New Law Clarifies that PSOB is Not Subject to Federal Income Tax

On May 22, President Obama signed into law the Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act, which ensures that the Public Safety Officer’s Benefit (PSOB) paid to the families of public safety officers who lose their lives in the line of duty are not subject to federal income tax. Volunteer members of private, nonprofit EMS agencies have been eligible for PSOB since December 2012, when Congress passed the PSOB Improvements Act with the NVFC’s support.

The Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act was introduced by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN), respectively, along with a bi-partisan group of co-sponsors. The bill, which passed the House and Senate unanimously, clarifies that both federal and state death benefits for public safety officers should be treated the same and are exempt from federal income tax.

“I’d like to thank Congress and the President for acting to clarify that PSOB is not subject to income tax,” said Kevin D. Quinn, Chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). “Passage of this important law ensures that the families of public safety officers who make the ultimate sacrifice will not have to deal with uncertainty regarding the tax status of federal or state death benefits.”

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