Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: July 16, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Urges Internal Revenue Service to Make Donations to Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund Tax Deductible

Officials should certify that Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund seeks to perform an essential government function

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today issued a proclamation recognizing that the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund (Fund) seeks to perform an essential government function and urged the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to follow suit. The Fund, which was established by United Way of South Hampton Roads in partnership with the City of Virginia Beach, must receive this designation in order to confirm that donations to the Fund will be tax deductible.

“Members of my administration have been in close and frequent contact with officials from the City of Virginia Beach and have offered to assist the victims and families affected by this senseless tragedy,” said Governor Northam. “As a result, I am issuing a proclamation that the Virginia Beach Tragedy Fund seeks to perform an essential government function, and I urge the Internal Revenue Service to find the same. The families of the victims and those injured in the tragic shooting in Virginia Beach rely upon this critical financial assistance and we must ensure they are receiving the support they deserve.”

Current IRS guidelines establish that donations to victim assistance funds are generally considered personal gifts and therefore are not guaranteed to be tax deductible. In June, the IRS confirmed that families of the victims and those injured are exempt from paying taxes on money they receive from the Fund. But the IRS has not yet certified that contributions to the Fund, which have come from thousands of individuals, reaching more than $3 million, will be tax deductible.

The full text of the proclamation can be found here.

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