Department of Labor Issues WOTC Retro and Hiatus Guidance
The Department of Labor has issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter 28-14 detailing “Reauthorization of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Program for 2014 and Authorization Lapse for 2015. As we have seen in previous hiatus situations, the State Workforce Agencies (SWA) are instructed to continue processing all timely filed certification request for individuals hired before Jan 1, 2015. Further, the SWA’s are directed to accept and mark as timely all certification requests received during the hiatus and to hold the forms until the program is renewed. It is important to understand that the 28 day 8850 filing deadline is still in effect and will be enforced by the SWA’s.
- For SWAs that processed all certification requests received during the 2014 hiatus
SWAs that processed most or all of the certification requests received during the 2014 hiatus, and filed but did not issue those determinations should issue those certifications and denials to employers or their representatives.
- For SWAs that did not process all certification requests received during the 2014 hiatus
SWAs that received and filed, but did not process, all timely submitted certification requests during the 2014 hiatus should process and conduct all required eligibility determination activities for certifications requests received during the hiatus, and issue all final determinations (certifications and denials) to employers or their representatives.
In regards to certification request made for hires in 2015, the SWA’s must do the following:
- SWAs must accept and fully process (i.e. issue certifications or denials) all timely filed WOTC certification requests for employers’ new hires made on or before December 31, 2014.
- SWAs must accept, date stamp, log, and retain certification requests for employers’ new hires made on or after January 1, 2015, until informed otherwise by ETA. States may not issue eligibility certifications unless the program is reauthorized.
In addition, the notice restates the WOTC Retro guidance from IRS Notice 205-13, speaking specifically about form submission of certification request for 2014 hire dates:
“Section III, p. 2, of IRS Notice 2015-13 provides taxable employers, including tax-exempt, 501(c) organizations, with transition relief from the 28-day timely filing requirement by providing additional time to file IRS Form 8850 with the SWAs. The Notice is available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-15-13.pdf. Under the Notice, an employer who hires a qualified member of the current target groups (on or after January 1, 2014), and before (January 1, 2015), will be considered to have satisfied the 28-day timely filing requirement if the employer submits IRS Form 8850 to the SWA to request certification not later than April 30, 2015. A timely request for certification does not eliminate the requirement for the employer to receive a certification before claiming the credit.”
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