Gold Star Family to Pay Hundreds More in Taxes Under New Tax Code

For the last eight years, Becky Welch has been a single mom to her two boys. It's a reality she knew was possible, though hoped would never happen when her husband Rob deployed to Afghanistan in January 2011.

"He from an early age wanted to serve," said Welch.

Welch said Rob, her childhood sweetheart, first served in the Texas National Guard after graduating from Wylie High School. He then went active duty Army after graduating from UTA in 2008. Their boys were just one and three-years-old when he left for Afghanistan as a First Lieutenant.

Then one day in April, just a day after talking with him, Welch got the knock she'd hoped would never come.

"When I went to the door there were two uniformed military officers and they informed me that Rob had been killed earlier that day. And you know, your whole world stops. It stops for a minute. You don't ever dream that that knock's going to be on your door," said Welch.

All of a sudden, she and her boys were thrown into a new reality. But she said they had support of their military family, both emotionally and monetarily.

"When a soldier dies, the military helps pick up that slack so that they can help pick up the income you would've had if your soldier was here," said Welch.

Every month for the last eight years, Welch and her boys have each received benefits.

"When we started claiming those benefits, I actually found out that my minor children, because of the way they get their benefits, actually have to file as individuals through the IRS," said Welch.

Usually, Welch says they owed about $200 each. But under this year's new tax code, the family was surprised to see the total due at nearly $1,100 for each of her boys.

"This is just crazy that this is happening. That children, I mean mine are 9 and 11, but children even younger than that are being taxed this exorbitant amount money. And I mean these are families that are not making billions in money each year. They're making what they need to survive," said Welch.

Her CPA explained it was due to changes with the Kiddie Tax. Until now the taxable portion of her boys' benefits was taxed at the same rate she was, which as a single stay at home mom fell in the lowest threshold.

But under the new tax code, their benefits are treated the same as a trust fund or estate tax. For her boys, that means a rate of 35 percent.

"To me it almost feels like a punishment. Like we honor the sacrifice your dad made, but now you owe us all this money. It just really seems confusing to me," said Welch.

Before April 15, she'll write two checks for $1,094 to send to the IRS. But she's hopeful if enough families like her's speak up, a change will be made to accommodate families who've already paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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