Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credits, one of his top initiatives to get veterans back on the job, has been extended for one year in the year-end fiscal cliff deal. Schumer highlighted that there are thousands of unemployed veterans in Upstate New York, who are well suited for work throughout both the private and public sector. The Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credits, enacted in November 2011, provides tax breaks to employers of up to $9,600 depending on the length of time a veteran has been unemployed and if that veteran has a service-connected disability. Schumer fought to include these critical tax credits in the Senate tax extenders package that was drafted by the Senate Finance Committee earlier this fall, and today announced his success in extending the tax credits through 2013. In recent months, Schumer visited companies throughout New York to join veterans in pushing for the extension of these credits in the fiscal cliff package.
"There are far too many veterans in New York and across the country without jobs, and these tax credits for businesses to hire veterans are a proven remedy in addressing that unfortunate truth," said Schumer. "Had the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits been allowed to expire, New York businesses and veterans alike would have lost a critical tool in getting smart and talented veterans to work."
"After veterans sacrifice their lives and spend months or years away from their families, they deserve the utmost respect and at the very least, a paycheck," Schumer continued. "The "Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credits' will do just that, and I'm proud to have fought for their continued existence."
President Obama signed the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Tax Credits into law on November 21, 2011 as part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which contained a series of tax credits for businesses that hire out-of-work veterans. Schumer's efforts allow businesses to claim a work opportunity tax credit (WOTC) for hiring qualified veterans in the following targeted groups and up to the following credit amounts:
Businesses that hire veterans who have been searching for work for at least four weeks, but less than six months, are eligible for a tax credit of up to $2,400 per veteran hired.
Businesses that hire a Service-related disabled veterans discharged from active duty within a year: $4,800
Businesses that hire a veteran who has been looking for a job for at least six months receive a tax credit worth up to $5,600.
Business that hire a veteran who has been seeking work for at least six months and has a service-related disability is eligible for a $9,600 tax credit.
While tax-exempt organizations save a slightly smaller percentage, a non-profit company can still save up to $6,240 if they hire a disabled veteran who has been unemployed for six months or more.
According to the most recent annual averages released in March of 2012 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001--a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans--was 12.1 percent in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The jobless rate for all veterans was 8.3 percent. Twenty-six percent of Gulf War-era II veterans reported having a service-connected disability in August 2011, compared with about 14 percent of all veterans.Young male veterans, those ages 18 to 24, who served during Gulf War era II had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent in 2011, higher than that of young male nonveterans (17.6 percent).