Senator Chuck Grassley today welcomed Senate passage of a version of the veterans hiring legislation he and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus introduced in January and urged House of Representatives passage as soon as possible.
"These men and women are extremely capable," Grassley said. "They have a lot of skills to offer in the workplace. The legislation that Senator Baucus and I put together clears some bureaucratic hurdles and adds a financial incentive to encourage employers to seek out veterans. These steps are a logical follow-up to my effort to increase the IRS' hiring of veterans. The IRS saw the value of this pool of potential workers and followed through on increased hiring of veterans. Other employers, including small businesses, should have similar opportunities."
The legislation approved by the Senate today was based on the Veterans Employment Transition Act, or the VETs Jobs bill, introduced by Grassley and Baucus in January. A previous version of this credit, which was part of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and also authored by Grassley and Baucus, was designed to help employers hire veterans but expired at the end of 2010.
The new version of the legislation would reinstate the tax credit and make it easier for veterans and small businesses to use. As a result, servicemen and women who have been recently discharged would be able to provide documentation directly from the Department of Defense without having to go through the tax credit's current certification process.
The credits will range from up to $2,400 to up to $9,600 in 2012 depending on the veteran hired. Tax exempt organizations are eligible for the credit. The credit is only available for calendar year 2012. The credits are 40% of the veteran's wages up to $24,000. The credits total:
* $9,600 for veterans with service-connected disabilities unemployed for 6 months or longer in the past year.
* $5,600 for veterans unemployed for 6 months or longer in the past year.
* $4,800 for service-disabled veterans hired within 1 year of being discharged.
* $2,400 for veterans who do not fit any of the above categories and are unemployed for between 4 weeks and 6 months in the past year.
Any veteran who has left active duty in the past five years who has discharge paperwork showing 180 days of qualified active duty would be eligible for the credit. This would include those men and women who were activated by their states as members of the National Guard. The bill also helps service members market themselves to prospective employers by requiring the military to educate service members about how the credit works.
Noting that the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than for non-veterans nationwide, the senators first introduced the VETs Jobs bill in May 2010.