Tax Credits Blog

New NY Tax Credit for Hiring Veterans

New employer tax credit could get younger veterans to work

The New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs is promoting a new tax credit to incentivize employers to hire New York's post-9/11 veterans.Post-9/11 veterans, since 2009, have had the highest unemployment rate in the nation — higher than those of their older counterparts and far above the general population, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics."All New Yorkers owe a special debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of the U.S Armed Forces who have served in the years since 9/11," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "There are approximately 75,000 post-9/11 veterans living in New York state today. These brave men and women served our country, now it's our turn to help them get back to work.
"The state has allocated $74 million to provide tax breaks that can be applied against the taxes of any private business that hires a post-9/11 veteran after Jan. 1, 2014 and before Jan. 1, 2017, to a full-time position of at least 35 hours a week for at least a year.The amount of the tax credit equals 10 percent of the gross wages paid to a non-disabled veteran, and 15 percent of the gross wages paid to a disabled veteran, for the first year of employment, according to the state Tax Department.The credit is capped at $5,000 for non-disabled post-9/11 veterans and at $15,000 for disabled post-9/11 veterans. It is a one-time credit applied against the 2015 and 2016 franchise tax years; however, any credit not used by an employer can be carried forward for three years.   
Another requirement of the credit is that the veteran employee must be a new hire who had been unemployed for at least six months prior. The new policy prohibits employers from firing an employee to replace them with a veteran to receive the credit. Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, chair of the Assembly's Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said the new policy is based on the "Job for Heroes" legislation the Independent Democratic Conference introduced back in Feburary. Senate bill 3043 is sponsored by Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, and has 10 co-sponors. There is no same as bill in the Assembly.
"The governor saw the value of the bill and included it in the budget and it was passed last March when we improved the state budget," said Benedetto, D-Bronx.Benedetto said at the time he was in the process of introducing a bill identical to the IDC's but didn't get a chance to because the governor included the policy in the budget."It is quite possible [my] bill was ready to be filed when the governor included [Jobs for Heroes] in the budget," he said. "The credit will partially solve a problem we have across the state of veteran populations who are unemployed.
"The unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans, as of this year, sits at 10 percent nationwide, according to the Governor's Office. The rate for post-9/11 veterans under age 25 is 10.5 percent.Benedetto attributes this to a lack of communication between veterans and employers as to what vets were trained to do in the Armed Forces and how their skills fit in with private sector jobs.
"[There's] a bad perception out there among some business people that vets have issues…they think they may not be trained properly for the jobs and unfortunately none of this is really true. Veterans have proven themselves to be hard working, reliable, and well trained," Benedetto said.Cuomo, in 2011, launched the "Experience Counts" campaign to facilitate the transfer of military skills to the public and private sectors. Today, the hire-a-vet credit is one of many initiatives to ease veterans' transition to the civilian workforce.