Senator Ted Cruz Says Law He Co-Sponsored Will Help Millions Of Harvey Victims With Taxes

The legislation allows people whose homes were impacted by last year’s hurricanes to deduct the damages on their returns, among other things

Cruz and Abbott
Ted Cruz (first from the left) says a law he co-sponsored in the U.S Senate will bring tax relief to millions of Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz announced Friday in Houston tax relief options for victims of Hurricane Harvey that he thinks will help millions of Texans.

Cruz (Republican-Texas) held a joint press conference with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner at Houston City Hall to provide details about the Hurricane Tax Relief bill, which he co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate –along with senators John Cornyn (Republican-Texas) and Marco Rubio (Republican-Florida)— and has already become law.

The law allows people whose homes were damaged by Harvey, as well as by hurricanes Irma and Maria, to deduct those damages on their tax returns without being subject to the ordinary limitations.

Cruz detailed in that sense that, usually, the damages must exceed 10 percent of the taxpayer's income.

“That is billions of dollars in tax savings for Texans and those who are hurting under Hurricane Harvey,” the Senator underscored, while clarifying that taxpayers can take advantage of the relief provided by the law even if they don't itemize their returns.

The law also allows people who had damage in their homes to withdraw funds from their retirement savings accounts to use them to rebuild without having to pay the ordinary 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal.

Additionally, the law allows a tax credit for companies and small businesses that kept paying their employees during the three hurricanes and their respective aftermaths.

Cruz specified the tax credit is “40 percent of the salaries” and stressed that “in Houston and in the Gulf Coast we're talking about thousands and thousands of businesses that did just that, that kept the paychecks going even when it was impossible for their employees to come in and go to work.”

The law also lifted the ordinary limits to donations made during 2017, both by individuals and corporations, to charitable organizations that focused on relief efforts after the three hurricanes.

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