Fitzpatrick: IRS Made the Right Call on Volunteer Fire Depts.

Jan 10, 2014
Fitzpatrick: IRS Made the Right Call on Volunteer Fire Depts.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) received a letter from the Department of the Treasury Friday answering his repeated calls for clarification of mandates under the President’s healthcare law regarding volunteer fire departments.

The IRS letter, (below) stated in part:

“As a result of that review and further analysis concerning the appropriate treatment of volunteer firefighters and volunteer emergency personnel under section 4980H, the forthcoming final regulations generally will not require volunteer hours of bona fide volunteer firefighters and volunteer emergency medical personnel at governmental entities or tax-exempt organizations to be counted when determining an employer's full-time employees or full-time equivalent employees.

The forthcoming formal regulations, which we expect to be issued very shortly, should provide timely guidance for the volunteer emergency responder community.”

In reaction, Fitzpatrick released the following statement:

“After several months, it was time for the Internal Revenue Service to make a call regarding the status of volunteer fire fighters under the health care law – thankfully for our community emergency responders, they made the right one. With over 90% of fire departments in Pennsylvania being manned by volunteers, this ruling is crucial to their continued operation and success. I look forward to reviewing the final rulings to ensure that our brave first responders are not harmed by further misguided mandates.

While this clarification provides much needed direction for local municipalities and fire departments, President Obama’s health care law remains a confusing tower of taxes and red tape. To that end, I will continue to work toward common sense health care reforms that put Americans back in control of their care while addressing the shortcomings of the system.”

Responding to concern within Pennsylvania’s Eighth District, Fitzpatrick had asked for clarification on the rulings from former Acting Commissioner Werfel and recently-appointed Commissioner Koskinen, as well as helping to introduce a legislative correction – the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act [H.R. 3685]. Earlier this week, Fitzpatrick addressed the House concerning the critical need to resolve this confusion.

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Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Pennsylvania’s 8th district which includes all of Bucks County as well as a portion of Montgomery County. He serves as the Vice Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.