American Legion Online
January 29, 2009
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., introduced the Jobs for Veterans Act, H.R. 620, into Congress on Jan. 22. His bill offers a tax incentive to businesses that hire Iraq and Afghanistan veterans - a win-win plan to help veterans and businesses get through the tough economy. Last year, the rate of unemployment among veterans was higher than non-veterans, according to the Department of Labor. The average national unemployment rate climbed to 7.2 percent last month.
"Many Americans are feeling the impact of the economy," King said. "But our youngest and newest veterans seem to be hit the hardest in their search for employment. My legislation not only encourages job creation for these veterans, but also provides tax relief to businesses that may also be struggling."
The Jobs for Veterans Act creates a $5,000 nonrefundable tax credit for employers who hire an Iraq/Afghanistan veteran for more than 10 weeks, or 400 hours, of work. Business owners may carry the credit over to subsequent years, in order to maximize the benefits. This credit may be claimed in addition to the work opportunity tax credit (WOTC) that already exists for the hiring of disabled veterans.
"The transition from combat to civilian life can be a difficult experience that is made much worse when greeted with high rates of unemployment," King said. "Our veterans put their lives on the line for us, and we owe it to them to make the move back home as easy and opportunity-rich as possible."
The tax credit may be applied to any veteran discharged or released from active duty after Sept. 11, 2001; it will be offered to employers through 2011.