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News Stories



  • Optimistic on Tax Reform/WOTC in the Budget

    Carolyn Tschida - 5/25/2017

     

    WOTC Coalition President Paul Suplizio shares with us his latest insight from Capitol Hill. He explains with the President’s budget now public and Obamacare set aside for now, that leadership is optimistic that they can achieve agreement on a budget that lifts the debt ceiling, funds the government for FY 2018 and passes tax reform before the close of the year.

     

    Paul notes that leaders are aiming to pass a congressional budget in June, containing some of the President’s cuts, rejecting others and some are preparing to cut into entitlements that weren’t touched. The President will likely fight for his signature demands of defense, veterans, infrastructure, school choice, immigration and the wall.

     

    WOTC is presently in the “Tax Expenditures” section of the budget and projected costs assume expiration at the end of 2019. The State Workforce Agencies that administer the tax credit are on the reduction block, which will likely be a disagreement point for Appropriation Committees.

     

    Paul sees agreement from both houses as key to passing tax reform – overrides can be made under reconciliation but tax reform can’t be filibustered and a simple majority can pass the bill. Content negotiations will intensify with the Treasury Secretary and passage could be delayed until 2018. The President’s budget requires revenue neutrality meaning eliminating to find funding, while Congress is generally agreeable to allowing cuts to add to the deficit.

     

    WOTC looks to be on solid ground as the President’s letter on the budget states, “Work must be the center of our social policy.” The tax reform struggle will likely pit stake holders against one another for a place in the bill that will be decided by 535 congressman and senators before the Republicans eventually pass it.  If this takes a long time, we’ll simply have more opportunities to reach out to our own legislators in support of WOTC.

     


  • Two Congressional Hearings Related to WOTC

    Teresa Anderson - 5/16/2017

    There’ll be two hearings in Congress this week related to WOTC:

     

    • 1. Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady will hold a full committee hearing on “How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy And Create Jobs Across America,” at 10 AM on May 18th in Room 1100 Longworth House Office Building.  Only invited witnesses will testify.

     

    • 2. Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (R-NE) will hold a subcommittee hearing on “Opportunities For Youth and Young Adults To Break The Cycle of Poverty” at 10 AM on May 17th in Room 2020 of Rayburn House Office Building.  Only invited witnesses will testify. 

     

    According to the announcement, “This hearing will highlight innovative approaches to helping vulnerable youth transition into adulthood and move up the economic ladder.”

     

    The full committee hearing on May 18th can be accessed electronically by going to www.waysandmeans.house.gov around 9:50 AM and following guidance posted there.

     

    Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coalition will be submitting statements for the record for both hearings. 

     

    Coalition members may also submit statements for the record.  This must be done electronically, simply follow instructions at the hearing announcement, www.waysandmeans.house.gov and click on “Hearings.”  Contact us if you have any questions.

     

    Deadlines for submission of statements for the record are close of business May 31st for the Human Resources Subcommittee hearing, and June 1 for the Full Committee hearing. 

     

    Feel free to contact us at 703-587-4566 if you have any questions or comments related to these hearings. By: PAUL E SUPLIZIO, President, WOTC Coalition 


  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit can Help Employers Hiring New Workers; Key Certification Requirement Applies

    Carolyn - 5/10/2017

    WASHINGTON –The Internal Revenue Service today reminded employers planning to hire new workers that there’s a valuable tax credit available to those who hire long-term unemployment recipients and others certified by their state workforce agency. During National Small Business Week—April 30 to May 6—the IRS is highlighting tax benefits and resources designed to help new and existing small businesses. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a long-standing income tax benefit that encourages employers to hire designated categories of workers who face significant barriers to employment.

     

    The credit, usually claimed on Form 5884, is generally based on wages paid to eligible workers during the first two years of employment. To qualify for the credit, an employer must first request certification by filing IRS Form 8850 with the state workforce agency within 28 days after the eligible worker begins work. Other requirements and further details can be found in the instructions to Form 8850. There are now 10 categories of WOTC-eligible workers. The newest category, added effective Jan. 1, 2016, is for long-term unemployment recipients who had been unemployed for a period of at least 27 weeks and received state or federal unemployment benefits during part or all of that time.

     

    The other categories include certain veterans and recipients of various kinds of public assistance, among others.

     

    The 10 categories are:

    • Qualified IV-A Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients

    • Unemployed veterans, including disabled veterans

    • Ex-felons

    • Designated community residents living in Empowerment Zones or Rural Renewal Counties

    • Vocational rehabilitation referrals

    • Summer youth employees living in Empowerment Zones

    • Food stamp (SNAP) recipients

    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients

    • Long-term family assistance recipients

    • Qualified long-term unemployment recipients.

     

    Eligible businesses claim the WOTC on their income tax return. The credit is first figured on Form 5884 and then becomes a part of the general business credit claimed on Form 3800. Though the credit is not available to tax-exempt organizations for most categories of new hires, a special rule allows them to get the WOTC for hiring qualified veterans. These organizations claim the credit on Form 5884-C. Visit the WOTC page on IRS.gov for more information.


  • NAGC Supports Permanent WOTC

    Teresa Anderson - 3/8/2017

    National Association of Governors Committees for Employment of People With Disabilities (NAGC) kicks off the campaign of disability advocates for permanent WOTC with these letters to congressional leaders.


    We are counting on the Consortium for Citizens With Disabilities Employment and Training and others of 20 major disability organizations united in WOTC Coalition to send parallel letters to Capitol Hill as soon as possible.


    Moreover, as we’ve seen with The Military Coalition representing 39 major veterans organizations, a joint letter on behalf of all twenty major organizations of disability advocates is bound to have a major impact when Congress begins turning to tax reform next month. We are counting on you to lend your support to a joint letter.


