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A new bill could give businesses a tax credit for hiring military spouses

February 28, 2018 - 2:54 pm

Every military spouse knows that finding employment is difficult but a new bill aims to incentivize employers to hire them.

The Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act of 2018, bill would “give businesses a tax credit for hiring military spouses, much like the credit they can currently receive for hiring veterans,” according to Military.com.

Introduced by Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Boozman (R-AR), the bill would also give a pre-tax savings account to military families for child care expenses, Military.com reports.

“The Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act encourages businesses to step up and play a bigger role in hiring military spouses who already sacrifice so much,” Kaine said in a press release,Tuesday. 

The tax credit for employers would be up to $9,600 and is the same one that certain veterans get, according to Military.com.

“And it further addresses a real obstacle to professional success for many military families: access to quality, affordable childcare,” he said. “Addressing these issues will help military spouses advance in their careers despite frequent moves, and if we can do something to make life easier for our country’s military families, we should.”

The bill also allows military families to have flexible spending accounts that they can add pre-tax money from their paychecks to pay for out-of-pocket childcare expenses. 

“Military spouses are vital to our all-volunteer force,” Boozman said in the release. "They make sacrifices, like taking on family duties during long deployments and supporting frequent moves, and they do it mostly without recognition.”

“This is a thoughtful approach to help ease the burden on our military families by improving employment opportunities for spouses,” he added.

The numbers behind military spouse unemployment are staggering. According to the press release, “between 12 percent and 25 percent of military spouses are unemployed,” and Blue Star Families says that military spouse unemployment costs the U.S. economy almost $1 billion a year.