Most recently, I was contacted by Jim Messier, President of the New Jersey Law Enforcement Association, and informed that he received notification from the Association’s accountants, McEnerney, Brady & Company, L.L.C., that Sick Leave Injury payments are not subject to state and federal income tax in accordance with Internal Revenue Code 104(A)(1) and Dyer v. Commissioner 71 TC 560 (1979).  The accounting firm opined that when a law enforcement officer is injured in the line of duty and the officer will continue to receive full wages (such as SLI payments), said payments are considered workers compensation benefits and thus not subject to taxation.

Continuing with this notion, the following benefits must be recognized during a period of injury or infirmity that was caused during a line of duty mishap:

  • Federal income tax is not charged on wages received during the time that the Law Enforcement Officer is injured and out of work.
  • Wages received during the time that the Law Enforcement Officer is out of work due to a line of duty injury is also not subject to New Jersey state income tax.
  • Social Security and Medicare with holdings also cease during the time the officer is injured and out of work. 

If the employer continues to withhold taxes during a period of injury or infirmity, a formula must be utilized to compute the amount of wages that are not subject to taxation, and federal and state forms must be completed and attached when filing one’s taxes.  Furthermore, if taxes were withheld unjustifiably and the injury occurred within the last three years, the injured Public Safety Officer may file an amendment to his or her taxes using federal tax form 1040x.

I am posting this information for two very important reasons.  First, I want to make all Public Safety Officers aware of this very important exception to the tax code that has the potential to keep more money in an officer’s pocket during the time he or she is out of work with a line of duty injury. 

Second, I am reminding all readers of our blog that this web site needs to be used as a forum to exchange information and ideas that are vitally important to the lives and careers of all New Jersey Public Safety Officers.  There are very few forums that allow Public Safety Officers to openly share information that has an impact on one anothers lives and careers.  Therefore, lets use this website as a forums to make all Public Safety Officers aware of issues that are occurring through out the entire state of New Jersey and the Country as a whole.

If you or your department has encountered an issue or problem that you feel is note worthy or important, let me know about it.  I will write about your issue and make all of our readers (which is growing by the day) aware of it so that a discussion can take place and information exchanged that can solve the problem.  I am sure one department’s novel issue has already been experienced by another.  The Internet is a great communication tool to exchange important information.  Lets use this forum to our advantage.  Tell me your issues so we can discuss them and solve them together.  Comments to the blog posts are always welcomed and encouraged.