Military Connection: Obama Signs Vet-Friendly Bill: By Debbie Gregory

Obama signs Tax Credits

On December 3, 2014, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 was passed in the House as H.R. 5771, by a vote of 378-46. On December 16th, the bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 76-16. On December 19th, the Tax Increase Prevention Act was presented to President Obama, who signed it into law.

The newly-passed bill approved a one year renewal for over forty tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013, extending them through the end of 2014. The law allows employers, energy users, and large corporations to claim a slew of tax breaks for 2014.

Among the programs extended by the passing of the bill were two Veteran employment tax credits. Both were previous government programs that offered employers an incentive to hire Veterans.

The Employer Wage Credit (EWC) allows businesses who employ members of the active duty military to claim a special tax credit.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit made available to employers who hire individuals from specified target groups that have been recognized as having difficulty finding employment. Veterans make up one of these target groups, especially female Veterans and Veterans from the Global War on Terror era. Both have had consistent unemployment rates far above the national average.

Previous bills have been unsuccessful in getting long-term extensions approved for these same programs. Renewing the expired tax credits will create an incentive in the form of tax credits for employers who hire Veterans and members of other target groups, making them more desirable hires for businesses of all sizes.

There are close to fifty tax credits included in the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, including tax extenders that will benefit both individual citizens and business owners. Individual tax extenders include deductions for mortgage insurance premiums, tuition expenses, contributions of property interests for conservation purposes, and expenses accrued by K-12 teachers. There are also exemptions for distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes. Individuals can also get energy tax extenders, including tax credits for residential efficiency improvements.There are also numerous tax extenders for the use of renewable and environmentally safer energy sources.

A full list of tax credits can be seen on the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 Web portal at has advocated for and promoted this specific legislation and several similar bills before it. We are thrilled that WOTC, the EWC and several other tax credits that benefit Veteran employment and regular citizens’ tax returns have been approved as components of the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014. We would like to commend our elected leaders for looking beyond party politics and getting this legislation passed.

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Military Connection: Obama Signs Vet-Friendly Bill: By Debbie Gregory