The Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs (SCVA) is to consider an American Legion-favored legislation that would allow taxpayers to use their IRS tax refunds to help homeless veterans.
On Jan. 22, S. 62 — Check the Box for Homeless Veterans Act of 2013 — was introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., along with fellow Democratic senators Mark Begich, Dianne Feinstein, Chris Coons, Mary Landrieu, Barbara Mikulski and Jeff Merkley. The measure has been referred to the SCVA for consideration.
If enacted, S. 62 would "amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow taxpayers to designate overpayments of tax as contributions and to make additional contributions to a Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund." The legislation would give taxpayers the option to check a box on their annual tax return and make a donation of $1 or more to the federally maintained fund. Donations to the fund would be used to provide assistance to homeless veterans through programs currently in place at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Labor.
The Legion adopted Resolution 308  during its 94th National Convention in Indianapolis, which urges Congress to "establish a fund in the Treasury of the United States to be known as the ‘Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund' to provide assistance to homeless veterans as a supplement to, but not a replacement for, existing funds for such assistance." The resolution also urges Congress to amend the Internal Revenue Code to allow taxpayers with income tax liability of $3 or more to contribute to the fund.