    We need all disability advocates in the fight to make WOTC a permanent tool for creating job opportunities for people with disabilities. WOTC is vitally important to those with a disability seeking jobs--it must be equally vital to disability advocates because successful employment is, for many, the cornerstone of dignity and equality in their lives.



    PAUL E SUPLIZIO President, WOTC Coalition

  • Washington State announces the new Credit for Hiring Unemployed Veterans:

    Carolyn Tschida - 1/1/2017

     

    Washington State announces the new Credit for Hiring Unemployed Veterans:

    Businesses hiring unemployed veterans for full-time employment positions located in Washington beginning October 1, 2016, are eligible for a credit against their business and occupation (B&O) tax or public utility tax (PUT). (RCW 82.04.4498 and 82.16.0499) You can earn credits through June 30, 2022. You must claim all credits earned by June 30, 2023.

    How much is the credit? The credit equals 20 percent of the wages and benefits you paid to or on behalf of a qualified employee, up to a maximum of $1,500 for each qualified employee hired on or after October 1, 2016.  There is no limit on the total credit an employer may receive. However, the total statewide credits may not exceed $500,000 per fiscal year. The amount of credit you claim during a reporting period cannot be more than the amount of your B&O tax and PUT owed during that period. The same credit may not be claimed for both B&O tax and PUT. 

    How do I earn a credit? You earn a credit by employing a qualified employee for a position located in Washington for at least two consecutive full calendar quarters on or after October 1, 2016 and before June 30, 2022.

    How do I calculate the credit? You calculate the credit on 20 percent of the wages and benefits you paid to the qualified employee, or on behalf of the qualified employee from the time the employee was hired through at least the first two consecutive full calendar quarters of employment. You may earn additional credit for wages and benefits paid during future reporting periods until you reach the individual cap. The cap is $1,500 per qualified employee or $500,000 for the statewide fiscal year cap. Example: Employee is hired on October 1, 2016. The credit equals 20 percent of the wages and benefits paid by you to the qualified employee or on behalf of the qualified employee through March 31, 2017. Credit may be claimed on the March 2017 or Quarter 1, 2017 return. Wages and benefits paid during the next reporting period may be claimed on future returns until the credit of $1,500 per qualified employee or the $500,000 statewide fiscal cap is met. For further instructions, see example under  the How do I claim the credit section.

    How is the credit claimed? 

     Ÿ Credits are available on a first-in-time basis.

     Ÿ You may claim a credit, if the qualified employee has been employed by you for at least two consecutive full calendar quarters. Example: You hire a qualified employee on October 1, 2016 (Quarter 4, 2016). The employee must be employed by you for two consecutive full calendar quarters before you can claim a credit. Quarter 4, 2016 and Quarter 1, 2017 are consecutive full calendar quarters. Therefore, the employee must be employed by you through the end of Quarter 1, which is March 31, 2017, to earn you a credit.

     Ÿ Monthly filers may claim the credit on their March 2017 return due April 25, 2017

     Ÿ Quarterly filers may claim the credit on their Quarter 1, 2017 return April 30, 2017.

     Ÿ Annual filers may claim the credit on their Annual 2017 return due January 31, 2018.   If you hired the qualified employee on October 15, 2016 (Quarter 4, 2016), you would not be able to claim a credit until the June 2017 return due July 25, 2017 or Quarter 2, 2017 return due July 31, 2017. That is because Quarter 4, 2016 does not count as a full calendar quarter since the employee was hired mid October. You count Quarter 1 and Quarter 2, 2017 as the first two full calendar quarters. 

     Ÿ Credits are claimed electronically through your tax filing account in the Department’s E-file system (My Account).

     Ÿ Credits may be carried over until used, but must be claimed on returns filed no later than June 30, 2023.

     Ÿ Credits will not be refunded. 

     

    What if I claim a credit and the statewide limit has been reached? We will provide you written notice, if all or part of your credit claimed is disallowed. The notice will include the amount of tax to be paid within 30 days. If for some reason you do not pay the tax, penalties and interest will be assessed.  You may carry over the disallowed portion of your credit to the next fiscal year. However, you can only claim it if the cap for the next fiscal year is not exceeded. We will give credits carried over from a previous fiscal year priority when allowing businesses to claim credits. 

    What are the recordkeeping requirements? You must keep records necessary for the department to determine if you are eligible for the credit, including records that show:

     Ÿ The employee’s status as a veteran and 

     Ÿ The employee was unemployed for at least 30 days when hired. 

    What happens if I have to dismiss the employee? If you dismiss a qualified employee for whom you have claimed a credit, you may not claim a new credit for any employee one year from the date the qualified employee was dismissed. This waiting period does not apply if the qualified employee was let go for misconduct  (RCW 50.04.294) connected with his or her work, or let go due to a felony or gross misdemeanor conviction, and you thoroughly document the reason for the dismissal at the time. 

    Annual Tax Incentive Survey You must electronically file an Annual Tax Incentive Survey every year you claim the credit. The survey is filed through your tax filing account in the department’s e-file system (called My Account). The survey is due by May 31 of the year following the calendar year in which you claim the credit. For example, if you claim the credit on tax returns for periods in 2017, you must file a 2017 Annual Tax Incentive Survey by May 31, 2018 (RCW 82.32.585).

    Definitions “Full time” means a normal work week of at least thirty-five hours. “Qualified employee” means an unemployed veteran who is employed in a permanent full-time position for at least two consecutive full calendar quarters. For seasonal employers, “qualified employee” also includes the equivalent of a full-time employee in work hours for two consecutive full calendar quarters. “Unemployed” means that the veteran was unemployed as defined in RCW 50.04.310 for at least thirty days immediately preceding the date that the veteran was hired by the person claiming credit under this section for hiring the veteran. “Veteran” means every person who has received an honorable discharge or received a general discharge under honorable conditions or is currently serving honorably, and who has served as a member in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including the National Guard and armed forces reserves.

     


  • National League of Cities Passes Resolution Supporting Empowerment Zones

    Teresa Anderson - 11/30/2016

    WOTC Coalition message from: Paul Suplizio, President

    On November 19th, the National League of Cities passed a resolution supporting Empowerment Zones at its annual Congress of Cities in Pittsburgh.

    Text of the resolution, which guides NLC advocacy for the coming year, is as follows:


    “NLC supports long-term, direct federal funding to cities provided through various programs, such as:  Renewal Communities, Empowerment Zones, and Enterprise Communities programs.”

    Coalition members with operations in any of the 30 major cities with empowerment zones should urge city leaders to communicate with their US senators and congressmen, and immediately fax a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Deputy Minority Leader James Clyburn to ensure Empowerment Zone authority, which expires on December 31st, is renewed before Congress adjourns.  Should Congress fail to act, EZ authority is likely to expire well into next year and it will take a major effort to resurrect it in the new Congress.

    The thirty cities with Empowerment Zones are:


    • Baltimore, MD
    • Boston, MA
    • Chicago, IL
    • Cincinnati, OH
    • Cleveland, OH
    • Columbia/Sumter, SC
    • Columbus, OH
    • Cumberland County, NJ
    • Detroit, MI
    • El Paso, TX
    • Fresno, CA
    • Gary/Hammond/East Chicago, IN
    • Huntington, WV/Ironton, OH
    • Jacksonville, FL
    • Knoxville, TN
    • Los Angeles, CA (city and county)
    • Miami/Dade County, FL
    • Minneapolis, MN
    • New Haven, CT
    • New York, NY
    • Norfolk/Portsmouth, VA
    • Oklahoma City, OK
    • Philadelphia, Pa/Camden, NJ
    • Pulaski County, AR
    • San Antonio, TX
    • Santa Ana, CA
    • St. Louis, MO/East St. Louis, IL
    • Syracuse, NY
    • Tucson, AZ
    • Yonkers, NY

  • MARS STOUT – Tax Credits for Businesses: A Niche Market Success!

    Teresa Anderson - 8/1/2016

    MARS STOUT – Tax Credits for Businesses: A Niche Market Success!

    For more than 30 years, the Western Montana-based firm of MARS STOUT has distinguished itself as a leader in providing invaluable aid to businesses in the quest to take advantage of tax savings opportunities. As evidenced by their corporate mission and their client testimonials, they’ve successfully connected principled business practices with innovative strategies to create a service that a wide range of businesses rely on to navigate the complexities of federal tax credits.


    MARS STOUT’s primary focus is on helping clients benefit from the federally-funded Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program. WOTC was implemented originally for a one-year period as part of Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996, and since its inception has been successful enough to result in its repeated extension. The most recent operating term is extended through 2019, and MARS STOUT is positioned to be a leading provider of consulting services to their current and future clients during and beyond this term.


    MARS STOUT provides a solution to a widely-held misconception: that a firm’s accountant would handle the process of applying for federal tax credits. In reality, this is generally not the case, since the application for WOTC credits is so closely aligned with the hiring process rather than the after-the-fact accounting process. As a result, many businesses end up missing out on substantial tax credits–$2400 to $9600–for each qualified new worker they hire. MARS STOUT’s growth and success has been based on filling this need by helping businesses capture these lucrative tax credits.


    WOTC’s design is to help targeted groups of workers who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. MARS STOUT serves as an intermediary between workers in these target groups and their employers, conducting the screening process that determines the employers’ eligibility to capitalize on the tax credits potentially available to them.


    Used effectively, WOTC provides savings to participating employers while promoting workplace diversity and good employment opportunities for American workers. In fact, each year employers claim over $1 billion in tax credits through participation in WOTC, making it a highly beneficial program for business, the workforce, and the nation’s economy.


    “Many businesses have been missing out on the financial benefit of WOTC,” notes Leslee Tschida, Vice President of Tax Credit Services. “We find that small- to mid-size employers are often unaware of the tax credit program or the eligibility of their new hires to qualify for it.” Recognizing this fact of business life has led MARS STOUT to double-down on their goal of helping clients “retain their hard earned revenue by maximizing their tax credits and reducing their tax liability.”


    MARS STOUT works directly with hiring employers to screen new workers so that the acquisition of tax credits is expedited with little effort on the part of either the business or the governmental agency administering the program. “WOTC is a win-win program for all involved,” reports Ms. Tschida, “since it benefits businesses while facilitating the productive employment of people in often underserved groups, such as veterans, people on governmental assistance programs, and workers in specific geographic areas.”


    MARS STOUT offers clients a technology-based, on-line screening process that integrates a tax credit eligibility assessment directly into the company’s hiring process, subsequently communicating directly and electronically with each state’s certification agency. Through this process, Ms. Tschida notes, clerical hand-offs are minimized, deadlines can be policed, and rejections of applications are minimized. As a well-respected service provider, MARS STOUT has built a reputation that allows them to get the attention of regulatory agencies so that process improvements can continually be implemented to everyone’s benefit.


    One of the most significant hurdles MARS STOUT has faced in the past is the inherent uncertainty of working within a federally-funded program that, in the past, needed to be re-activated annually. The current multi-year extension has somewhat lessened this uncertainly, at least through 2019, enabling the firm to focus its attention on promoting awareness of the program’s benefits to small and intermediate employers across the country. “We know we need to continue to get the word out.” explains Ms. Tschida, “We believe that our future is bright, and that we’ll benefit from the use of outlets like AMAC Small Business Solutions to promote awareness of what’s available to them.”


    One of the striking characteristics of MARS STOUT is their strong adherence to family principles. As a three-generation enterprise, they’ve been able to grow from a 1983 start-up to one of the most well-respected tax advisory services in the country, along the way securing hundreds of millions of dollars in tax-credits and incentives for clients. Their employee base of roughly 35 professionals extends services to clients in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and they accomplish this with a style that sets them apart in a marketplace of specialists.


    MARS STOUT’s optimism for the road ahead is realistic, since what they’re offering clients is a seamless, easily-executed way to reduce their tax liability while building their workforce and bolstering employment opportunities for workers in groups facing substantial obstacles. Overall, it’s a clear win-win for all involved!


  • Training and Employment Guidance Letter Work Opportunity Tax Credit 2015 Reauthorization

    Teresa Anderson - 6/17/2016

    By: Paul Suplizio, President, WOTC Coalition

    Below is the official announcement and a link to Training and Employment Guidance Letter 25-15, containing guidance to State Workforce Agencies for processing employer requests for certification of eligible workers hired during the 2015 hiatus and for long-term unemployment recipients hired on or after January 1, 2016. 


    http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/corr_doc.cfm?DOCN=6309


    Dates for transitional relief have been extended by this TEGL as requested by your Coalition in communications with Labor and Treasury.  Transitional relief is now granted for both 2015 hires and long-term unemployment recipients who begin work for the employer or file IRS Form 8850 on or before August 31, 2016, and file requests for certification before September 29, 2016.


    New ETA Forms 9061, 9062, and 9063, and a new Long-Term Unemployment Recipient Self-Attestation form are now at available at a link given in the TEGL.  The Self-Attestation form is required for submission with each request for certification for a long-term unemployment recipient. 


    The reason for the SAF is that Unemployment Insurance records may not be available immediately for WOTC Processing Units to verify length of unemployment and receipt of unemployment compensation, or they may not be available at all. 


    The TEGL recognizes that employers and their representatives need additional time to input the new forms to their computers, and therefore grants a 90-day grace period from the date of issuance of the TEGL, June 17, 2016, to allow conversion to be accomplished.  After 90 days, the new and revised forms will be required.  


    During the 90 day grace period, the TEGL recognizes States may not be able to accept electronic filing, and advises employers to contact and follow the guidance of their WOTC Processing Units concerning the manner of filing.


  • DOL PATH Act 2015 - WOTC Interim Instructions (1.27.16).pdf

    Traci Dukes - 2/2/2016

    Interim Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Instructions for State Workforce Agencies have been issued by the Department of Labor.

    The new instructions from the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) have been issued in support of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act) that extends the WOTC retroactively for hires from 12/31/2014 through 12/31/2019. The two page instruction document is available at


  • President Obama Signs Omnibus/Tax Extenders Into Law

    Teresa Anderson - 12/18/2015

    President Obama signed H.R. 2029, “Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016” into law as soon as it reached his desk today, December 18, 2015.


    I guess the saying “better late than never” applies…today Congress passed “Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act Of 2015” which retroactively extends the WOTC Program and the VOW To Hire Heroes Act veterans credits through the end of 2019. They also expanded WOTC to provide employers with tax credits for hiring workers who were unemployed for more than 27 weeks and received unemployment compensation for a period of that time. We’ve already modified our screening processes to include this new target group as of January 1, 2016, when this credit goes into effect.

    The Indian Employment Credit, Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities tax benefits were retroactively extended for two years through the end of 2016. Provisions modify the incentive beginning in 2016 by allowing employees to meet the enterprise zone facility bond employment requirement if they are residents of the empowerment zone, an enterprise community, or a qualified low-income community within an applicable nominating jurisdiction.

    Fortunately we continued to screen potential new hires for our business partners throughout 2015 so they'll be able to take full advantage of these tax credits. 

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous, happy New Year!

    Leslee Tschida, VP Tax Credit Services -MARS STOUT
    leslee.tschida@marsstout.com
    800-451-6277


  • WOTC Coalition Must Act Today!

    Teresa Anderson - 12/16/2015

    From Paul Suplizio, President, WOTC Coalition


    Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 with five-year extension of WOTC and Vow To Hire Heroes Act


    We aren’t over the finish line. House whips are calling on us for help. Nothing is certain about the House vote on tax extenders tomorrow. WOTC Coalition members must act!


    The “Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act” which includes a five-year extension of WOTC and VOW to Hire Heroes Act veterans credits will be voted on separately in the House tomorrow, Thursday, not packaged with the Omnibus which will be voted on Friday.


    Imperative you reach out to your congressman today urging them to vote to support the “Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act” because it will grow jobs and be good for America.


    You must use e-mail, fax, or telephone—time is of the essence! Congressmen will be counting their “pro” and “con” messages and it’s imperative they hear from constituents in their district.


    If you are a firm with significant operations in their district, mention that fact.


    Veterans organizations, disability advocates, minority and community organizations should notify branches to contact their congressman urgently with our message.


    Today and tomorrow morning is our last chance to make sure a five-year extension of WOTC and VOW Act veterans credits becomes a reality.


    We must win this vote by working now, leaving nothing to chance! 


  • Tax Extenders May Be Part Of Fiscal Cliff Deal

    Teresa Anderson - 10/21/2015

    By: WOTC Coalition Update from Paul Suplizio

    Last week was a good opportunity to contact Republican congressmen and women at home and you replied heartily. Our thanks to the many Coalition members who powered this effort—priority states with congressmen serving on Ways and Means were fully covered, leaving little doubt tax writers are hearing the case for WOTC.

    Key members of Congress returning this week are presently encountering fifty lobbyists of large organizations working for renewal of the fifty-five expired tax provisions, including WOTC and VOW To Hire Heroes Act jobs tax credits. WOTC Coalition, US Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers, and many others are pressing this effort, but no extenders bill has been introduced yet in the House. Introduction of a bill soon is critical because extenders’ advocates need a target they can generate support for.

