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Bill aims to simplify military spouses’ residency for taxes, voting

Bill aims to simplify military spouses’ residency for taxes, voting

Two U.S. representatives have introduced a bill to allow all military spouses to claim the same state of residency as the service member to whom they are married for purposes of taxes and voting. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Savannah L. Waters)

By Jamie Rogers

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives — Rob Wittman, R-Va., and Darrell Issa, R-Calif. — have introduced a bill aimed at easing the tax burden on military families by allowing them to establish one consistent state of residency.

The bill would amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to authorize spouses of service members, if they choose, to adopt the same state of residency as the service member, so that for future moves they retain the same state for tax and voting purposes.

Currently, active-duty service members can maintain one state of legal residency for tax purposes even when they move on military orders. Spouses may receive the same benefit, but only if both service member and spouse had the same tax residence at the time of marriage. Simplifying those rules could lead to fewer financial problems for those families and even help military spouses continue their careers as they jump from state to state, sometimes multiple times in the same year.

“The last thing our military families need is additional stress during tax season,” Wittman said in a statement. “Allowing military families to establish a consistent state of residency will give spouses the confidence to rejoin the workforce when they move and help them better provide for their families.” 

The proposed amendment would allow military spouses to adopt their service members’ state of residency as their own, even if they never lived there before. For all future moves, the couple would have the same state for tax and voting purposes. 

“Military families sacrifice a great deal for us all,” Issa said. “They’re often transferred from place to place, uprooting their lives each time they receive a change of station orders. Each transition requires difficult adjustments as they adapt to new schools, new jobs, new churches and new communities. They shouldn’t be burdened yet again when tax time comes around. This bill is an easy update to the law that will simplify tax season for military families by allowing spouses to claim the same residency as their service members. It’s a simple fix, but it will go a long way in making life easier for those who already given so much.”

What do you think of the proposal to allow all military spouses to claim the same state of residency as the service member to whom they’re married? Have you faced problems at tax time with different state residencies? Leave a comment below.

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