaks for the wealthy cheats middle income and lower income taxpayers
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Their drug use, however prevalent, has no bearing on their itemized tax deductions.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    While there's nothing explicitly wrong with this idea, let's work on making people getting free money from the to government pass drug tests before we make people trying to give the government money pass the tests.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    I think it's criminal to put anyone no matter what tax bracket into that position. It's disrespectful to the work and determination that they've had to reach this point to criminalize their actions. Even requiring someone that is getting welfare to pass a drug test to gain benefits is also criminalizing their position that requires government assistance.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    I don't believe welfare recipients should pass a drug test either
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Flat tax... Everyone pays something... Problem solved
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm against mandatory drug testing.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    The sheer ignorance of even just the suggestion of this is just baffling to me.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Paying taxes is different from receiving welfare. In welfare you are being given money that is not yours. In tax deductions you are keeping the money that you did earn.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Though the point is well taken, this is a petty response to another bad law. Using the legislative system to make a point is not an effective or responsible way to enact change. Laws requiring welfare applicants to pass drug tests have been proven fruitless when tested, as fewer than 1% of applicants failed these tests. We should work to repeal these policies on their own merits. We should not create new laws to serve as "payback" or to "make a point" to the wealthy, or to lawmakers themselves. This kind of pettiness is part of why the system is broken.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE