Tax Tips by Kelly Bullis: Qualified veterans make great employees | NevadaAppeal.com

Tax Tips by Kelly Bullis: Qualified veterans make great employees

Kelly J. Bullis
For the Nevada Appeal

On this special occasion when we stop to appreciate the sacrifices our country’s veterans have made to protect our freedoms, I thought it might be a good reminder to employers out there to consider hiring a vet as they begin to expand their businesses again.

When I think of these silent heroes (you can usually spot them when they stand quietly at attention when the flag is being presented, sometimes with a small tear in the corner of their eye), I get choked up. They are the ones out there who exhibit such traits as being kind, honest, hard-working, high integrity, loyal, sacrificial, seasoned, mature, tested, etc. I have heard business owners wish for many of their employees to have such traits.

Actually, there are some additional incentives (besides just having such qualified folks working for you) that might help make it easier to bring such a hero on board at your company.

The HIRE Act passed in March of this year provides a credit for the employer portion of Social Security taxes normally paid (6.2 percent). This credit only works on wages paid to qualified employees between March 19 and Dec. 31, 2010. To qualify, the new employee must be hired between Feb. 3, 2010 and Jan. 1, 2011. They must not have been employed for more than 40 hours during the previous 60 days. They can not be hired to replace another employee, unless that employee left voluntarily or was terminated for cause.

You can use this credit to rehire a previously laid off worker too. Family members of the owner are not qualified.

Another federal incentive (you get to pick one or the other, not both), is the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). This is a one-time credit of up to $2,400 and two-year credits of up to $9,000 per qualified individual.

One of the specifically named “qualified individuals” in this act are veterans. Basically, a qualified veteran is one who is a member of a family that is receiving or recently received food stamps for at least a three-month period during the past 15 months; and for individuals who begin to work for an employer after May 25, 2007, the veteran group has been expanded to include disabled veterans who are entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability and, who during the one year ending on the hiring date, were discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, or unemployed for a period or periods totaling at least six months. The first-year wages taken into account for these disabled veterans are capped at $12,000.

Let’s all do our part to repay these heroes who have sacrificed so much for all of us. Whether you can get a credit or not, I want to encourage you to hire a vet today.

• Kelly Bullis is a certified public accountant with over 30 years of experience. Contact him at 882-4459.