    The window for Congress to act is closing. Treasury has just told Congress the debt ceiling must be raised by November 3rd or the government will be forced to default. Reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund must be enacted by October 29th or the government will be unable to collect the gasoline tax.

    The Highway bill is moving—today Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster introduced the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (HR 3763) and committee will mark up the bill this Thursday. It will then go to Ways and Means which has responsibility for raising revenue to fund the six-year construction program authorized by the measure.

    Debt ceiling and highways are the last two tax bills of the session—tax extenders legislation for 2015 and beyond can be attached to either of these bills, although it now looks like the extenders will be part of a fiscal compromise between Congress and the White House.

    Already begun are high-level negotiation on another fiscal cliff—measures to fund the government, lift the debt ceiling, and raise or lower taxes are once again required in the same time period and must be addressed simultaneously in a compromise between Democratic president and Republican Congress.

    Tonight, Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan met with the arch-conservative wing of the Republican party and told them he’d take the speakership if they’d agree to work with him. If this comes to pass, Ryan will have a deciding voice in determining who the next Ways and Means chairman will be, as well as the content of legislation reforming the nation’s poverty programs, including permanent WOTC as an essential component of a poverty safety net focused on jobs.

    Ryan’s statement after the meeting is posted at www.waysandmeans.house.gov.

    Ryan has again re-emphasized his commitment to reform the nation’s poverty programs, issuing two blog entries which can be found at the Ways and Means web site, www.waysandmeans.house.gov, click on “Reasons for Reform: Helping People Escape Poverty.”

    Many of the poor are already covered by WOTC, including those receiving TANF, SNAP, SSI, SSDI, poverty area residents, and homeless veterans. The only major welfare program whose recipients aren’t in WOTC is Medicaid, and this Coalition goal would make more than 7 million more workers eligible. Sixty-two percent of working-age persons in poverty aren’t employed, and WOTC is the answer to helping these individuals obtain work.

    Over time, financial savings to the Federal government when poor people receiving public assistance find jobs has been shown to be at least $32 billion over ten years. Large additional savings will accrue when the portion of the work-ready poor who receive Medicaid are made WOTC-eligible. WOTC works in tandem with the earned-income tax credit because, once employed, families that remain in poverty due to low skills and low wages receive financial support from EITF as long as they work.


  • Uncertainty About International Tax Reform Could Speed Up Action On Tax Extenders

    Teresa Anderson - 9/11/2015

    By: Paul Suplizio, President, WOTC Coalition

    Ryan told Politico yesterday it was uncertain he could get international tax reform done this year.


    Recall Ryan supported House passage of a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund till October 29 hoping he could put together an international tax package to raise enough money to fund a six-year highway program.


    Ryan’s plan was to tax past-year foreign profits of US firms, which are presently tax-deferred, to fund highways. To soften the blow, a new concept called “innovation box” would tax income derived from intellectual property at a lower rate. The original innovation box proposal is now being revised and there’s no groundswell of support for “deemed repatriation” (taxing deferred profits) either.


    If Ryan’s plan fails to gain traction, House leaders can either pass another Highway extension or negotiate on the Highway bill already passed by the Senate. Either way, the process is cut and dried and can be handled without delaying Ways and Means from taking up the next most important tax issue on the table—extensions for 2015 and 2016 of WOTC, the VOW To Hire Heroes Act credits, and other expired tax provisions.


    Hopefully, Ryan will be looking to mark up a tax extenders bill in the next couple weeks. We are also asking that he make a decision to make WOTC and the VOW To Hire Heroes Act credits permanent.


    Ryan has already begun markups of important bills. Yesterday, Ways and Means marked up H.R. 692, Default Prevention Act, to assure principal and interest continues to be paid on the national debt if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.


    We will keep you informed.


  • Senate Finance Committee May Start Work On Tax Extenders Bill

    Teresa Anderson - 7/15/2015

    July 15th Update from Paul E Suplizio, President, WOTC Coalition

    It hasn’t been officially announced, but Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch has put out word that he may call the committee to mark up a tax extenders bill next Tuesday, July 21st.

    During markup the Finance Committee will consider the chairman’s proposals for a bill, known as “chairman’s mark.” Senator Hatch’s chairman’s mark hasn’t been released yet, thus we don’t know how long WOTC and other expired tax provisions will be extended in his mark.

    If Senator Hatch’s mark doesn’t include a retroactive extension through 2017, we are urging an amendment for a three-year extension of WOTC and other extenders in order to keep them alive through 2017 when a new president will be seated and both Parties are committed to begin the first serious attempt at comprehensive tax reform.

    The markup will also be an opportunity for Senators Portman and Cardin to again offer their amendment to include the long-term unemployed as a WOTC target group.

    Other senators may offer amendments touching WOTC at markup. We aim to learn about these in advance and will keep you informed so you can support or oppose them as the case may be.

    If your senator is a member of the Finance Committee, or if your organization has operations in the state of a Finance Committee member, now is the time to contact them with a brief message:

    “We understand the Senate Finance Committee may mark up a tax extenders bill soon. WOTC is a hiring incentive for the poor and homeless, veterans, and people with disabilities, and to be effective it should be authorized through 2017 which is the earliest year Congress will be able to write a comprehensive tax reform bill. During markup, please support a three-year retroactive extension of WOTC and other tax extenders, and work to include the long-term unemployed as a WOTC target group.”


  • WOTC Coalition Update - Tax Extenders Bill

    Teresa Anderson - 7/10/2015

    WOTC Coalition Update from Paul Suplizio - July 9, 2015

    The Senate Finance Committee could mark up a tax extenders bill in the next two weeks, but it could be bottled up and not reach the floor until there’s an agreement on financing the Highway Trust Fund which expires on July 31st.


    The Bi-Partisan Tax Reform Working Groups of the Senate Finance Committee submitted their reports yesterday, paving the way to talks within the Committee for a highway bill compromise.


