WOTC Hiatus Procedural Guidance From The Department of Labor
Recently the Department of Labor Employment and Training administration (DOL ETA)
issued guidance to the State Workforce Agencies (SWA’s) regarding procedures for handling
non-veteran WOTC certification requests during the current hiatus. As the core WOTC
program passed into hiatus on Jan 1, 2012, some taxpayers have expressed uncertainly
and doubt as to how the program would continue to be managed and administered by the
applicable state and federal agencies. This may seem like a strange question, but
during all past hiatuses, the DOL continued to enforce all the rules and regulations
(including filing deadlines) across the WOTC program in anticipation that certifications
would eventually be issued once the WOTC program was reinstated. This matter was further
complicated by the passing of the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, as this act extended
the veterans provisions of WOTC, but did not address the core program.
As expected, the recent Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) #15-11 instructs
the SWA’s to continue accepting all certification request for the currently expired
target groups, but not to certify them. Speaking specifically on the prospects of
retroactive certification and the still in effect 28 day filing deadline for all WOTC
target groups, DOL ETA writes:
. . . in the past when the tax credit program’s authority lapsed and Congress
subsequently reauthorized the program, legislative provisions allowed for retroactive
certification of eligibility for the period between the expiration date and the reauthorization
date. However, to be eligible for the tax credit during that period, employers must
have properly filed requests for certification, in a timely manner, and states must
have received and logged them in for subsequent approval or denial.
The specific guidance includes the following:
SWA’s must accept and fully process all timely filed WOTC certification requests for
employers’ hires made prior to January 1, 2012.
SWA’s must accept, date stamp, log, and retain certification requests for employers’
new hires made after January 1, 2012, until informed otherwise by ETA. However, states
may not issue eligibility certifications unless the program is once again reauthorized.
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