The Hearing Review reported earlier this week that Senators Tom Harkin and Dean Heller have reintroduced the Hearing Aid Tax Credit Bill. The bill is nearly identical to a House version of this legislation introduced in the House last February by Representatives Tom Lantham and Carolyn McCarthy.
If passed, it would provide a non-refundable $500 tax credit for the purchase of a hearing aid, or $1,000 if two are needed, once every five years.
Parents of a deaf or hard of hearing dependent child and individuals over age 55 would be eligible for the tax credit. The house version of the bill includes a provision that would not allow individuals whose income exceeds $200,000 to be eligible for the tax credit.
Why a tax credit? A study titled "The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income" revealed that untreated hearing loss results in a loss of income per household of up to $12,000 per year, depending on degree of hearing loss. For the 24 million Americans with untreated hearing loss, this equates to $122 billion in lost income, due to underperformance on the job.
With a reported 68% of those with hearing loss citing financial constraints as a core reason they do not purchase hearing aids, a tax credit could provide hesitant consumers extra financial incentive to buy.
As a consumer, would an extra $500 or $1,000 entice you to buy hearing aids?
As a hearing professional, do you think the tax credit will help your business?