Hire a vet: it’s good for business!

Hire a vet: it’s good for business!

There are lots of great reasons why to hire veterans. They are efficient, calm under pressure, used to diversity and inclusion, and have leadership experience.  Even beyond the fact that many vets make great hard-working and efficient employees, there are also some economic advantages.

To get information on what tax incentives might exist for those companies who hire vets, I reached out to Scott Silvay. Scott is the Employment Coordinator for the Des Moines office of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. He provided the following resources:

  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) – This federal tax credit was designed to help individuals from certain targeted groups find employment. In 2011, President Obama signed into law the Vow to Hire Heros Act which expanded the benefits of the WOTC for veterans. WOTC is based on wages paid to the employed vet for their first year. The credit is for 25 percent of their wages between 120 to 400 hours. The credit jumps to 40 percent for those who work 400+ hours. Full details can be found at: The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC): An Employer-Friendly Benefit for Hiring Veterans Most in Need of Employment (PDF).
  • Tax Deduction for Accessibility Improvements – This annual deduction can be used for expenses related to making your business more accessible for returning disabled veterans. Up to $15,000 a year can be applied (depreciation may be added to amounts over). Some of the things that you can do which would be covered include: widening hallways, adding ramps, creating curb cuts, redesigning restrooms, lowering drinking fountains, etc.
  • Tax Credit for Accessibility Improvements – This annual tax credit can be used for up to half of the expenditures between $250 and $10,250 for a maximum benefit of $5,000. In addition to covering architectural barrier removal, this credit can also be used for things like providing print material in Braille, hiring sign language interpreters for employees/customers, etc.
  • Iowa Income Tax Benefit for Hiring Persons with Disabilities – If you hire a disabled veteran, your business might qualify for an income tax deduction for 65 percent of the wages paid in the first year (maximum of $20,000 per employee).
  • Federal Contracting Benefits – According to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 – “”Any contract in the amount of $100,000 or more entered into by any department or agency of the United States for the procurement of personal property and nonpersonal services (including construction) for the United States, shall contain a provision requiring that the party contracting with the United States take affirmative action to employ and advance in employment qualified covered veterans.””

If you have any questions about how to go about hiring vets, reach out to Scott.  He is exceedingly knowledable, and personable.  His phone number is 515-323-7554.  You might also like to read on and learn where you can find veterans looking for work.

Rob Williams is a Business Analyst for the University of Northern Iowa

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