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November 02, 2023 | Press Releases

Steube Legislation to Provide Disaster Tax Relief Advances Out of Ways and Means Committee

Legislation Helps Floridians Impacted Financially by Hurricane Ian and Victims of Other Disasters

View Rep. Steube’s Committee Remarks Here.

WASHINGTON —  U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) today announced his legislation, H.R. 5863,The Federal Disaster Tax Relief Act, advanced out of the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill passed out of committee unanimously 38-0. This bill extends rules for the treatment of certain disaster-related personal casualty losses and provides tax relief for losses due to federally declared disasters. 

“My district continues to recover from the monstrous Category Five storm that slammed into Southwest Florida last September. Through no fault of their own, many of my constituents incurred hundreds to thousands of dollars in disaster-related expenses. Floridians have now waited over a year for Congress to designate Hurricane Ian as a qualified disaster and provide much-needed tax relief for those impacted financially by Hurricane Ian,” said Rep. Steube. “Hurricane Ian victims are not the only ones awaiting Congressional action. My disaster relief bill also provides tax relief to victims of Hurricane Idalia, Hurricane Nicole, Hurricane Fiona, the western U.S. wildfires, and the Ohio train derailment. Today’s committee action is a huge step towards helping many of our fellow Americans. I thank Chairman Smith and my colleagues for their support. I urge swift consideration of this bill on the House Floor.”

“Disasters have impacted Americans all over the country, upending lives. The Ways and Means Committee is providing critical relief to these families to support them in their time of need. The Federal Disaster Tax Relief Act will help communities rebuild following a devastating hurricane, wildfires, and the East Palestine, OH train derailment. I want to thank Representative Steube for leading in this effort and standing up for Floridians and all Americans affected by disasters,” said Chairman Smith. 

The legislation is cosponsored by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) and Bill Johnson (R-Ohio). 

“This legislation is critical for disaster survivors throughout the nation, from hurricane survivors in Florida to Fire Victim Trust claimants in Northern California. Wildfire survivors have waited far too long with this cloud of uncertainty over their heads, not knowing if their settlement money will be taxed. This initiative has been a top priority for my office and it has gathered broad bipartisan support. I am hopeful that Congress will quickly enact this bill into law so that wildfire survivors can have financial certainty,” said Rep. LaMalfa.

“Those affected by the train derailment in East Palestine are in a very similar situation as those impacted by hurricanes, wildfires, and any other natural disaster,” said Rep. Johnson. “The village did not ask for this derailment to happen, and as the recovery continues, they should not be worried about tax implications of receiving help and reimbursement for losses that were not their fault or choice. I am pleased to see legislation progressing through the Ways and Means Committee that incorporates my East Palestine Tax Relief Act, and I look forward to helping usher this Federal Disaster Relief package across the finish line this year.”

The legislation designates Hurricane Ian, among other federally declared disasters, as a qualified disaster for the purposes of determining the tax treatment of certain disaster-related personal casualty losses. With respect to uncompensated losses arising in the disaster area, the Federal Disaster Tax Relief Act eliminates the current law requirements that personal casualty losses must exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income to qualify for deduction. The legislation would also eliminate the current law requirement that taxpayers must itemize deductions to access this tax relief.

Additionally, the bill excludes from taxpayer gross income, for income tax purposes, any amount received by an individual taxpayer as compensation for expenses or losses incurred due to a qualified wildfire disaster (a disaster declared after 2014 as a result of a forest or range fire). It also excludes relief payments for losses resulting from the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment on February 3, 2023.

Earlier in the 118th Congress, Rep. Steube introduced H.R. 1331 to treat Hurricane Ian as a qualified disaster for purposes of determining the tax treatment of certain disaster-related personal casualty losses. H.R.1331 is included as a provision in H.R. 5863.