Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tax Tip Tuesday - Attention Volunteer Firefighters

By: Tiffany Parker Nutt 

Arkansas Act 1452 of 2013 created a state income tax deduction for volunteer firefighters. Volunteer firefighters are now entitled to a deduction for amounts paid and not reimbursed by the fire department for required equipment and for the loss of value of personal property damaged or destroyed (ex. damage to clothing) in the course of participation as a volunteer firefighter. This act is known as the Volunteer Firefighter Tax Protection Act and is effective as of January 1, 2014.

This volunteer firefighter expense deduction is claimed on Form AR 3 Itemized Deduction Schedule, Line 26 under other miscellaneous deductions. This deduction is not subject to the 2% AGI floor. However, the volunteer firefighter expenses deduction is an itemized deduction, which means that the taxpayer’s total itemized deductions must be greater than the taxpayer’s standard deduction of either $2,000 or $4,000, depending on the filing status.

The statute defines “volunteer firefighter” as a member of a fire department or firefighting unit who (1) actively engages in fire suppression, rescue, pump operation, or other firefighting activity and (2) receives less than five thousand ($5,000.00) in total compensation during the taxable year from the volunteer fire department or unit.

This deduction is an itemized deduction and subject to the same recordkeeping requirements as the other amounts listed on the tax return. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration recommends keeping receipts from equipment purchases and a memo-style list of items that were damaged in order support this deduction.

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