Cassidy, Duckworth Reintroduce Legislation to Expand Charitable Deduction Rules for Veterans Organizations

Published 2:31 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the VSO Equal Tax Treatment (VETT) Act to overturn a provision that prohibits veteran organizations from accepting tax-deductible donations if their membership contains over 10 percent peacetime veterans.


“Veterans—regardless of whether they served in wartime or peacetime—should be treated equally,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Our bill fairly treats millions of military men and women who served our great nation”


“Veteran service organizations provide vital support, assistance and community programming for those who served our nation,” said Senator Duckworth. “I’m proud to co-lead this legislation to reform our tax code so that it promotes, rather than discourages, involvement in these community organizations, helping ensure they can continue to be a resource for Veterans to lean on.”


Nearly 2.5 million of the 20 million veterans across the U.S. are peacetime veterans. Certain congressionally-chartered veterans organizations are forced to deny peacetime veterans membership to avoid dipping below the 90% threshold and losing their ability to accept tax-deductible donations. Representatives Brad Wenstrup (R-OH-02) and Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-19) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.


“Veterans Service Organizations offer vital support and a sense of community to Americans who wore our nation’s uniform and sacrificed so much for our country. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation makes needed reforms to the tax code that will help VSOs grow and maintain their memberships without having to risk losing their ability to receive tax-deductible charitable donations,” said Representative Wenstrup.


“Veteran service organizations are integral to supporting those in our communities who served our country in uniform, but that mission is being held back by outdated classifications in our tax code,” said Representative Panetta. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral, commonsense legislation to ensure that charitable contributions to these organizations are tax deductible. This way our federal tax code could incentivize and encourage Americans to continue supporting organizations that serve those who served America.”


The VETT Act is endorsed by AMVETS, American Legion, AMSUS, Commissioned Officers Association of the USPHS, Fleet Reserve Association, Jewish War Veterans, Military Order of the World Wars, Non Commissioned Officers Association, U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association, and TREA: The Enlisted Association.