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H.R.2630 - Volunteer Firefighter Fairness Act of 2011
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to clarify the treatment of emergency service volunteers as independent contractors.
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Mr. WU (for himself, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. COURTNEY, Mr. DEFAZIO, Mr. SABLAN, and Mr. MURPHY of Connecticut) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and MeansCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
(1) the number of volunteer firefighters in the United States has decreased from 880,000 in 1984 to 827,150 in 2008 according to the National Fire Protection Association;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) the fire service is witnessing a reduced number of volunteers due to increasing emergency call volumes, the large time demands that accompany ongoing training, and the struggle to balance the career and family obligations of today’s two-income families;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) to help recruit and retain volunteer firefighters, some State and local governments may offer paid expenses, reasonable benefits, a nominal payment, or any combination thereof;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) increasingly, many volunteer fire departments are being instructed by local offices of the IRS that they must use the Form W-2 to report these nominal payments and reasonable benefits, instead of the Form 1099;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) the use of IRS Form 1099 for volunteer firefighters has been the long-standing practice of many volunteer fire departments because it accurately reflects the relationship between the volunteer firefighter and the volunteer fire department;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(8) by requiring the use of W-2 forms, the IRS is putting an onerous burden on fire departments and redefining the treatment of volunteer firefighters by Federal, State, and local regulations;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(9) because of this reason, IRS Form W-2s may greatly alter the historic role of volunteer responders and the cost-saving benefits that they provide to their local communities;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(10) a volunteer firefighter performing specific duties should not be considered as an employee, and the fire department for whom such services are performed should not be considered as an employer of their services; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. TREATMENT OF EMERGENCY SERVICE VOLUNTEERS AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS.
(a) In General- Subsection (a) of section 3508 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to treatment of real estate agents and direct sellers) is amended by striking ‘or as a direct seller’ and inserting ‘, as a direct seller, or as a qualified emergency service volunteer’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Qualified Emergency Service Volunteer- Subsection (b) of section 3508 of such Code is amended by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4) and by inserting after paragraph (2) the following new paragraph:CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) The section heading for section 3508 of such Code is amended by striking ‘and direct sellers’ and inserting ‘, direct sellers, and certain emergency service volunteers’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) The item relating to section 3508 in the table of sections for chapter 25 of such Code is amended by striking ‘and direct sellers’ and inserting ‘, direct sellers, and certain emergency service volunteers’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink