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house Bill H.R. 282

Do Military Spouses Need the Same Residency Exception For Taxes and Voting That Their Partners Get?

Argument in favor

Letting military spouses use the same state of residence that their servicemember claims is an obvious expansion of the existing exception for members of the military.

Mary 's Opinion
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07/24/2017
Wouldn't it be nice if we stopped kicking our service people and their spouses in the gut, while underpaying them as well
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Jeanne's Opinion
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07/24/2017
It's time to treat spouses fairly. They are the major providers of psychological support for military personnel and deserve respect and support.
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IllWill's Opinion
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07/24/2017
Makes sense. Why should a service member's spouse have to establish residency every single time they move due to military orders? They should both be allowed to hold residency in the service member's home state.
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Argument opposed

As civilians, the spouses of servicemembers shouldn't receive a tax benefit that their partners are eligible for. Besides, only a very small number of people would be affected.

Phillip's Opinion
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07/24/2017
The whole thing is a tax dodge while the rest of us are tied to where we live. If my work takes me for two weeks to Colorado they come after me for Colorado taxes even though I live in Ohio. Perhaps you should change the tax code for all. If you're living in a state permanently and paying taxes and work takes you elsewhere or on paper you are arbitrarily based somewhere else then you should only be liable for your home state taxes
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Michelle's Opinion
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07/24/2017
pay taxes where you make the money. Not a kick in the gut to military. Common sense.
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Isaac's Opinion
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07/24/2017
On voting yes. There should be no exceptions when it comes to taxes, we have been over this.
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What is House Bill H.R. 282?

This bill would allow the spouse of a member of the Armed Forces to choose to use the same residence as the servicemember for the purposes of taxation and voting, regardless of when the marriage occurred. It extends protections granted to servicemembers to their spouses as well by eliminating a loophole that excludes spouses who had a different state of residency at the time of their marriage.

Since the passage of the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA) in 1942, Congress has given active duty servicemembers the ability to maintain their state of residency for tax and voting purposes even if they’re residing elsewhere because of their service. This saves servicemembers from having to legally reestablish a place of residence for tax purposes after each time they’re transferred.

Currently, this protection covers spouses as well as servicemembers, but only if the couple were residents of the state when the servicemember established residency. So in practice, under current law a spouse who married a servicemember after they had established residency would have to change their residency for tax purposes every time they move.

Impact

Servicemembers and their spouses; state and local governments; and officials responsible for overseeing tax policy and elections.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 282

A current CBO cost estimate is unavailable. During the last Congress, it estimated that enacting this bill's identical predecessor would have no impact on the federal budget.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced this bill to give military spouses the choice to establish the same state of residency as the servicemember to have the benefit of keeping the same state of residency for voting and tax purposes:

"Current law allows active duty service members to maintain one state of legal residence for tax and voting purposes, even when service members receive military orders requiring them to relocate. Under this law, spouses are only granted the same benefit if the service member and spouse have established the same tax residence at the time of their marriage. Essentially, this requires spouses to establish residency every time the service member receives orders with assignment to a new location—adding undue stress and anxiety to military families already under the pressure of managing their relocation... Military spouses serve too, and this piece of legislation eliminates the daunting task of documenting multiple tax jurisdictions, which at times causes some spouses to forego the complication of working all together."

This legislation was passed by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee on a voice vote and the support of 10 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user U.S. Army)

AKA

Military Residency Choice Act

Official Title

To amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to authorize spouses of servicemembers to elect to use the same residences as the servicemembers.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed July 24th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Economic Opportunity
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedJanuary 4th, 2017

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    Wouldn't it be nice if we stopped kicking our service people and their spouses in the gut, while underpaying them as well
    Like (31)
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    The whole thing is a tax dodge while the rest of us are tied to where we live. If my work takes me for two weeks to Colorado they come after me for Colorado taxes even though I live in Ohio. Perhaps you should change the tax code for all. If you're living in a state permanently and paying taxes and work takes you elsewhere or on paper you are arbitrarily based somewhere else then you should only be liable for your home state taxes
    Like (12)
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    It's time to treat spouses fairly. They are the major providers of psychological support for military personnel and deserve respect and support.
    Like (17)
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    Makes sense. Why should a service member's spouse have to establish residency every single time they move due to military orders? They should both be allowed to hold residency in the service member's home state.
    Like (8)
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    I have known military spouses. It is extremely difficult to get a job when you move every few years. We should give spouses the same benefits that their partners get. Military spouses are also giving up a large portion of their lives in service to the country.
    Like (7)
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    I don't think any of those saying no really understand the issue here. Service members are allowed to designate their home state even though they are taken all over the country/world (in service of this country). Its a burden to have to switch taxes every two years (or less depending on how often you PCS). I'll use our situation as an example: this past tax year we had EXTREMELY complicated taxes. My husband's home state is CA, he moved from SC to VA in feb 2016 and I moved in May. VA requires separate filing if both spouses aren't filing in VA so we had to file fed joint, SC joint, VA for me and CA for him. No way we could have tackled that alone so we had someone file them for us for $400. It just simplifies things. And the "tax dodging" complainers, spend a year as a military spouse during deployment with kids and tell me they don't deserve a tax break. Spouses serve, too.
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    pay taxes where you make the money. Not a kick in the gut to military. Common sense.
    Like (7)
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    On voting yes. There should be no exceptions when it comes to taxes, we have been over this.
    Like (6)
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    Letting military spouses use the same state of residence that their servicemember claims is an obvious expansion of the existing exception for members of the military. Why punish spouses who are keeping home and hearth for our service members. This should have been done a long time ago.
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    Why is this even an issue? Stop the anti-military, and the families, attitude
    Like (5)
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    No brainer - family of the service member deserves the benefits of the service member.
    Like (4)
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    You should not be disenfranchised because your spouse serves in the military.
    Like (4)
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    Military spouses make sacrifices for this country so should receive similar tax and voting residency breaks, of course. It's the least that this country can do.
    Like (4)
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    I got the same residency as my husband when I lived overseas for 20 years. Why should these wives be treated any differently? Surely, the US gov isn't trying to maximize profit from our woefully underpaid military?
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    Having served and the low pay in the military making life difficult for you and Your family I say yes
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    Wives go through just as much or more than their military partners! They need all the help they can get and this would make a world of help.
    Like (4)
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    In many ways they serve more than the service person. Seems obvious
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    Any legislation that reduces the hardships on our military families is a good thing. However where the very mention of taxes and voting is in the mix, I become very leery of the legislations intents and possible negativities it produces in the long term.
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    That's a no brainer.
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    This is a tangible way of supporting those who are defending our country. We should be making it easier for them due to their service and sacrifice.
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