Take Advantage of Hurricane Survivor Tax Benefits as Deadline Approaches

Last year millions of Texans across the Gulf Coast felt the impact of Hurricane Harvey. In the aftermath of Harvey’s destruction, we saw homes damaged beyond repair, causing financial hardship for many Texans. We also saw members of Congress in Washington unite to pass crucial legislation to respond to the 2017 hurricanes, including a hurricane tax relief bill that I authored with Senators Cornyn and Rubio which provided significant tax relief for survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma. The Cruz-Cornyn-Rubio legislation passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by President Trump. An important part of this bill eliminated the tax penalty for hurricane victims who wanted to withdraw from retirement accounts to pay for the costs of repairs from storm damages.

So, those hit by these disastrous hurricanes now have the ability to withdraw money from their 401k plans or any other retirement plans in order to rebuild from the storm without having to pay the ten percent penalty that typically applies. Retirement account withdrawals must be made by December 31, 2018. Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey and who are still rebuilding have until the end of the year to access their savings without a penalty. I strongly urge my fellow Texans, if you are still in the process of rebuilding and recovering from the ravages of Harvey, to contact your tax advisor for more information or go to the IRS website at irs.gov.

I am encouraged by the progress we’ve seen over the past year, but the road to recovery continues. I will continue working hard every day to ensure that Texas communities still suffering from Hurricane Harvey receive the help they need. Together, we will rebuild stronger than ever before.


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