COLUMBUS, Ohio " As Veterans Day approaches, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding Ohio employers that if they hire a qualifying veteran by Dec. 31, they may be eligible for a valuable tax credit.

The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 provided an expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit for businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans. It also made the credit available to certain tax-exempt organizations.

The credit can be as high as $9,600 per veteran for for-profit employers or up to $6,240 for tax-exempt organizations. The amount of the credit depends on a number of factors, including the length of the veteran's unemployment period before hiring, hours worked and the amount of first-year wages paid. Employers who hire veterans with service-related disabilities may be eligible for the maximum credit.

Qualifed veterans must have begun work on or after Nov. 22, 2011 but before Jan. 1, 2013. Employers must file Form 8850 with their state workforce agency. The form must be filed within 28 days after the qualified veteran starts work. Some states accept Form 8850 electronically.

Details on the tax credit are available at the website (search for "WOTC'). Information about state workforce agencies can be found at the U.S. Department of Labor's WOTC website.