Hiring a veteran is already a beneficial proposition for any business because veterans come with a highly desirable set of intangibles. They’ve been tested for multiple years in a high-stress environment that no civilian workplace can compare with, and they’ve shown extreme self-discipline, leadership and commitment to service before self.
You’re nearly always getting a dependable employee when you hire a vet, but some potential tax and financial benefits are a major cherry on top. Businesses should be aware of these benefits before they go into the hiring process if possible, as they are circumstantial and often require some self-reporting from the veteran being hired.
The Returning Heroes Tax Credit and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit
These tax credits were both created as part of 2011’s Vow To Hire Heroes Act. The name of the “Returning Heroes” credit is a bit confusing, as there is no stipulation that the veteran has to have recently exited their service or has been deployed overseas. This act applies to any veteran who has been unemployed for at least four weeks. Employers who hire these veterans can claim a tax credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages. If the veteran was unemployed for six months or longer prior to the hiring, that amount increases to the first $14,000 of wages.
The Wounded Warriors credit is similar, but is specifically for veterans who have a service-connected disability. If the veteran has been unemployed for six months or longer, employers can claim a 40% credit on their first $24,000 of wages.
The limits are a bit smaller for tax-exempt organizations, but they can still participate by receiving a credit to offset a portion of their Social Security taxes. Qualified veterans are those who have served on active duty for a period of at least 180 days not counting their initial training, and those who were discharged due to a service-connected disability.
The Special Employer Incentives Program
This program is run by the VA and was created to assist veterans who face significant barriers to obtaining sustainable full-time employment. When an employer agrees to hire a veteran who is in this program, any training the veteran may need prior to beginning the job is paid for by the VA. Not only that, the VA will pay up to 50% of the veteran’s salary while they remain in the program, which generally runs for the first six months of their employment. The VA also provides the employee’s tools and uniform where required, and provides a point of contact for the employer during the duration of the program.
Tax Credits Specific To Disabled Veterans
Employers of veterans with disabilities can potentially apply for further tax credits to make their facilities more accessible to both employees and customers. For example, the Architectural Barrier Removal Tax Deduction can provide up to $15,000 per year for removal of impediments to those with mobility issues. Small businesses that have less than 30 employees and that have no more than $1 million in annual revenue are also eligible for the Disabled Access Credit, a one-time benefit to offset the expense of adding accessible features to the premises.
I’ve Heard About The Enterprise Zone Program—Does That Apply In Hawaii?
While the state of Hawaii does have an Enterprise Zone Program that spans the different islands, it was designed more to diversify the economy than it was to prompt the hiring of certain target demographics with barriers to employment (as is done in other states). So unfortunately, hiring a veteran does not qualify you for any credits or rebates under the local program.
If you’re interested in hiring a veteran in Honolulu, feel free to contact us for assistance. Bishop & Company has been in business since 1986 helping to connect employers with short-term, long-term and permanent staff.