Provides a maximum $500 tax credit for taxpayer expenses, not compensated by insurance or otherwise, related to the purchase of a qualified hearing aid for the taxpayer or a dependent; limited to election once every three years.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the tax law, in relation to providing a tax credit to individuals for up to five hundred dollars of expenses not compensated by insurance for the purchase of a qualified hearing aid
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this legislation is to lower the cost of hearing aids and ensure that anyone who needs hearing aids is able to purchase them.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
The legislation would provide a tax credit of up to $500 per hearing aid, available once every five years towards the purchase of a hearing aid(s) for any individual or those purchasing a hearing aid for a dependent if it is not covered by insurance or otherwise.
It is estimated that there are 28 million Americans with hearing loss. Included in this figure are 1 million children under the age of 18 with a diagnosed hearing loss who are not now using a hearing aid, and around 9.7 million Americans age 55 and over. While 95% of individuals with hearing loss could be successfully treated with hearing aids, only 22%(6.35 million Americans) currently use them according to the most recent 'MarkeTrak' report, the largest national consumer survey on hearing loss in America. Forty percent of individuals with hearing loss have incomes of less than $30,000 per year. A Department of Commerce study indicates that the overall family income of people with hearing loss is almost half that of the general population. Thirty percent of those with hearing loss cite financial constraints as a core reason they do not use hearing aids, according to a MarkeTrak report. The average cost for a hearing aid in 2002 was over $1,400, and almost 2/3 of individuals with hearing loss require two devices, thereby increasing the average out-of-pocket expense to over $2,800. This legislation is not intended to cover the full cost of hearing aids, but will simply provide some measure of financial assistance to individuals and families who are most in need of these devices but are unable to afford them.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2005-06: S.2630 Government Operations; 2007-08: S.289 Finance; 2009-10: S.786 Government Operations; 2011-12: S.3863 Government Operations
This bill would create a nonrefundable credit of up to $500 under the personal income tax for expenses for the purchase of hearing aids not compensated by insurance.
Immediately and will apply to taxable years beginning on and after the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3936--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 27, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. O'BRIEN, DILAN, SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investi- gations and Government Operations -- recommitted to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to providing a tax credit to individuals for up to five hundred dollars of expenses not compensated by insurance for the purchase of a qualified hearing aid THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subsections (yy) and (zz) of section 606 of the tax law, as relettered by section 5 of part H of chapter 1 of the laws of 2003, are relettered subsections (yyy) and (zzz) and a new subsection (xx) is added to read as follows: (XX) HEARING AID CREDIT. (1) A TAXPAYER SHALL BE ALLOWED A CREDIT, TO BE COMPUTED AS PROVIDED IN THIS SUBSECTION, AGAINST THE TAX IMPOSED PURSUANT TO SECTION SIX HUNDRED ONE OF THIS PART. THE AMOUNT OF CREDIT SHALL EQUAL THE AMOUNT PAID BY THE TAXPAYER DURING THE TAXABLE YEAR, UP TO FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS, AND NOT COMPENSATED BY INSURANCE OR OTHERWISE, FOR THE PURCHASE OF ANY QUALIFIED HEARING AID. (2) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION, "QUALIFIED HEARING AID" SHALL MEAN A HEARING AID WHICH IS AUTHORIZED FOR COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTION UNDER THE FEDERAL FOOD, DRUG AND COSMETIC ACT AND WHICH IS INTENDED FOR USE BY THE TAXPAYER OR AN INDIVIDUAL WITH RESPECT TO WHOM THE TAXPAYER, FOR THE TAXABLE YEAR, IS ALLOWED A PERSONAL EXEMPTION FOR DEPENDENTS. (3) THIS SUBSECTION SHALL APPLY TO ANY INDIVIDUAL FOR ANY TAXABLE YEAR ONLY IF SUCH INDIVIDUAL ELECTS TO HAVE THIS SECTION APPLY FOR SUCH TAXA- BLE YEAR. AN ELECTION TO HAVE THIS SECTION APPLY MAY NOT BE MADE FOR ANY TAXABLE YEAR IF SUCH ELECTION IS IN EFFECT WITH RESPECT TO SUCH INDIVID- UAL FOR EITHER OF THE TWO TAXABLE YEARS PRECEDING SUCH TAXABLE YEAR.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06994-02-4 S. 3936--A 2
(4) NO CREDIT SHALL BE ALLOWED FOR ANY HEARING AID EXPENSES FOR WHICH A DEDUCTION OR CREDIT IS ALLOWED UNDER ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAP- TER. (5) IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AMOUNT OF THE CREDIT PROVIDED BY THIS SUBSECTION EXCEED THE TAXPAYER'S TAX FOR THE TAXABLE YEAR. HOWEVER, IF THE AMOUNT OF CREDIT OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE PURSUANT TO THIS SUBSECTION FOR ANY TAXABLE YEAR RESULTS IN SUCH EXCESS AMOUNT, ANY AMOUNT OF CREDIT NOT DEDUCTIBLE IN SUCH TAXABLE YEAR MAY BE CARRIED OVER TO THE FOLLOWING YEAR OR YEARS AND MAY BE DEDUCTED FROM THE TAXPAYER'S TAX FOR SUCH YEAR OR YEARS. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to taxable years beginning on and after the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.