State Family Tax Deduction
For Hosting Exchange Students
Legislative Goal: Urge individual State Assemblymen, Representatives and Senators to
introduce legislation to establish a state-level monthly tax deduction for families hosting
exchange students across the United States.
The CSIET is working with state and local volunteers within the international youth exchange
community to introduce legislation that would provide tax relief for middle class, working
families who open their homes to foreign exchange students from around the world.
For Youth Exchange Programs
1. Alert your host family network and urge them to write or call members of their state
legislatures. For convenience, direct them to the CSIET website or use the language
provided in the attached sample letter.
2. Appoint someone on your staff to coordinate and track the number of letters and calls
going to state legislative offices. One way to keep track is to request that your host
families send you a copy of their letters. Knowing how many letters an office has
received on this issue will help CSIET with follow-up efforts.
3. Notify CSIET if legislation is introduced so that the information can be included on
CSIET’s on-line State & Local Legislation List. This will enable other CSIET members
to support and encourage the passage of the legislation.
For Host Families and Local Representatives
1. Urge your state legislators to introduce legislation to establish a state-level monthly tax
deduction for families hosting exchange students in your state. Using CSIET data
provided with this notice include state-specific information on the number of students
hosted in your state. Your letters and phone calls do matter.
2. Send letters to your state legislators expressing support for this effort. Letters often make
more of a lasting impression so please take the time to write a letter (see sample letter
attached) and mail or fax it.
3. Share any feedback you have as you interact with your legislators and/or their staff with
CSIET and your program’s leadership.
Exchange programs are vital in today’s interconnected world to build bridges of
understanding. Youth exchange is particularly critical as it allows young
people the opportunity to gain exposure to American families, culture and
values at a time in their lives when they form deep impressions. Participants
take home an understanding and often an appreciation for America’s people,
society, and values.
A deduction of $200 per month will ease the financial burden on current host
families, and encourage others, most of whom are middle-income families, to
host an exchange student in the future.
While this deduction will not fully offset the cost of hosting, it will send a clear
message to American families that our nation values their contribution to
increasing international understanding, and will encourage more families to
host foreign students and thus contribute to U.S. public diplomacy.
Hosting exchange students provides an opportunity to bring international and
intercultural learning alive in your classrooms and local communities.
Many of the issues that we will face in this century are issues which will have
to be addressed by a global citizenry—hunger, resource sharing, protecting our
environment, and achieving peace. Discussions with exchange students can
help your communities to appreciate the need to engage people from other
countries in addressing such universal issues.
SAMPLE LEGISLATIVE TEXT
The state tax code is amended by inserting the following language:
(1) If the taxpayer has a charitable deduction for maintaining certain students in the taxpayer's
household under section 170(g) of the Internal Revenue Code, the limitation under section
170(g)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code for state tax purposes for tax year 2007 equals two
(2) The two hundred dollar limitation in subparagraph (1) shall be increased for each tax year
beginning in the 2007 or subsequent calendar year by an amount equal to the product of two
hundred dollars multiplied by a cost-of-living adjustment. Any increase computed under this
subparagraph that is not a multiple of ten dollars shall be rounded to the next highest ten
(3) For purposes of this lettered paragraph, "cost-of-living adjustment" is the percentage
determined under section 1(f)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code for the calendar year in
which the tax year begins where "calendar year 2005" is substituted for the reference to
"calendar year 1992" in section 1(f)(3)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.
RETROACTIVE APPLICABILITY DATE. This Act applies retroactively to January 1, 2007, for
tax years beginning on or after that date.
This bill provides for an increase in the amount that a taxpayer may claim as a charitable
deduction for non-reimbursed amounts paid per month to maintain certain students as members
of the taxpayer's household. Present federal law allows a deduction of up to $50 per month. The
bill increases the state deduction to $200 for the 2007 tax year and increases that amount further
by a cost-of-living adjustment for subsequent tax years.
The bill applies retroactively to January 1, 2007, for tax years beginning on or after that date.
SAMPLE CONSTITUENT LETTER
Dear State Legislator:
I am writing to urge you to provide modest tax relief for middle class, working families in our
state who open their homes to foreign exchange students from around the world. I ask that you
introduce legislation to establish a state tax deduction of $200 per month for the current tax year.
Attached is a sample language from similar legislation that was recently introduced in a
Midwestern state legislature.
[Insert anecdote about your hosting experience(s) and the benefits to your family and
As host family volunteers, we take pride in our community and share what we value with the rest
of the world. Establishing a $200 per month state tax deduction would provide both symbolic
support and substantive relief. The average host family actually spends far more on their foreign
exchange student. Nevertheless, this tax deduction sends an important message to the
approximate (insert state hosting number provided by CSIET) families who open their homes to
foreign students each year in our state. This deduction would signal to host families throughout
the U.S. and in our home state that our contributions are valued.
Host families give youth from around the world an opportunity to live in a democratic, open
society, to appreciate the importance of volunteering, and to gain a deep appreciation of
American cultures and values. In return, foreign exchange students provide a window to the
world for many American students who otherwise would not have exposure to foreign countries
and cultures. This exposure helps prepare Americans to build cultural competencies that are vital
in today’s global marketplace.
I urge you to you introduce legislation to establish a state tax deduction of $200 per month for
working families like ours.