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ADA thanks legislators for introducing tax-deductible provider relief bills

August 26, 2020

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The ADA is expressing support for new bills aimed at ensuring dentists and other health care workers won’t be taxed on provider relief funding received during COVID-19.

In an Aug. 20 letter to Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., ADA President Chad P. Gehani and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin thanked the lawmaker for introducing S 4525, the Eliminating the Provider Relief Fund Tax Penalties Act of 2020.

“As you know, this bill clarifies that Provider Relief Funds are not taxable as income, and expenses attributable to PRF are tax deductible,” Drs. Gehani and O’Loughlin wrote. “This relief is critical to reducing tax burdens on health care providers that could limit their ability to continue practicing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The ADA told Sen. Blackburn that after closing completely or limiting their practices to emergency-only dental care at the onset of the pandemic, dentists across the country have now reopened their practices and implemented new infection control procedures, including using enhanced personal protective equipment to safeguard patients and the entire dental team from the spread of COVID-19.

“As you are keenly aware, the costs of these health and safety efforts are having a considerable economic impact on businesses,” Drs. Gehani and O’Loughlin wrote. “This bill would ensure that dentists, regardless of taxpaying status, will not be subject to taxes on aid provided through PRF. By guaranteeing that relief funds do not add to a provider’s taxes, dental practices will be able to utilize the full value of the benefit. Consequently, a reduction in the small business dentist owner’s tax burden would help dental practices stay open, retain their employees, and provide their patients with care.”

The ADA also signed onto a coalition letter with 28 other health care organizations to thank Sen. Blackburn as well as Reps. Cindy Axne, R-Iowa, and Neal Dunn, R-Fla., for introducing legislation to assist providers during the pandemic.

“As health care professionals continue to face new challenges every day, [these bills] would deliver crucial relief and help ease the burden on our nation’s health care system," the groups wrote in an Aug. 25 letter. "Offering all health care professionals, regardless of tax status, the ability to fully utilize the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund assistance is a laudable goal and is one that we collectively support. We look forward to working together to continue to advance this critical bill."

The ADA sent an Aug. 3 letter to Reps. Axne and Dunn to thank them for introducing Eliminating the Provider Relief Fund Tax Penalties Act of 2020 in the House.

The deadline for dentists to apply for provider relief is Sept. 13. To learn more and apply, visit cares.linkhealth.com.

For more information about the ADA’s advocacy efforts during COVID-19, visit ADA.org/COVID19Advocacy.