Ernst Bill Provides Tax Break for Essential Workers

Legislation introduced the week by Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa would provide tax relief to essential, front line workers. Under Ernst’s FRNT LINE Act, federal income taxes would be suspended for essential workers up to an annual income cap set at the highest level of pay for an enlisted person in the U.S. Armed Forces. Additionally, the bill would provide suspension of federal payroll taxes for essential workers who earn up to $50,000 annually. Under this proposal, tax suspensions will begin on April 1, 2020, and will end on the date the federal emergency declaration is lifted. Senator Ernst says, “These front line workers—our nurses, truck drivers, and grocery store workers, child care providers, and so many others—have kept life going and our supply chains intact.” Several industry groups representing the food supply chain penned a letter in support of the legislation. The Department of Homeland Security considers essential workers as healthcare providers, law enforcement, food and agriculture workers, public works, transportation and communication workers, among others.