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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to Add Instant ROI to Your Veteran Hiring with VOTC

Learn more about best practices in recruiting veteran and military job seekers by joining a Talent Circles sponsored webinar on 2/13/14 at 9:00 PM PST. Click here to register & learn more.

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Aside from the obvious benefits of hiring military veterans at organizations, companies often forget about a 2011 tax benefit program that encourages them to hire prior service members and military called VOTC. VOTC stands for Veterans Opportunity Tax Credit. Companies complete forms 8850 and 9061 as part of the WOTC or Work Opportunity Tax Credit program to receive tax benefits for veteran hiring.

Working in HR and recruiting, finding quantifiable and direct metrics or ROI can be challenging. This tax credit provides a monetary reward of up to $9,600 per hire for our veteran and military recruiting and hiring efforts that directly impacts our company’s bottom line.

This tax credit is common for companies to receive when they hire job seekers who have received government assistance. In 2012, Obama signed into law a different type of tax credit for Veterans and military what is referred to as the VOTC or the Veterans Opportunity Tax Credit. Also know as the Returning Heroes Tax Credit, it is designed to for companies to receive a tax credit of up to $5,600 per veteran. The Wounded Warriors Tax Credit is another piece of this program. Companies who hire disabled veterans can receive a maximum credit of $9,600 per veteran. These are all pieces of the American Jobs Act , which was signed into law November 21, 2011.

In 2013, the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 was signed into law further extending programs like the Veterans Opportunity Tax Credit as part of WOTC until December 31, 2013.

Congress has yet passed legislation to extend the program into 2014. However, the Department of Labor is directing state workforce agencies as of January 2, 2014 to continue to process WOTC and VOTC applications until further notice is given. What that means for employers, is that we can still submit and receive the tax credit benefiting further from hiring veterans to our companies.

There is no time limit associated to when a veteran leaves their service under VOTC. And recently, qualified tax-exempt organizations can also receive the tax credit incentives. Additionally, there is no benefit to the tax credit. Whether you hire 1 veteran or 25,000, the tax credit program has no boundaries. Here are direct links to the two forms used as part of the tax credit program – Form 9061 and Form 8850v.

Often overlooked, the program and its tax credit apply to all veterans regardless of the year or time in service. If you are hiring any veterans who have been unemployed for four weeks or more, your company can receive the tax credit. The tax credit applies to every and all veteran regardless of if their time in service was 1965 or 2013.

And voila – instant ROI in the form of veteran hiring.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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  1. Typically the biggest hurdle with businesses capitalizing on this is that there is no WIIFM for the Veteran, and typically none by the people making hiring decisions as well (unless we are talking small and small-mid firms). There is no incentive for the vet to file all the paperwork, and none for the hiring manager or HR generalist to follow through even if they are aware of the opportunity.

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