AARP endorses Buchanan’s Stop Punishing Innocent Taxpayers Act

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) received an endorsement this week from a heavy hitter for his pending legislation aimed at preventing federal authorities from unfairly seizing a senior citizen’s tax refund.

Buchanan was pleased to gain the support of the AARP, the nation’s largest advocacy group for seniors, as he lobbies for passage of the Stop Punishing Innocent Taxpayers Act (H.R. 2774), which is awaiting a hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee.

If passed, the bill would essentially end the practice of confiscating a person’s tax refund because the government miscalculated federal survivor benefits decades earlier, when they were minors. A child can qualify for federal survivor benefits through the Social Security Administration when one or both of their parents dies.

“Someone who received survivor benefits as a child should not be penalized decades later because some incompetent government bureaucrat miscalculated their payment,” Buchanan said. “This is a matter of basic fairness, and another disturbing example of government overreach.”

“On behalf of our nearly 38 million members nationwide and all Americans age 50 and older, AARP would like to take this opportunity to express our support for your bill to protect seniors,” AARP spokeswoman Joyce Rogers said. “AARP appreciates your commitment to providing fair treatment for seniors and their families.”

As with many other legislative items dealing with senior citizens, this issue is of great importance to Buchanan, whose Southwest Florida district is home to more than 217,000 Social Security recipients, including more than 8,000 children who receive benefits from the program.

Buchanan has represented Florida’s 16th District in the U.S. House since 2007. Born in Detroit in 1951, Buchanan was educated at Cleary University and the University of Detroit, and serves on the Ways and Means Committee.