Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Supports Bipartisan Tax Reform for Family Caregivers

Credit for Caring Act would provide up to a $3,000 nonrefundable tax credit to working family caregivers

By - Apr 26th, 2016 10:41 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is supporting bipartisan tax reform legislation as a cosponsor of the Credit for Caring Act.

“In so many instances, family caregivers put their financial security at risk to tend to the needs of their loved ones, many of whom require full-time assistance and care,” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan reform will provide family caregivers some much need tax relief.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), would provide up to a $3,000 nonrefundable tax credit to working family caregivers for qualified expenses.

“AARP supports the bipartisan Credit for Caring Act and thanks Senator Baldwin for cosponsoring this commonsense bill to help working family caregivers who all too often face financial challenges,” said Sam Wilson, AARP Wisconsin State Director. “Over 570,000 Wisconsinites provide an estimated $7 billion annually in unpaid care, helping their parents, spouses, children with disabilities and other loved ones live at home longer. We appreciate Sen. Baldwin’s continued bipartisan work in the Senate to support Wisconsin’s family caregivers – and these unsung heroes across the country.”

According to AARP, there are an estimated 40 million family caregivers in the United States, including more than 500,000 family caregivers in Wisconsin who provide care to their loved ones. Most of these caregivers spend approximately 18 hours per week providing critical support to a family member.

The bipartisan Credit for Caring Act recognizes the essential role that family caregivers play in supporting aging parents or grandparents, and family members with a long-term illness or disability. Importantly, these caregivers help folks needing care stay in their homes, rather than entering a nursing or long-term care facility.

This tax credit helps alleviate some of the out of pocket financial expenses that caregivers often take on, all while balancing full or part-time employment. The credit would be available to family caregivers to provide some relief for the added costs caregivers incur, such as travel costs for transporting a loved one, home modifications to accommodate a family member’s special needs, medication management services, and more.

To ensure appropriate taxpayer protections are in place, this credit would also phase out at higher income levels and contains important provisions to prevent double dipping.

The Credit for Caring Act is the companion to H.R. 4708 introduced by Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) in March.

About the Credit for Caring Act:

  • Creates up to a $3,000 nonrefundable tax credit adjusted to inflation for family caregivers.
  • Applies to incurred family caregiving expenses greater than $2,000.
  • Qualified care recipients must have been certified by a health care practitioner to be in need of long-term care for at least 180 consecutive days.
  • Eligibility is limited to a caregiver of a qualified care recipient who must pay for caregiving expenses and has earned income in excess of $7,500.
  • Credit is phased out when income exceeds $150,000 for joint filers or $75,000 for individual filers.

Senator Baldwin has made support for family caregivers a top priority of hers, as she was raised by her maternal grandparents and later served as her grandmother’s primary caretaker as she grew older.

At the end of last year, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation she authored with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the RAISE, Family Caregivers Act, which directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish and sustain a National Family Caregiving Strategy to support family caregivers. The legislation is now in the House of Representatives.

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