Proposed Senate Bill to Support both Hiring Military Spouses and Childcare Spending Options

Building on the success of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (or WOTC), Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced a bill to expand employment opportunities for military spouses.

Expanding WOTC

Known as the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act of 2019, Senate Bill 1802 would recognize “Qualified Military Spouse” as a new WOTC program target group.

In its current form, the bill does not yet define the WOTC-qualifying characteristics of a military spouse. It also does not define the amount of tax credit an employer could earn when hiring a military spouse.  These details will be ironed out if the bill progresses in the Senate.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Private sector employers commonly offer flexible spending accounts to help their employees pay for childcare. Senate Bill 1802 would create similarly accounts for members of the U.S. military. Soldiers could reduce their income tax by contributing pre-tax dollars to their account. They could then spend that money on childcare services.   

S.1802 has been referred to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for consideration. Five senators have cosponsored the bill, including Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).

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