Maryland Lawyer Business Tips:Window closing on great tax credit opportunity for businesses.

The “Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011” enacted last year is a program that offers special tax incentives to companies who hire veterans.

The program is a tremendous two-for-one that helps both veterans and companies satisfy needs in the work place. Military veterans are a highly skilled workforce that is often overlooked in job searches because of their alternative work experience. Some employers fail to grasp the veterans’ correlation in skills to their civilian counterparts. While veterans may have a large block of time on their résumé that doesn’t include industry specific work experience that a civilian counterpart might possess, that time was filled with problem solving and skill building that can only be found on a veteran’s resume. Through personal experience working with veterans, it has been consistently impressive to see the savvy, leadership and motivation they bring to the table.

The program itself involves minimal paperwork. I can attest to the ease to access this program, as I have hired a Veteran under this Act myself.  Here are some of the details of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit-VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

Hire Heroes Act of 2011.

On November 21, 2011, the President enacted the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 modifying and expanding the WOTC Veteran groups.    Now, employers hiring qualified veterans may be eligible to reduce their federal income tax liability by as much as:

  1. Qualified 1st- year wages for Veterans receiving SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) are capped at $6,000.
  2. Qualified 1st year wages for disabled veterans hired within 1 year of discharge are capped at $12,000.
  3. Qualified 1st- year wages for disabled veterans unemployed 6 months are capped at $24,000.
  4. Qualified 1st- year wages for veterans unemployed for 4 weeks (but less than 6 months) are capped at $6,000.
  5.  Qualified 1st- year wages for veterans unemployed for at least 6 months are capped at $14,000.



Employers apply for and receive certification from their State Workforce Agency (SWA) that the new hire is a member of a qualified veteran group before they can claim WOTC.  To apply:


1. Complete page 1 of IRS Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit, by the date of the job offer and page 2 after the individual is hired;

2. Complete one of the following  U.S. Department of Labor forms:  ETA Form 9061, Individual Characteristics Form, if the new hire has not been given  an ETA Form 9062; or  ETA Form 9062, Conditional Certification Form, if provided to the job seeker by a Veteran Center or a SWA.

3. Submit/Mail the signed and dated IRS and ETA forms to the respective SWA.  For hires made on or after November 22, 2011 and before May 22, 2012, employers have until June 19, 2012 to submit the forms. For hires made on or after May 22, 2012, employers must submit the forms not later than 28 days after the new hire begins work.

For more information on where to apply or get the application forms, visit or IRS’s Web site at:

You can also call or email me for information based on my experience hiring a Veteran under the VOW Act.


(1)   U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration April 2012

(2 )VA Office of Public Affairs Distribution List.