Hiring Veterans Can Make Good Business Cents

By Staff Reports

(Victorville)– The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is apprising business owners that they may be eligible for thousands of dollars in state and federal tax benefits and other incentives for hiring qualified veterans.

California is currently home to 1.9 million veterans. Another 30,000 men and women separate from military service and return to the state every year. With the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, an additional 6,000–10,000 veterans are expected to return to California by the end of 2012.

Tax Benefits and Other Incentives Available

The federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, for example, is based on a percentage, ranging from 25% to 40%, of qualified first-year wages. Maximum eligible credits may be as high as $2,400 for hiring a qualified veteran and up to $9,600 for hiring a veteran with service-connected disabilities.

Other state and federal benefits for hiring veterans may include:

  • State-level hiring credits: $37,000 (over five years) California Enterprise Zone tax credit for employers hiring certain economically challenged employees, including veterans;
  • Training funds, tuition reductions, and military pay exemptions;
  • Federal Mentor-Protégé Program: Allows certain government contractor reimbursements for training/incidental costs associated with training physically challenged veterans.

According to the Corporate Taxation Insider, which offers more detailed information about the tax benefits of hiring veterans, the process for documenting these state and federal tax benefits is fairly straightforward for the certified public accountant or taxpayer. In addition, systems can be set up to allow the employer to pre-screen the employees before they are hired in order to streamline the documentation process and maximize the hiring credit.

CalVet also notes that depending on the nature of their service, veterans who separated from military service after 9/11 may be entitled to five years of free health care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Veteran Employment: National Priority

Last year, President Barack Obama signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which provides much-needed practical support to veterans transitioning from combat to careers. The President has publicly challenged the private sector to hire 100,000 veterans or spouses by the end of 2013.

A soon-to-be-announced White House plan aims at placing thousands of post-9/11 veterans in first responder positions and positions working to restore and protect national parks. The First Lady and the Vice President’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, are promoting the 100,000 Jobs Mission and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership.

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