Q. We’re interested in taking advantage of the new incentive for Illinois employers to hire veterans. What are the details?
A. On July 9, 2012, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation (S.B. 3241) that provides a tax credit to employers that hire veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The new law is an enhancement to the Hiring Veterans Tax Credit and amends the state income tax code. The law became effective immediately.
The new law permits a credit equal to 20% of the gross wages paid to a qualified veteran. The credit is capped at $5,000 per veteran hired. The earlier credit was limited to 10% of gross wages and had an annual cap of $1,200.
The credit applies to hires of Illinois residents who were honorably discharged, active-duty members of the armed forces, the Illinois National Guard or any reserve unit who served on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001.
The veteran’s employment must be sustained for at least 185 days. However, the law provides a shortened employment period of more than 30 days for veterans who were unemployed for six months or more in the year before being hired.