Chapter 63 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 31N the following section: -
Section 31O. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the following meanings:
"Qualified graduate", a Massachusetts resident who (i) was awarded an associate's or bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education in the Commonwealth within the three years immediately preceding the date the person was hired into a full-time job, and (ii) was not an independent contractor of the small business within such three-year period.
"Sustained employment", a period of employment that is at least 185 days during a taxable year.
(b) For each taxable year on or after January 1, 2015, each taxpayer is entitled to a credit against the excise due under this chapter in an amount equal to 5%, but in no event to exceed $600, of the gross wages paid by the taxpayer to a qualified graduate in the course of that graduate’s sustained employment during the taxable year.
(c) If a taxpayer is subject to a minimum excise under this chapter, the amount of credit allowed shall not reduce the excise to an amount less than the minimum excise.
(d) A taxpayer entitled to a credit under this section for any taxable year may carry over and apply to its excise for any 1 or more of the next succeeding 5 taxable years, the portion, as reduced from year to year, of those credits which exceed the excise for the taxable year. The tax credit shall be applied to the earliest year for which there is a tax liability. If there are credits for more than one year that are available to offset a liability, the earlier credit shall be applied first.
(e) A taxpayer that has previously been approved to receive a credit under this section shall not be eligible to receive said payment for more than one calendar year. A taxpayer may apply to receive a credit under this section that relates to a different application in the same calendar year or a different application in a different calendar year.
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