Congressmembers Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Antonio Delgado (D-NY) have introduced a bipartisan proposal to add a target group to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit which would create an incentive for employers to hire military spouses. A previous version of the bill defines qualified military spouses as, “any individual who is certified by the designated local agency as being (as of the hiring date) a spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States.”
The idea may have support at the highest levels. President Biden’s campaign website includes the suggestion: “Expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to include military spouses.”
A press release from Congresswoman McMorris Rogers explains, “Research from the Department of Defense and the Hiring Our Heroes Foundation has found that unemployment rates for military spouses far exceed that of the national average. The Military Spouse Hiring Act would help close the gap by expanding the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to include the hiring of qualified military spouses, allowing employers to claim a tax credit equal to a portion of the wages paid to those spouses.”
Bills such as this are rarely legislated in isolation. A large legislative package in the future including a tax title, such as an appropriations bill, could include such a provision.