Those who have been wrongfully convicted need to be aware of a tax break that is soon to expire.
Deadline for Wrongful Conviction Tax Relief Act of 2015 is December 17th 2018
The Save Our Heroes teammates at After Innocence, a non-profit organization that provides completely free assistance to exonerees, are trying to find all eligible recipients of the Wrongful Conviction Tax Relief Act of 2015. Unfortunately, there are many service members who are eligible, but don’t realize it. The deadline to file most refund claims is December 17, 2018, and these potential claimants have no idea they are eligible. If you know of anyone in this situation, please have them contact After Innocence as soon as possible.
Under the federal Wrongful Conviction Tax Relief Act of 2015 (now codified as 26 U.S.C. 139F), any money received in relation to a wrongful conviction is now not taxable. Also, anyone who previously paid income tax on this money is eligible for a refund. This IRS website has more info.
Who is affected: All service members who were court-martialed, imprisoned, and then exonerated when their convictions were overturned, and the charges dismissed. When this occurs, the service members receive “back pay” for the time they were imprisoned. The income tax paid on the “back pay” is now refundable – with interest. After Innocence has already provided free assistance to many service members, each of whom has received refunds from the IRS.
After Innocence is a non-profit organization that provides completely free assistance to exonerees – people who were released from prison after demonstrating that they had been convicted of crimes they did not commit. After Innocence has already assisted several hundred non-military exonerees in determining if they are eligible for a refund under the Tax Relief Act and connected them with free help from accountants and attorneys. Here is an article about their work.