In 2017, GOP lawmakers aimed to offset costs from major tax cuts by eliminating various itemized deductions, impacting specific groups such as crime victims like Suzy and Dennis Gomas. The Gomases, defrauded of almost $2 million, were taxed on this stolen money due to changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. These cuts targeted deductions for theft losses, leaving victims financially strained.
Despite the $1.5 trillion budget limit, lawmakers pushed for deeper tax cuts, leading to deductions’ elimination, including those aiding crime victims. This decision, part of tax code streamlining, raised ethical concerns as victims faced unexpected tax burdens, leading to financial hardships.
The repeal of such deductions was rationalized as necessary to balance overall tax cuts, disregarding the unfair impact on crime victims who lacked advocacy in policymaking. Critics and experts highlighted the inequities and lack of consideration for these unforeseen victims, urging a reevaluation of tax policies affecting them.
The IRS faced criticism for taxing victims’ stolen money, prompting debate over fairness and the need for legislative changes to protect these individuals. Victims narrated their traumas, facing tax bills on stolen retirement savings due to loopholes in tax laws, a situation often left unaddressed by existing tax policies.
Efforts to curb scams targeting older adults were underway in legislation, but the battle for tax justice for victims like the Gomases continues as they appeal a denied refund, reflecting the ongoing struggle for fairness in tax law for vulnerable victims of fraud.