    It’s clear from the Infrastructure and Community Development report that the Working Group chose to concentrate on the infrastructure part of their mandate, mainly providing options for financing the Highway Trust Fund. WOTC isn’t mentioned in the report! The Indian Employment Tax Credit is discussed in the appendix, along with the New Markets Tax Credit, Rehabilitation Tax Credit for historic structures, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit—but not WOTC.


    Senators who served on the Infrastructure and Community Development Working Group are: Senator Dean Heller (R), co-chair, Senator Michael Bennet (D), co-chair, and Senators Dan Coats (R-IN), Tim Scott (R-SC), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).


    These reports are way-stations to help senators study and decide what they can support in legislation. Every member of the Senate Finance Committee is acutely aware that now is the moment to set studies aside and write legislation.


    The Highway bill is top priority and tax extenders after that, but there’s a big problem here. The swirl of politics surrounding highway funding has drawn the largest multinational corporations into the fray because many in Congress are looking at taxing offshore earnings that are currently deferred from tax. The Treasury Secretary and Ways and Means chairman insist the right way to tax that income is via a new international tax regime and a lower corporate tax rate. Talks on this could take months but the states’ highway construction has to be kept going, especially in summer and fall, so Senator McConnell’s and Speaker Boehner’s problem is to somehow find the money to replenish the Highway Trust Fund till December, and do it before Congress departs on summer recess July 30.

    Republicans say they won’t raise taxes but they’ve got to find the billions somewhere, so there’ll be a fight down to the wire, crimping time for the House and Senate to take up an extenders bill.

    Our goal is not to be drawn into the highway fight but get a stand-alone extenders bill marked up and passed right after the Highway bill—this way the tax extenders can be passed when Congress returns after Labor Day. Immediate message to every senator should be:

    “The Senate’s work on a Highway Trust Fund extension shouldn’t delay action this month on another top priority tax matter—the renewal of expired tax code provisions including the work opportunity tax credit which is key to private sector employment opportunities for veterans, the disabled, the poor and homeless . Citizens who are most in need of help, and those who like veterans and people with disabilities are entitled to aid, are being deprived of a better chance for the one thing they desire most—a job and steady income to stand on their own feet and not rely on government assistance.

    “WOTC costs the Treasury $18 billion over ten years to support the hiring of 1.6 million people a year into private sector jobs, and academic research demonstrates conclusively that savings from these workers exiting welfare and other public assistance are more than $34 billion over ten years—nearly double WOTC’s cost. Moreover, the WOTC credits of private sector employers add billions of dollars of income to the economy of every state as they are reinvested locally.

    “WOTC expands opportunity for those with the highest unemployment rates who are struggling to make ends meet, but when it’s expired, the tax incentive for employers to hire the poor, disabled, and chronically unemployed is absent and large numbers of our people in every state remain mired in poverty with little chance of escaping it. This is not the equality of opportunity our country stands for. Please support fast action to extend WOTC and other expired tax provisions for 2015 and 2016.”


  • Senate Finance Committee May Mark Up Tax Extenders

    Traci Dukes - 7/10/2015

    July 9, 2015

    The Senate Finance Committee could mark up a tax extenders bill in the next two weeks, but it could be bottled up and not reach the floor until there’s an agreement on financing the Highway Trust Fund which expires on July 31st.

    The Bi-Partisan Tax Reform Working Groups of the Senate Finance Committee submitted their reports yesterday, paving the way to talks within the Committee for a highway bill compromise.

    It’s clear from the Infrastructure and Community Development report that the Working Group chose to concentrate on the infrastructure part of their mandate, mainly providing options for financing the Highway Trust Fund. WOTC isn’t mentioned in the report! The Indian Employment Tax Credit is discussed in the appendix, along with the New Markets Tax Credit, Rehabilitation Tax Credit for historic structures, and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit—but not WOTC.

    You may read the report at the Senate Finance Committee web site, www.finance.senate.gov.

    Senators who served on the Infrastructure and Community Development Working Group are: Senator Dean Heller (R), co-chair, Senator Michael Bennet (D), co-chair, and Senators Dan Coats (R-IN), Tim Scott (R-SC), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

    These reports are way-stations to help senators study and decide what they can support in legislation. Every member of the Senate Finance Committee is acutely aware that now is the moment to set studies aside and write legislation.

    The Highway bill is top priority and tax extenders after that, but there’s a big problem here. The swirl of politics surrounding highway funding has drawn the largest multinational corporations into the fray because many in Congress are looking at taxing offshore earnings that are currently deferred from tax. The Treasury Secretary and Ways and Means chairman insist the right way to tax that income is via a new international tax regime and a lower corporate tax rate. Talks on this could take months but the states’ highway construction has to be kept going, especially in summer and fall, so Senator McConnell’s and Speaker Boehner’s problem is to somehow find the money to replenish the Highway Trust Fund till December, and do it before Congress departs on summer recess July 30.

    Republicans say they won’t raise taxes but they’ve got to find the billions somewhere, so there’ll be a fight down to the wire, crimping time for the House and Senate to take up an extenders bill.

    Our goal is not to be drawn into the highway fight but get a stand-alone extenders bill marked up and passed right after the Highway bill—this way the tax extenders can be passed when Congress returns after Labor Day. Immediate message to every senator should be:

    “The Senate’s work on a Highway Trust Fund extension shouldn’t delay action this month on another top priority tax matter—the renewal of expired tax code provisions including the work opportunity tax credit which is key to private sector employment opportunities for veterans, the disabled, the poor and homeless . Citizens who are most in need of help, and those who like veterans and people with disabilities are entitled to aid, are being deprived of a better chance for the one thing they desire most—a job and steady income to stand on their own feet and not rely on government assistance.

