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Work Opportunity Tax Credit expanded to reach more employers

Tax credit between $1,200 to $9,600

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 8, 2016) — The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a federal program for employers to receive a tax credit for hiring employees in certain target groups, has been expanded to include qualified long-term unemployment recipients. Employers may receive this tax credit from $1,200 to $9,600 by hiring and retaining qualified employees from these specified target groups that have consistently faced significant barriers to employments.

On Dec. 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) that extends and modifies the WOTC program and the WOTC Empowerment Zones 2015-2016.

The act retroactively reauthorizes the original nine WOTC target groups for a five-year period, from Jan. 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2019, and adds qualified long-term unemployment individuals to the list. Employers may receive a WOTC certification tax credit for hiring qualified individuals from these specified target groups:

  • Veterans
  • Long-term temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) recipient
  • Qualified short-term temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) recipient
  • Qualified Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients
  • Qualified designated community residents
  • Qualified vocational rehabilitation referrals
  • Qualified summer youth employees
  • Qualified ex-felons
  • Qualified supplemental security income recipients
  • Qualified long-term unemployment individuals

A long-term unemployment recipient is define as any individual who is certified by the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training as being in a period of unemployment which is not less than 27 consecutive weeks and includes a period in which the individual was receiving unemployment compensation under state or federal law.

WOTC empowerment zones of the designated community residents target group continues until Dec. 31.

The new WOTC program changes also include a transitional relief period for employers from the 28-day timely filing requirement by providing additional time to file a WOTC IRS Form 8850 with the Kentucky Career Center Tax Credit Unit. The extension gives employers additional time to obtain the certification for an employee hired between Jan. 1, 2015 to Aug. 31, 2016. WOTC requests submitted on or after Sept. 30 are not eligible for the transitional relief period.

The online WOTC system will move all currently submitted transitional relief period WOTC requests from denied due to the IRS Form 8850 not being received in a timely manner to a pending status to be re-processed. The projected date for this move of currently submitted WOTC requests is October 2016. Employers should monitor the status of all submitted Kentucky WOTC requests after this projected date.

To obtain the WOTC certification tax credit, Kentucky employers must submit IRS Form 8850 and ETA Form 9061 to the Kentucky Work Opportunity Tax Credit Online System or mail the forms to the Kentucky Career Center, 275 E. Main St., 2WA, Frankfort, KY 40621. Employers can submit applications via the online system at https://wotc.ky.gov. The Kentucky Work Opportunity Tax Credit Unit does not accept faxed WOTC requests.