Tax Breaks For Retirees
A little known section of the IRS code provides tax breaks for retired Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters.
As a retired public safety officer, the federal “Pension Protection Act of 2006” (PP A) permits
you to exclude up to $3,000 of your qualified health, accident and long–term care insurance
premiums from your taxable pension income each year, as long as the premiums are regularly
deducted from your retirement distributions.
Ordinarily, taxpayers must have spent at least 10 of their gross income on health related
expenses to qualify for a deduction. At our income level, with the superior health benefits we
enjoy, retirees are almost never burdened with medical expenses that reach 10 of our taxable
pension income. As such, our health benefits, generally, fail to qualify for deductions on our
Federal taxes. Conversely, the Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2007 provides a pathway for
retired Public Safety Officers to deduct our qualifying insurance premiums.
According to Federal law, as retired Uniformed Correction Officers, we are included in the class
of “Retired Public Safety Officers” under the PPA.
Eligibility for these tax savings applies, exclusively, to those who leave service via either regular
service retirement or disability. Retirees whose disability pensions are tax free are not eligible to
apply for or receive this benefit even if they have other taxable income. Retirees who vested are
not eligible, even after they reach the point of pension eligibility.
Eligible retirees may deduct up to $3,000 in qualified health care insurance premiums on their
Federal tax returns. Married couples, who both qualify, may deduct up to $6,000.
In order to be eligible, retirees must have their insurance premiums deducted from their pension
disbursement. This includes supplemental insurances such as AFLAC, as long as the premiums
are regularly deducted from your monthly retirement stipend. Retirees, who may have additional
health insurance coverage that they, themselves, pay directly to the insurance carrier, are not
permitted to use these premiums for deductions under the PPA.
Instructions on how to take advantage of this law are available in IRS Publication 575 for the
2016 tax year, page 6. In addition, retirees may file amended returns (IRS Tax Form 1040X),
going back as many as three years, to include this benefit.
View the following link for IRS Publication 575: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p575.pdf
Joseph R. Beilouny
ADW IDW Association
The “Right to Carry” Bill
It is the Association’s expressed recommendation that our members familiarize themselves with carrying their firearms outside of New York State.
Although in theory this legislation can be a benefit to our members, there are many potential problems inherent with it as it now stands.
These are some of the many issues not yet clarified within the law, such as:
necessary qualifications; liability; indemnification; justification in using a firearm in other jurisdictions; private property laws in other jurisdictions; and representation in the event of an incident.
There are also issues surrounding the possibility of whether states, cities, or other jurisdictions will challenge or supersede this law.