Tax Break for Spouse Employers?

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.

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