The Bullseye - February 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

In this Issue:
Veteran Tax Credits Extended,
Alumni Update,
Working an Irregular Shift,
Congratulations to This Month's Winner,
How to Maneuver an Office Romance,
Connect with Orion

Veteran Tax Credits Extended

On January 1, 2013, Congress passed a bill that extended the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits through December 31, 2013. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600. There is no limit to the number of qualified veterans for whom you can claim this credit.
 
 
 
 
Who is an eligible veteran?
 
Returning Heroes Tax Credit
  • Short-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $6,000 of wages (up to $2,400) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for at least 4 weeks.
  • Long-term Unemployed: A new credit of 40% of the first $14,000 of wages (up to $5,600) for employers who hire veterans who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.
Wounded Warrior Tax Credit
  • Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: Maintains the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for veterans with service-connected disabilities hired within one year of being discharged from the military. The credit is 40% of the first $12,000 of wages (up to $4,800).
  • Long-Term Unemployed Veterans with Services-Connected Disabilities: A new credit of 40% of the first $24,000 of wages (up to $9,600) for firms that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been in receipt of unemployment insurance or compensation for longer than 6 months.
What should you do to file for these credits?

You must submit Form 8850Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit and Form 9061, Individual Characteristics Form (ICF) Work Opportunity Tax Credit, to the WOTC Coordinator within your State Workforce Agency (do not mail to the IRS) within 28 days from when the veteran begins work. 
 
Businesses should claim these credits on their income tax returns. Currently, the IRS allows companies to carry these incentives back one year or forward 20 years. The credit is first figured on Form 5884 and then becomes a part of the general business credit claimed on Form 3800.
 

PLEASE NOTE: Orion ICS, LLC, its affiliates and its employees are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice to any taxpayer. This content is for general information purposes only, and is not intended or written to be used without the advice of the taxpayer’s independent tax advisor.

Alumni Update

Joe Capra

The Bullseye recently connected with Joseph Capra, a Field Artillery Lieutenant who found his career with Buckman Laboratories through Orion in 2008. He shared his civilian career experience with us and gives some insight into why veterans make such great employees.

Since starting as an Apprentice at Buckman, a specialty chemical company, in 2008, Capra has been promoted to Sales Representative for three large accounts and most recently to a large territory. His next promotion will likely be Regional Sales Manager or Product Line Manager.

Capra’s career is in sales for the pulp and paper industry. And he finds an interesting correlation between his career as an Area Representative and his military artillery experience. “I specialized in targeting. And many of the methods that I learned were translated into non-lethal targeting to achieve sales goals! In fact, my first sale was to sell the idea of getting out of the Army to my wife,” he muses.

His continued growth within the company is attributable in part to his military experience. “My job is half-technical and half-relational. Many managers have said: ‘I can teach someone the technical, but I can't teach ethics and relations.’ I have built business relations with managers that wanted to know more about my military service. I have also been able to find common ground with customers that have served in the past,” Capra explains.

When asked for his advice for hiring managers looking to bring veterans onboard, Capra says, "Veterans have a dedication to mission success and courage that serves them well in the civilian workplace. Not many people challenge themselves in the way that service members do."

He goes to explain, "Veterans understand how to serve a greater purpose. They hold themselves to a higher ethical standard and are driven to succeed. Their identity isn't determined by position or job title, but by their performance." Ultimately, he reminds employers that veterans are a "full-package deal that bring many skills that can't be taught in the best Ivy League schools.”

You can learn more about Capra's transition experience here. To share your story, please email us.

Working an Irregular Shift

For those in the medical or technical field, working irregular hours is the norm. While shift work can have some benefits, such as a higher salary and a less stressful work environment (not to mention zero time stuck in traffic on the daily commute!), it can also wreak havoc on your health – if you let it.

An irregular shift doesn’t have to be seen as a downside to any career. Follow these tips for coping with a shift that doesn’t follow the normal 9-5 work day.

Prepare. Perhaps the hardest thing about working irregular hours is getting enough sleep. Since our bodies operate on a circadian rhythm, meaning you feel awake when the sun is up and start to feel tired after it goes down, it is important to prepare for a good night’s rest to combat this innate rhythm. To “trick” your body to feel tired, power off your cell phone and other electronic devices an hour before bedtime. Studies have shown that the artificial light from cell phones and other electronic devices are the main factor for sleepless nights (or days, as in the case of shift work). Install black out curtains, and transform your bedroom into a room for solely sleeping.

Schedule. Daytime workers usually leave work, run a few errands, and relax at home before going to bed. Just because you work an odd shift doesn’t mean your schedule has to suffer. Try to follow a similar schedule to that of daytime workers within your own routine.

Sleep. It is important that the sleep you get is fulfilling, leaving you waking up feeling refreshed. The average adult should be sleeping between 6-8 hours, but it depends on the individual. More importantly, your body needs to finish sleep cycles in order to feel fully rested.

Family. Make sure your family is aware and respectful of your irregular hours and the importance of getting the sleep that you need.

An irregular shift doesn’t have to be a drag. Be sure to keep getting the right amount of sleep each day, and your body will automatically adjust to becoming a night owl.

Related articles:

How to Cope With Rotating Shift Work

Congratulations to This Month's Winner

 

Alexander Arntz won the Job Seeker Referral monthly drawing and is the winner of a $50 gift card.  
 
Ready for your chance to win a $50 gift card? You’ll receive an entry into our monthly drawings for Client and Job Seeker referrals for each referral that you submit – good luck and thank you for the referral!

How to Maneuver an Office Romance

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, love is on everyone’s mind, even in the workplace. While office romances seem more prevalent in movies and TV shows, they are surprisingly common: in a 2011 study conducted by CareerBuilder, 40% of workers admit to have dated a co-worker, and 30% say they have ended up marrying someone they worked with. While romance in the office may not be on your radar, it is important to develop guidelines for you and your potential significant other, should you find yourself in an office romance. Below are some tips on how to maneuver the office romance issue, and help your work environment – and your partner’s – remain a peaceful and safe place to work.

Know your office policies. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the protocols surrounding dating in the office, and understand them completely. If you are unsure about a certain aspect of your company’s policies, ask Human Resources. It is better to know all the ins and outs of the policy than to have just a general knowledge, for your own safety.

Set up “ground rules.” With your company’s Human Resources department, it would be a good idea to set up some guidelines for yourself and your significant other, especially if the relationship turns sour.

Don’t let your job suffer. Remember, you are there to work, not spend time with your loved one. Keep your priorities in check and your personal tasks and work goals as your main focus.

Consider making your relationship private. While you should definitely let Human Resources know, it may be a good idea to keep your relationship private from your co-workers, lest you become to topic of water cooler gossip. This could also help if your relationship doesn’t exactly as planned.

With any office romance, it is best to tread carefully and consider heavily the consequences of becoming involved with a co-worker, but it doesn’t have to be completely avoided.

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