    “WOTC costs the Treasury $18 billion over ten years to support the hiring of 1.6 million people a year into private sector jobs, and academic research demonstrates conclusively that savings from these workers exiting welfare and other public assistance are more than $34 billion over ten years—nearly double WOTC’s cost. Moreover, the WOTC credits of private sector employers add billions of dollars of income to the economy of every state as they are reinvested locally.

    “WOTC expands opportunity for those with the highest unemployment rates who are struggling to make ends meet, but when it’s expired, the tax incentive for employers to hire the poor, disabled, and chronically unemployed is absent and large numbers of our people in every state remain mired in poverty with little chance of escaping it. This is not the equality of opportunity our country stands for. Please support fast action to extend WOTC and other expired tax provisions for 2015 and 2016.”

    PAUL E SUPLIZIO

    President, WOTC Coalition


  • Vital Decisions Await WOTC In June And July

    Teresa Anderson - 5/21/2015

    WOTC Coalition Update from Paul Suplizio - May 21, 2015

     

    Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan says he won’t allow renewal of tax extenders to be delayed this year, the House will pass them by fall at latest. Others aren’t so sure—Senator John Thune, a member of the Senate leadership, sees the fight for a long-term Highway bill carrying into December and extenders being added to that measure.


    Taking Ryan at his word, we can expect to see a tax extenders bill introduced in June or July but nobody can predict the time of final passage because, as always, the Senate will be jammed and bills there move slowly. 


    Nonetheless, extension of WOTC and the VOW To Hire Heroes Act veterans hiring credits for 2015 is virtually certain, and there’s a good chance extension for next year will be included because congressional leaders see little hope for comprehensive tax reform in an election year.

    According to Ryan, the most he can do on tax reform now is “make a down payment” by overhauling the international tax system and continuing to pass tax extenders he wants to make permanent. He’s reiterating that all extenders are being scrutinized—from both the political angle and the cost-benefit angle—to be made permanent or terminated.


    A bill making the research tax credit permanent will soon be on the floor, and Ryan promises others will follow. Nobody knows when Ryan will make a decision on making WOTC permanent, but the day is drawing nigh. We think it can come in June or July.


    Our message supporting WOTC as a vital anchor of the nation’s safety net has been getting through, and now is the time to reinforce it.


    To do this, we’ve been talking up a “reformed” WOTC oriented on low-income workers and expanded to cover Medicaid recipients, disconnected youth, food stamp recipients over age 40, private non-profit employers, exchanging excess credits for cash, and a bigger tax credit for hiring people with disabilities and homeless veterans. The latest figures from HUD show 50,000 veterans are homeless on any night of the year—far above their proportion of the population.


    To reinforce our message with Chairman Ryan and Chairman Hatch, we’ve sent another letter enlarging on the theme of making WOTC permanent to anchor the poverty safety net and emphasizing the value of expanding eligibility to Medicaid recipients to cover more of the poor and near poor.


    The Senate has been distracted for two weeks dealing with trade agreements and the Highway Trust Fund that expires on May 31st. However, the Finance Committee’s tax reform working groups have been meeting and have a deadline of May 31st to submit their reports. This means we may finally get a concrete sense of how the Finance Committee Republicans will come down on WOTC—and the outlook isn’t good. 


    Apart from Senator Hatch, we count five Republicans likely to support permanent WOTC—Grassley, Roberts, Portman, Coats, and Heller—and eight Republicans likely to oppose permanent WOTC—Crapo, Enzi, Cornyn, Thune, Burr, Isakson, Toomey, and Scott. 


    As it stands now, when Republicans caucus on the issue, a majority will vote to kill WOTC and from that point everything will rest upon whether Chairman Hatch can line up 13 of the 14 Republicans to outweigh the 12 Democrats on the Finance Committee who will support WOTC. We’ll need three of our present WOTC supporters to stand fast and vote with Democrats to carry the day, and that won’t be easy because they’ll have other things they’ll want in the markup that only the Chairman can give.


    If any of the above named senators represent your state, or it you have operations or units in their state, it’s vital you press ahead with your efforts to make the case for permanent WOTC.



  • Senate/House Budget Conference Action

    Teresa Anderson - 4/28/2015

    WOTC Coalition Update from Paul Suplizio

    A Republican-controlled Senate/House Budget Conference approved a joint resolution on the budget that eliminates the deficit in ten years by repealing Obama care, reforming taxes, strengthening welfare work requirements, and improving work opportunities for people with disabilities, among a long list of proposals.

    The budget resolution now goes to the full House and Senate and it should pass handily. When approved, the resolution sets ceilings for congressional appropriations and requires preparation of authorization bills to carry out policy changes mandated by the budget. The budget gives the green light to committees to go to work preparing spending and revenue bills, one of which is our tax extenders.

    Repeal of Obamacare is the most notable item. The budget resolution requires preparation of a budget reconciliation bill for the purpose of Obama care repeal only. A budget reconciliation bill is “privileged” and easier to pass. Because the bill is limited to repealing Obama care, the odds are that WOTC and other tax extenders won’t become pawns in a reconciliation fight which will go nowhere because the President will veto it.

    The fights we have to worry about are, first, a tax reform bill (because failing to be included in tax reform means we’ll be fighting uphill to keep WOTC alive), and second, the bill to fund the government (we don’t want WOTC tied to a struggle over appropriations and debt ceiling, which might not be settled till Christmas—if even then.)

    To avoid these pitfalls which are only a few months away, we need to bend every effort getting our contacts to deliver a message to Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Finance Chairman Hatch, and Ways and Means Chairman Ryan reminding them of the fiasco of the last-minute one-year extender bill last December that had a shelf-life of barely two weeks. They pledged not to repeat that fiasco this year, hence the urgency of introducing and passing an extenders bill for 2015 and 2016 now that we have a budget deal.

