Tax Break for Spouse Employers?

job-fair

A tax break for companies who hire spouses is on the mind of the White House, but not likely to be proposed any time soon.

“It’s something that we’ve talked about … tried to figure out how we can make it work,”  said Matt Flavin, the White House director of veterans and wounded warrior policy. “I agree that there’s always more we need to do in these spaces.”

President Obama has proposed a tax break incentive for companies to hire veterans as part of his big jobs plan. But that legislative push does not include any similar incentives for those who hire spouses. Most White House statements on the subject of jobs for vets roll in jobs for spouses, so the absence of a tax break for both demographics is a little conspicuous.

The problem with tax breaks is that they quickly become expensive. And in an era of budget cuts and tightening belts, asking Congress to give-up potential income is an uphill battle.

Of course, most spouses would agree that we do not want employers bribed into hiring us anyway. Instead, we want them to recognize our value as hard working, dependable, experienced and (often) overqualified.

DoD’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership relies entirely on employers grasping the benefits of hiring spouses while ignoring the few downsides so frequently thrust in the spotlight (ie relocation and deployment). Over 90 employers have pledged to hire as a part of that push, as well as a major trade organization and its members, announced Oct. 19.

About the Author

Amy Bushatz
Amy is the editor in chief of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is the managing editor of spouse and family content. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on CNN.com, NPR, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC and BBC as well as in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.
  • Andi

    “Of course, most spouses would agree that we do not want employers bribed into hiring us anyway. Instead, we want them to recognize our value as hard working, dependable, experienced and (often) overqualified.”

    Absolutely agree with that! For many reasons, I do not support tax breaks offered in this manner.

  • Lynn

    There is legislation pending that proposes a tax break for companies hiring spouses, H.R. 687: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d112:1:./… It is titled “The Military Spouse Employment Act” and is sponsored by Rep. Carter, who sponsored the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act in the House.

    I believe that a tax break of this type for employers might help to level the playing field a bit. Having the tax break in our “bag of tricks” might be the little extra that an employer needs to make the decision to hire a military spouse when otherwise he/she would not due to concerns re frequent moves and a resume with some gaps.

  • Syven914

    As an Army spouse of 15 years, I’ve become accepting that Gov’t has a larger than I’d like role in my life but that doesn’t mean I want it to take more liberties with my liberties.

    I’m more than capable of finding employment based upon my hard work, dedication, skills and desire to be a productive human being. The last thing I want is another Gov’t entitlement program forced down my throat, one that will make employers look at me like a tax break and not a hard-working individual who happens to be married to a soldier.

  • Penny

    “Over 90 employers have pledged to hire as a part of that push..”

    They should be hiring right now!. Lame. I don’t think they should get any tax breaks.

  • Rich McKinney

    On one hand the Administration keeps saying tax loopholes are bad, and at the same time they are adding new ones.

  • Elijah

    Anything that inspires companies to hire US Citizens would be welcome.

  • Nich

    “Military spouses should go into a job search or interview knowing that most employers would love to have employees with traits, skills and unique experiences that so many military spouses have.” Unfortunately, this is frequently not the case. We are currently stationed in Hawaii and the fact that I am a military spouse has proved to be a huge hurdle in finding employment. I don’t think I should have to lie what my spouse does for a living but I have had more than one interview come to an end after they find out why we moved here. Maybe a tax break would help to change some of the attititudes so the positive skills and experience we bring are hightlighted and not just the fact that “we will not be there more than a couple of years”.