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Mass. Governor Proposes State WOTC Credit for Hiring Veterans

In his fiscal year 2018 budget proposal, Mass. Governor Charlie Baker is proposing a state credit to small employers who hire WOTC qualified veterans. The credit would be up to $4,000 over two years, but would only be available to businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

The proposed language of the legislation is:

SECTION 35. Chapter 63 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 38FF the following new section:-
Section 38GG. Veterans Tax Credit.
(a) A business corporation with not more than 100 employees that qualifies for and claims the Work Opportunity Credit, so called, allowed under the provisions of section 51 of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, as amended and in effect for the taxable year, for the hiring of 1 or more qualified veterans in Massachusetts, shall be allowed a credit against its excise due under this chapter in an amount equal to $2,000 for each qualified veteran hired by the business corporation. For purposes of this section, the term “qualified veteran” shall have the same meaning as under section 51(d)(3) of such Code.

(b) To be eligible for a credit under this section, (1) the primary place of employment of the qualified veteran must be in the commonwealth, and (2) on or before the day an individual begins work, a business corporation must have obtained the applicable certification from the department of career services or any successor agency that the individual is a qualified veteran.

(c) In the case of a business corporation that is subject to a minimum excise under any provision of this chapter, the amount of the credit allowed by this section shall not reduce the excise to an amount less than such minimum excise.

(d) A business corporation that is eligible for and claims the credit allowed under this section in a taxable year with respect to a qualified veteran shall be eligible for a second credit of $2,000 in the subsequent taxable year with respect to such qualified veteran, subject to certification of continued employment during the subsequent taxable year in the manner required by the commissioner. Any credit allowed under this section shall not be transferable or refundable. Any amount of the credit allowed by this section that exceeds the tax due for a taxable year may be carried forward to any of the 3 subsequent taxable years.

There is a problem in that subsection (b)(2) requires that the business obtain the relevant WOTC certificate “on or before the day an individual begins work,” which doesn’t happen under the WOTC program. Hopefully they’ll clean up this language.

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