    With passage of the budget resolution, Ways and Means and Finance will have the guidelines they need to write bills dealing with budget revenue. In this, tax provisions which have expired should be given top priority as a matter of fairness to taxpayers who are counting on these measures continuing until tax reform is enacted.

    Extensions of current law tax benefits don’t add to the deficit because their impact on revenue is essentially the same next year as this year—extenders are part of baseline revenue, in budget parlance. A two-year extension for 2015 and 2016 won’t get in the way of tax reform because, when tax reform passes, it can supersede any extension then in effect.

    Approval of a budget resolution is a key point on the congressional calendar and always a good time to renew contacts on the Hill to talk about the budget opening a way forward for an extenders bill for WOTC and other expired provisions. Please don’t miss this opportunity to reinforce our message.

    While job opportunities for people with disabilities and the poor are cited in the budget resolution, no mention is made of the VOW To Hire Heroes Act hiring tax incentives for unemployed and disabled veterans which are part of WOTC. The VOW tax credits are a child of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees, and we trust veterans organizations will renew their call to the chairmen and members of these committees to urge Senator Hatch and Congressman Ryan to extend WOTC, which has lapsed, as soon as possible for 2015 and 2016, and make it permanent in tax reform to aid the many dedicated servicemen and women for whom the jobs credits are an important assist in transitioning to a civilian occupation.


  • WOTC Processing Procedures for State Workforce Agencies

    Teresa Anderson - 4/17/2015

    Employment And Training Administration Advisory System, U.S Department of Labor, released today, Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 28-14. The purpose of this guidance letter is to inform the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) of the retroactive legislative reauthorization of the WOTC program for all WOTC current target groups and the Empowerment Zones (EZs) that had previously expired on December 31, 2013. Also, to provide guidance to SWAs, participating agencies and other Federal and State partners for processing WOTC certification applications filed by employers and their representatives during the authorization lapse of 2015 and beyond.

    Link to full guidance details


  • WOTC And The Poverty Safety Net

    Carolyn Tschida - 3/27/2015

    Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, summarizes the case for WOTC with the detailed Fact Sheet attached.

    In the Fact Sheet on WOTC And The Poverty Safety Net, we make the case that WOTC has equal merit for being retained as companion to EITC in the core safety net. We start with Mr. Ryan’s principle that every able-bodied individual must make a commitment to work if they take government aid. In other words, the goal of every poverty program, now and in the future, should be a job. 

    Fact Sheet Details:

    Work Opportunity Tax Credit and The Poverty Safety Net


  • House Passes Tax Extenders Act

    Carolyn Tschida - 1/28/2015

    The House has passed H.R. 5771, Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014, by 378-46.  H.R. 5771 extends for 2014 more than 50 expired tax provisions including present-law WOTC, VOW to Hire Heroes Act veterans tax credits, Empowerment Zone tax credits and the Indian Employment Tax Credit.

    The Senate could amend the bill by substituting the language of the EXPIRE bill. EXPIRE proposed extending WOTC retroactively for two years and also included making long-term unemployed workers eligible for the credit. Chairman Wyden and Ranking Minority Member Hatch and their staffs have been huddled on a possible bi-partisan amendment to H.R. 5771. However, no agreement has been reached as of yet. 

  • WOTC FY 2013 Wage and Occupational Data for WOTC Workers

    Teresa Anderson - 6/17/2013

    Entering Wages Of WOTC Workers

    Total hires certified: 1,608,346

    Number hired below minimum wage: 129,998 or 8 percent of total hires

    Number hired at hourly wage of $9 and higher: 592,892 or 37% of total hires

    Number hired at hourly wage below $9: 1,015,454 or 63% of total hires

    Finding: Though WOTC workers earn poverty and near-poverty wages, all but 8 percent are employed above minimum wage and their earned income, combined with the Earned Income and Child tax credits, can raise incomes of all but the largest families above the official poverty line.

    Conclusion: The WOTC hiring incentive not only works for the worker and private employer, but the ability to have a job and earn an income demonstrates, to those who are unemployed or have left the workforce, the benefits of making a commitment to work and actively pursuing job search aided by WOTC. A job is the first step out of poverty and WOTC can annually deliver jobs for 1.6 million workers at or near poverty, verified by their State Workforce Agency.

    Occupational Distribution Of WOTC Workers

    Number in sales and related occupations: 479,674 or 29.8 percent of total hires

    Number in manufacturing, transportation & construction: 351,745 or 21.9 percent of total hires

    Number in office & administrative support occupations: 301,330 or 18.7 percent of total hires

    Number in food preparation and serving occupations: 281,795 or 17.5 percent of total hires

    Number in healthcare and support occupations: 76,908 or 4.7 percent of total hires

    Number in buildings and grounds cleaning & maintenance: 26,935 or 1.6 percent of total hires

    Findings: WOTC workers are distributed among 23 occupations representing all major sectors of the economy, retail and office workers comprise half of all WOTC jobs, production jobs in manufacturing and transportation are the second largest category of WOTC jobs, food service is less than 20 percent of WOTC jobs, building and ground maintenance workers such as those in hotels and motels comprise a minor number of WOTC jobs, and a respectable number of WOTC workers are employed in healthcare and healthcare support occupations.

    Conclusions: WOTC jobs aren’t dominated by food service and hospitality sectors as is sometimes alleged—less than a fifth of WOTC workers are employed in those sectors; retail and office occupations predominate among WOTC jobs, which is to be expected in a service economy; 27 percent of WOTC workers are finding good jobs in manufacturing, construction, transportation, and healthcare; all WOTC workers are filling productive, private sector occupations where they have an opportunity to acquire skills and advance in real earnings.

    Special thanks to Paul Suplizio, WOTC Coalition President for requesting this information and to the DOL for providing the compilation.

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