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Larson, Bacon, Bennet, Cassidy Introduce Tax Relief for National Service Volunteers

June 16, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Today, Reps. John B. Larson (D-CT-01) and Don Bacon (R-NE-02), and Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Tax Relief Act. Currently, thousands of Americans serve their country through national service opportunities. In exchange for their service, they can take the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to make higher education more affordable and accessible. Currently, these benefits are treated as taxable income, and none of it can be withheld to pay the resulting taxes. The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Tax Relief Act would fix this by excluding the Education Award from taxable gross income.  

“Each year, thousands of Americans selflessly serve our communities. In exchange for their service, they receive the Segal Education Award to help make higher education more affordable. The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Tax Relief Act will make this award more accessible, by excluding it from taxable gross income. Currently, this award is treated as taxable income, creating a financial burden for AmeriCorps alumni. As a nation, we should be encouraging more people to serve our country, not making it harder. I’m honored to continue the late-Rep. John Lewis’s work on this issue and am proud to introduce this bipartisan, commonsense legislation with Rep. Bacon and Senators Bennet and Cassidy today,” said Rep. Larson.  

“Many young Americans across the country serve their communities through national service opportunities and although they are thanked with an education award, they are slapped because it is treated as taxable income,” said Rep. Bacon. “This Act will remove that financial burden for these young leaders who make an impact through their critical work.” 

"AmeriCorps members make critical contributions to our communities in Colorado and across the country, working countless hours of service to improve the lives of our kids and neighbors," said Senator Bennet. "It’s past time we recognize their commitment. By eliminating this unnecessary burden on AmeriCorps members, we can ensure they receive the full award they deserve to help pay for higher education." 

“AmeriCorps members dedicate their time and talents to serve their communities and country. Sticking them with taxes that other Americans don’t pay is unfair,” said Dr. Cassidy. 

“The tax on the AmeriCorps education award creates an unexpected and unfair tax burden on the dedicated Americans who commit to serving their country through AmeriCorps. It’s essentially a tax on service,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “We don't tax Pell Grants or GI Bill Benefits, and we shouldn’t tax the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. We’re grateful to Senators Bennet and Cassidy and Representatives Larson and Bacon for leading the effort to make the award tax free and urge their colleagues to support the bill.” 

Click here for the bill text.  

Click here for a list of endorsing groups. 

Click here for a background on the bill.  

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