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How Does the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Work?

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) will be available through December 31st, 2020, as per recent updates to the law due to COVID-19.

What is it?

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit that is available to employers for hiring individuals from “targeted groups”- groups that have faced difficulty and barriers to be employed. It joins with other workforce programs that encourages companies to increase diversity in the workplace and facilitates access to good jobs for American workers.

The employer can claim the credit for ages paid to the individuals during the first year of their employment as long as they are hired before 31st of December 2020 and has worked for the employer for at least 120 hours during that year.

The credit is calculated as 25% of the wages paid to an employee that has worked between 120 and 400 hours and 40% of the wages paid to an employee that has worked for more than 400 hours. These amounts are subject to maximums- they depend on the employees targeted-group that they belong to.

To claim the WOTC, an employer needs to obtain the certification from a state workforce agency that the individual is a member of the targeted group. If the employer has not obtained it before the individual is hired, they must file Form 8850 with their state workforce agency within 28 days of hiring the employee. The employee must work for at least 120 hours for the employer to claim the credits.

This was initially enacted in 2007 and was originally set to expire at the end of 2019. However it was extended for another year to allow the employers to claim WOTC for employees hired on or after December 31st, 2020.

For more information related to your taxes, visit Landmark Tax.

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