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Volunteer Firefighter & Emergency Medical Services Personnel Tax Credit Information for Tax Year 2013 (returns filed in 2014)

For tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2013 the Volunteer Firefighter and EMS Personnel Tax Credit will be available for volunteer firefighters and volunteer EMS personnel. In order to qualify for the credit the taxpayer must meet the conditions listed below.

Qualifying Conditions

For Volunteer Firefighters:

  • Must be an active member of an organized volunteer fire department in Iowa.
  • Must meet the minimum training standards established by the Fire Service Training Bureau, a division of the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
  • Full-time firefighters, who volunteer as a firefighter for a department other than the one where they are employed, ARE NOT eligible for the credit for that volunteer work.

For Volunteer Emergency Medical Services Personnel:

  • Must be trained to provide emergency medical care, certified as a first responder, and been issued a certificate by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • Full-time EMS personnel, who volunteer as an EMS for a department other than the one where they are employed, ARE eligible for the credit for that volunteer work. 

NOTE:  Volunteers who receive small stipends/reimbursements, and who may receive a W-2 or 1099, still qualify for the credit.  

Amount of the Tax Credit

The tax credit equals $50 if the volunteer serves for the entire calendar year 2013. If the volunteer does not serve the entire year, the $50 credit will be prorated based on the number of months that the volunteer served. If the volunteer served for a portion of a month, that will be considered as an entire month. The table below provides the qualifying amount of tax credit by months of service for the year.

Number of Months of Service

Amount of Tax Credit

Number of Months of Service

Amount of Tax Credit


If an individual is both a volunteer firefighter and volunteer EMS personnel, the credit can only be claimed for one volunteer position.

Written Statement Requirements

Taxpayers claiming the tax credit are required to have a written statement from the fire chief or other appropriate supervisor verifying that the individual was a volunteer for the number of months that are being claimed. These letters do not have to be attached to a filed return, but must be produced by the taxpayer upon request by the Department of Revenue (IDR). It is recommended that the statement contain the following information: Volunteer Name, Fire Department or EMS Service Name, Number of Months of Service for the Year, Amount of Qualifying Credit, and the Name, Title, and Signature of the official authorizing the credit.

Recordkeeping Recommendations

It is also recommended that volunteer fire departments and EMS services maintain a record of the letters that are authorized in the event that IDR requests a list of authorized credit recipients. It is recommended that these lists be kept for at least three years.