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Legislation Offers Tax Credits to Guard Employers  

Washington Report

Employers would receive tax credits for the time their National Guard and Reserve employees miss work due to service obligations under legislation introduced last week by the co-chairs of the House National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus.  

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss, believe passage of the Reserve Component Employer Incentive, Compensation, and Relief Act of 2019 would incentivize employers to hire and retain members of the National Guard and Reserves.

“This legislation will provide these patriotic employers with well-warranted compensation for hiring service members who sacrifice so much for our nation,” Ryan said. “Maintaining this partnership between our country and employers is critical to the security of our nation.”

Said Palazzo, “Often times National Guardsmen and Reservists have unique demands that require them to drop everything and respond to their sworn military duties. This bill is a step in the right direction to provide relief for the employers that sometimes must choose between their own bottom line and patriotic duty to hire service member.” 

Tax credits are not a novel approach, the two said in a Feb. 1 release. But past efforts have been too small monetarily and targeted too small of a population to incentivize companies and small businesses to actually hire members of the National Guard and Reserves, they said.

Ryan and Palazzo said their approach is different. For one, their tax credit would apply to all employers who hire and employ currently serving members of the Guard and Reserve.  

Specifically, the Reserve Component Employer Incentive, Compensation, and Relief Act of 2019 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a “reservist employment credit.”  The credit would be $1,000 for the taxable year plus an additional amount based on the days of service in uniform during that taxable year:

•    $3,000 for 30 to 89 days of service;
•    $5,000 for 90 to 179 days of service; and 
•    $10,000 for 180 or more days of service. 

Providing tax credits to Guard and Reserve employers is a NGAUS legislative priority.

“This is a potential game-changer for employers who hire Guardsmen and Reservists or who are considering one for a position,” said retried Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS president. “Not only would it compensate employers for the loss of valuable employees to training or a deployment, it also recognizes the contributions of Guard and Reserve employers to the defense and security of our nation. We enthusiastically support the Reserve Component Employer Incentive, Compensation, and Relief Act.”