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Rubio Urges IRS, Education Department to Grant Relief to Florida Taxpayers, Students

Sep 11, 2017 | Press Releases

Miami, FL – As Floridians recover from the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to extend the filing deadline for calendar-year partnerships and to grant charitable contribution tax benefits to state residents who assisted those impacted by the storm. Rubio also urged the U.S Department of Education to ease the burden of federal debt repayment deadlines for student loan borrowers.
The full text of Rubio’s letter to the IRS is below:
Dear Commissioner Koskinen:
With Hurricane Irma leaving great destruction in its wake, I ask for your consideration of significant relief for Florida taxpayers.
As you know, the filing deadline for calendar-year partnerships is Friday, September 15. However, Hurricane Irma has forced many businesses to close their doors and devote significant resources to the rapid recovery of their buildings, equipment, and safety of their employees. In order to allow these businesses to continue to put safety and rebuilding efforts first, I ask that you extend the filing deadline for calendar year partnerships to January 31, 2018.
Additionally, as many residents have been displaced from their homes due to catastrophic damage, Floridians with still-habitable homes have graciously opened up their spare bedrooms, living rooms, garages, and barns to temporarily house those in need or providing volunteer services. This generosity can often come at significant, uncompensated cost to homeowners who are aiding neighbors, strangers, and relief workers. To the maximum extent allowed by the law, I urge the IRS to treat these contributions as they would other in-kind contributions to charitable organizations. If such a change cannot be reasonably made by the authority provided to you by current law, please identify what changes would need to be made in order to accomplish this.
Thank you for your prompt response as Florida commits the full capacity of its state and federal resources to the recovery from this terrible storm.
The full text of Rubio’s letter to the Department of Education is below:
Dear Secretary DeVos:
Thank for your continued leadership in response to Hurricane Irma and your efforts to aid Americans in Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and elsewhere. Your department’s efforts are critical to ensuring a rapid, effective response to this disaster that will span multiple agencies.
I appreciate and commend your coordination with state and local governments which will ensure they are able to quickly respond to Floridians as they begin to assess and recover from this catastrophic storm. It is not yet clear when Florida’s student populations will be able to return to the classrooms, but I stand ready to work with your department to support those who have been displaced continue their education as quickly as possible. Realizing lives have been upended and that many people will be unable to return to work while the recovery and rebuilding process begins, I encourage the Department of Education to work with student loan borrowers to help ease the burden of meeting federal student loan debt repayment deadlines. I also request the department work with the Florida Department of Education to ensure eligible Floridians are aware of any and all available assistance through Project SERV grants.  
As you know, the department is able to provide relief in the form of a 90 day forbearance to a borrower in repayment who is affected by a natural disaster. Hurricane Irma will cause varying levels of destruction and displacement for Floridians throughout the state, many of whom have student loans. I believe it is prudent for the federal government to ease the burden for these borrowers. This will be a complicated undertaking and I strongly encourage the department to coordinate with relevant state and local agencies, borrowers and other Florida stakeholders to coordinate a plan to disseminate this important information.
Any proactive measures your department can provide to borrowers and institutions of higher education in the wake of Hurricane Irma would be greatly appreciated.  I look forward to working with you to ensure that the students and families in Florida recover from Hurricane Irma.
Thank you for your attention to these matters.