March 27th, 2022, marks the second anniversary of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill that authorized the Employee Retention Credit (“ERC”). The ERC is a refundable payroll tax credit based on wages paid to employees at organizations that either (1) have been fully or partially shut down due to a government order OR (2) had gross receipts decline a certain percentage relative to gross receipts in the same calendar quarter of 2019.
As the country continues to grind through the COVID-19 pandemic, states have been looking for ways to help businesses impacted by the unprecedented economic downturn. In addition to the incentives offered by the Federal government, several states have acted on their own either by authorizing new, COVID specific incentives, amending existing programs or by working within the confines of the existing rules and regulations of some programs.
Despite the size of the veteran workforce, tapping into the population has proved to be a challenge for many non-governmental employers. In 2012, to address the challenges faced by Gulf War-era II Veterans, Congress passed the Vow to Hire Hero’s Act, which expanded the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (“WOTC”) with the addition of four new, veteran-specific categories. The WOTC was created in 1996 to provide a federal tax credit to employers that hire individuals from specific target groups. People from these target groups have been identified by the U.S. government as having historically high unemployment rates. By many measures, the WOTC has been a success and continues to have bi-partisan support in Congress.