On Jan. 13, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced a bipartisan bill that would expand opportunities and affordability for future U.S. nurses by removing the tax on Nurse Corps student loan repayments.
“Nurses have been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic for over two years now,” said Senator Wicker. “The nationwide shortage of nurses has shown how vital skilled and hardworking healthcare professionals are to keeping our country running smoothly.”
Senator Wicker is the original lead co-sponsor of the Nurses Corps Tax Parity Act of 2022, S. 3505, which is sponsored by U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude certain nursing corps. gross income payments, according to the text of the bill.
“It is terrible and frankly offensive public policy that nurses are being targeted for additional taxation over other health care professionals and it must stop,” Senator Merkley said.
Without an exemption for the Nurse Corps, scholarships or loan repayments that may be considered compensation for services are taxable. To ensure parity in tax status between the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and the Nurse Corps – both of which offer scholarships and loan repayment to healthcare providers in exchange for services in underserved areas – S. 3505 would change IRS code to create tax parity treatment for scholarships and loan repayments between NHSC and the Nurse Corps, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Wicker’s staff.
The bill has been endorsed by the American Nurses Association, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology, Association of Public Health Nurses, Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research and the Oncology Nursing Society.