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Reps. Wittman, Issa Propose Bill to Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

Military Residency Choice Act allows families to establish consistent residency for tax, voting purposes

WASHINGTON - Congressmen Rob Wittman (VA-01) and Darrell Issa (CA-49) introduced legislation aimed at easing the tax burden on military families by allowing them to establish one consistent state of residency.

Under current law, active duty service members are able to maintain one state of legal residency for tax purposes even when they move on military orders. Spouses may be granted the same benefit, but only if both service member and spouse have the same tax residence at the time of their marriage. This causes complications when service members move, sometimes multiple times a year, because spouses are forced to establish residency in each new location.

The Military Residency Choice Act will allow military spouses, if they so choose, to establish the same state of residency as the service member, so that for any future moves, they will retain the same state for tax and voting purposes.

"The last thing our military families need is additional stress during tax season," Rep. Wittman said. "Allowing military families to establish a consistent state of residency will give spouses the confidence to re-join the workforce when they move and help them better provide for their families. Our nation's military is only as strong as the men and women serving and the families who support them. Passing this simple residency fix will send a strong signal to our military families that we have their best interests at heart."

"“Military families sacrifice a great deal for us all," Rep. 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 season comes around. This bill is an easy update 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 to make life easier for those who have already given so much.”

Despite many military families relying on two incomes, the task of keeping track of multiple tax jurisdictions can be daunting for military spouses, causing some to forego working altogether. According to a recent report, military spouse unemployment could cost the U.S. $1 billion a year due to the loss of federal income tax, the costs of unemployment benefits, and the costs of health care issues related to unemployment.

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.