Senate Passes Tester Bill to Eliminate Tax on Gold Star Families as Senator Continues Work to Fix Widow’s Tax

Bipartisan legislation eliminates Trump’s tax on Defense Department benefits for surviving children

(U.S. Senate) – The Senate today unanimously passed legislation from U.S. Senator Jon Tester to eliminate the tax burden placed on Gold Star children and their families by President Trump’s disastrous tax bill. The bill’s passage comes on the same day Tester joined a bipartisan group of colleagues to call for passage of the Military Widow's Tax Elimination Act, a push to help the more than 65,000 military widows and widowers nationwide receive the full survivor benefits they are due. 

The Military Kiddie's Tax Elimination Bill, also known as the Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act, amends a provision in Trump's disastrous 2017 tax bill that substantially increased taxes on children receiving survivor benefits because they lost a parent in the line of duty. The legislation retroactively reverses the increase for Fiscal Year 2018 and permanently repeals the malicious provision inserted in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. 

“Gold Star families have endured the unimaginable on behalf of our nation,” said Senator Tester, Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “In return for the life of a loved one, our country provides these grieving families with some basic financial support. But these families have been subjected to loopholes that have slashed these basic benefits—and today is a step in the right direction towards the fix they deserve.”

In Montana, there are about 3,500 military survivors affected by the "Widow’s tax" and about 200 affected by the "Kiddie Tax.” 

Tester was the only member of Montana's congressional delegation who voted against Trump's partisan tax giveaway, which added more than $2 trillion to the national debt. 

Today Tester joined Senators Doug Jones of Alabama, Susan Collins of Maine, and James Risch of Idaho, along with a number of advocates and veterans service organizations to call for passage of the Military Widow's Tax Elimination Act, which is supported by 67 Senators. Video of today’s event is available HERE.