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Congressman Brad Schneider

Representing the 10th District of Illinois

Schneider, Marchant Introduce Bipartisan Bicameral Bill to Aid Survivors of Human Trafficking

September 27, 2018
Press Release
Would exempt civil damages to victims of human trafficking from federal income tax

Today, U.S. Representatives Brad Schneider (IL-10) and Kenny Marchant (TX-24) introduced bipartisan legislation to exempt restitution payments to victims of human trafficking from federal income tax.

Under current law, only criminal restitution payments to victims of human trafficking are exempt from federal income tax. H.R. 6899, the Human Trafficking Survivor Tax Relief Act, would expand this provision to make civil damages, restitution, and any other monetary award given to human trafficking survivors exempt from federal income taxes. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the bipartisan Senate companion legislation, S.3504.

“Human trafficking is a heinous crime and the survivors deserve our support as they rebuild their lives,” said Schneider. “Our bill would ensure restitution payments to victims of trafficking are not subject to federal income tax by ending the discrepancy that treats criminal and civil payments differently. I am proud to introduce this legislation with support from both sides of the aisle and both chambers of Congress, and hope we can make swift progress to help the survivors of trafficking.”

“North Texans have heard entirely too many horror stories about human trafficking,” said Marchant. “While we work to eliminate this heinous crime, we must also find ways to aid the victims and survivors of it. The Human Trafficking Survivor Tax Relief Act would make civil damages, restitution, and any other monetary award given to human trafficking survivors exempt from federal income taxes. This legislation will allow survivors to file their taxes without fear that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) might audit or penalize them for not reporting civil damages as income. I want to thank Senator Cornyn (R-TX) for leading this effort in the US Senate and Congressman Schneider for joining me in introducing this important bill. Congress should continue to find ways to support the victims and survivors of this horrible crime as they rebuild their lives.”

The full text of the legislation is available online.