A bipartisan pair of lawmakers from Pennsylvania yesterday introduced legislation which would exempt the wages earned by frontline workers in the convenience and grocery industry, and their suppliers, from federal income tax in 2020.

The Giving Retailers and Our Convenience Employees Relief Act (GROCER Act), introduced by representatives G.T. Thompson (R-PA) and Dwight Evans (D-PA), would exempt the wages earned between February 15, 2020, and June 15, 2020, by many of the heroes who are keeping America running during this crisis from being calculated into adjusted gross income for federal income tax purposes. Should this proposal become law, it would immediately provide additional take-home pay for these frontline workers via adjusting their withholdings.

The Pennsylvania congressmen hope to see this proposal included in what is being referred to as the “phase IV” stimulus bill currently being developed in Congress. Eligible employees would be anyone in the convenience or grocery industries working in a county with at least one confirmed COVID-19 case. Such employees would be able to exempt up to $25,000 in income from their 2020 federal income taxes during that four-month period. The Legislation allows the U.S. Treasury Secretary to extend the relief for up to an additional 3 months, with the cap increasing by $6,250 per month. Unless individual states enact similar legislation, these wages still would count for any state taxation purposes.

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