ACCSES: IRS Insists Thousands of Disabled Workers Must Pay Millions For Retirement Benefits They Will Never Use

Apr 14, 1998, 01:00 ET from CONTACT: Catherine Dixon, 888-285-4742, for ACCSES

    WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Thousands of disabled Americans
 training for jobs in a vocational rehabilitation setting, will be required to
 pay millions in Federal Insurance Contribution Allowance (FICA), a federal tax
 collected to cover social security benefits upon retirement.  Many of these
 individuals training at vocational centers -- learning or re-learning basic
 job skills so that they may become employed -- will never accumulate the work
 hours or income required that returns them benefits under the FICA system.
     In 1965, the IRS ruled that people with disabilities who are training in
 rehab programs are not employees, and therefore, in many cases, exempt from
 FICA tax payments.  Later, Congress wholeheartedly agreed.  However, several
 IRS district offices have ignored that ruling and demanded payments from these
 individuals.  Now, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has stated it intends to
 reverse its 1965 decision to exempt people with disabilities from FICA tax --
 something the Congress has told them not to do.
     The American Congress of Community Supports and Employment Services
 (ACCSES), a national not-for-profit association, opposes any IRS action that
 reverses the FICA exemption and is urging its members to demand that the
 government adhere consistently to its own rules.  ACCSES is pursuing judicial
 remedies and is encouraging its members to do so individually.
     "We are talking about thousands of individuals with developmental and
 physical disabilities on small, fixed incomes trying to learn job skills so
 that they can participate in the American dream themselves and so that they
 can contribute to the American tax base.  The IRS created Rule 65.165 to
 exempt them from FICA and encourage them to do that," said Bob Jarboe, ACCSES
 CEO.  "We want to make sure they play by their own rules."
     The American Congress of Community Supports and Employment Services
 (ACCSES) is a national not-for-profit organization representing more than 700
 employment and community supports services providers nationwide.  ACCSES is
 dedicated to improving employment opportunities, community services and
 residential options for the thousands of people with disabilities served by
 its members.
 CONTACT: Catherine Dixon, 888-285-4742, for ACCSES