Today at Nutter Corporation, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) called on Congress to extend tax cuts for businesses that hire unemployed veterans and wounded warriors. Unless Congress acts, these credits will expire at the end of the year. Approximately 10 percent of Nutter Corporation's workforce is veterans.
"I'm calling on Congress to extend these tax credits for businesses that hire veterans," said Cantwell, while speaking at Nutter Corp's office in Vancouver. "This tax credit has already helped more than 2,000 veterans in Washington state and the businesses that hired them. I will continue to fight to ensure Congress extends this credit before it expires at year's end."
On August 2, Cantwell voted with the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance to advance the bipartisan bill that would extend the Returning Heroes and Wounded Heroes Work Opportunity Tax Credits through 2013. These credits allow businesses to obtain a tax credit of up to $9,600 for each qualified veteran they hire to fill job openings, but they are set to expire at the end of the year. The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act passed the committee by a 19-5 vote. It is currently pending consideration by the full Senate.
So far, the Washington State Employment Security Department has received 3,000 tax-credit applications this year for veterans who have been hired by Washington employers. As of July, there were 31,000 unemployed veterans in Washington state. The Returning Heroes and Wounded Heroes Work Opportunity Tax Credits are available to employers when they hire certain types of veterans -- those that have been unemployed or have a service-connected disability.
Employers can earn tax credits of up to $5,600 when they hire unemployed veterans and up to $9,600 when they hire veterans with service-related disabilities. In order to claim the credit, an employer must receive a certification form the Washington Department of Employment Security that the veteran hired meets the criteria for the credit.
Cantwell is also an original cosponsor of separate legislation (S. 3536) that would extend the tax credits through 2016. The VOW (Veterans Opportunity to Work) to Hire Heroes Extension Act, which was introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on September 12, would also simplify the certification process making it easier for employers to hire veterans.
In addition to the one-year extension of the Returning Heroes and Wounded Heroes Work Opportunity Tax Credits, the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act would also extend other key tax credits and deductions championed by Cantwell. These include deductions for state and local sales taxes, building low-income housing, producing clean energy, and investing in research and development.
The Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act would extend the state and local sales tax deduction for two years, covering 2012 and 2013. Without an extension, Washington residents would no longer be able to deduct the sales taxes they pay from their federal income tax returns. For 2009, the most recent year of published IRS data, nearly 850,000 Washingtonians took advantage of the state and local sales tax deduction and reduced their taxable income by more than $1.8 billion.
Taxpayers in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, South Dakota, and Wyoming in addition to Washington used this deduction to reduce their taxable incomes by nearly $16 billion in 2009.