February 29, 2020

The Missouri General Assembly is now over a third of the way through the 2020 legislative session. In the Missouri Senate, bills are starting to make their way to the floor for debate, and some have even been passed out of the chamber. A number of my legislative priorities are moving in that direction as well.

State Senator Mike Cierpiot

For instance, my Senate Bill 580 was recently passed by the Missouri Senate. This legislation, also known as the Long-Term Dignity Act, allows Missourians to create a long-term care savings account to help cover the costs associated with long-term care expenses. Under SB 580, Missourians can receive a tax deduction worth 100 percent of their contributions to the account, not to exceed $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for married individuals filing jointly. The money put into the savings account could then be used to pay for services related to Alzheimer’s disease, cardiac disease or other chronic health diseases in the future. By preparing early and using this savings account, I believe Missourians can be better prepared for what life may throw at them. Senate Bill 580 now proceeds to the Missouri House of Representatives.

Scholarship Opportunity Available
I wanted to share with you a scholarship opportunity for young women approaching graduation from high school. The Women Legislators of Missouri are offering a $500 college scholarship for one student from each of Missouri’s congressional districts. This is a great opportunity for any young woman interested in continuing her education to receive some financial assistance, and I strongly encourage eligible students to apply. Candidates must fill out an application and submit a 500-word essay on a specified topic. The deadline for submission is March 31, 2020, and the application could be found at myscholarshipcentral.org.

Tax Filing Information
Lastly, as I am sure many of you are aware, it’s tax filing season. You have until April 15, 2020, to file your 2019 tax returns with the IRS and the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR). As you prepare your taxes, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

• You can file your taxes electronically and use direct deposit. Over 85 percent of returns received by DOR during the 2018 tax year were e-filed. Individuals who e-file can have their refund deposited directly into their bank account and generally receive their refund faster than those who file using a paper return.

• If submitting a paper return to DOR, please double-check all paperwork, make sure it is signed and that all necessary documentation is included.

• If you have questions, you can reach the Department’s Taxation Division at 573-751-3505, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions can also be emailed to income@dor.mo.gov.

Please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about committees or sponsored legislation for the 2020 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.