Stillborn Child Tax Equity
HB 4522 - Rep. Mary Whiteford
H.B. 4522 was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance after passing out of the full house unanimously on April 11, 2017. The vote was 109-0. On March 21, 2018 the House Tax Policy Committee unanimously voted H.B. 4522 out of committee. The week before, on March 14, 2018 moving testimony was provided by Rep. Julie Alexander about the stillbirth of her first daughter on Christmas Day. Rep. Whiteford’s husband, a tax attorney and CPA, also provided technical testimony. H.B. 4522 was introduced by Rep. Mary Whiteford on April 25, 2017.
This bill will enable families that experience a stillbirth after 20 weeks to claim a child deduction on their state income taxes in the year of the stillbirth. This is intended to help families cover the costs of prenatal care or the funeral arrangements incurred. This cannot take away the grief for the loss of a child, however it can help ease the financial burdens of the stillbirth.
In 2006 Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law PA 319 which was the stillborn child tax credit. It allowed for a one time credit to be taken on the state income tax return for the year of the stillbirth. However, in 2011, Governor Snyder cut the tax credit along with a number of other credits in an effort to address Michigan's ecomonic downturn. HB 4522 differs from the original tax credit in that it allows for a one time deduction rather than a simple credit.