Haddock living organ donor bill OK’d by House Finance Committee

HARRISBURG, April 17 – The state House Finance Committee today approved legislation that would allow living organ donors to claim an income tax deduction of up to $12,000 for unreimbursed expenses associated with their donation, according to the bill’s prime sponsor, state Rep. Jim Haddock.

“We must do all we can to help make the living organ donation process easier for all involved. Currently, businesses can receive a tax credit for providing paid leave to employees for the purpose of organ donation, but there is no tax benefit available to individuals who donate organs,” said Haddock, D-Luzerne/Lackawanna.

“Unfortunately, while an organ recipient’s health insurance covers the donor’s direct medical costs, donors can rack up bills in the thousands of dollars for related expenses,” he said.

“Providing financial support to donors will remove an obstacle to the living donation process. This is one way that state government can help those in need of a transplant as well as support the heroes among us who selflessly choose to give the gift of life.”

House Bill 2179 would allow someone who is a living organ donor or whose dependent is a living organ donor to claim a state personal income tax deduction equal to the amount of unreimbursed expenses, up to $12,000, during the year in which the organ transplantation occurs. Eligible unreimbursed expenses would include travel expenses, lodging expenses, lost wages if an employer does not provide paid sick leave to organ donors and medical expenses not covered by insurance.

The deduction would be available to those who donate all or part of any of the following: liver, pancreas, kidney, lung, intestine or bone marrow.

It could only be claimed once during a taxpayer's lifetime.

Haddock said 20 people in the United States die each day while waiting for a life-saving organ donation. More than 8,000 Pennsylvanians and their families are on the organ donation waiting list. Living organ donors are key to closing that gap, Haddock said, as at least 40% of kidneys for transplant worldwide come from living donors.

The bill moves to the full state House of Representatives for consideration.