WOTC Legislative Activity Heating Up
There has been some recent legislative activity as it relates to WOTC renewal and the Tax Extenders. Ron Wyden, soon to lead the Senate Finance Committee pending the exit of Max Baucus, has expressed his desire to deal with the tax extenders in an expeditious manner. Speaking on the overall extenders, that include WOTC, Mr. Wyden said “I’m not going to sit idly by while plans for [extenders] are sacrificed on the altar of inaction”. His point is that since these items are always renewed retroactively he thinks that they just be renewed now and Congress should and get on with the business of legislation. Senator Wyden’s preference appears to be to simply change the expiration dates for all of the expired provisions to December 31, 2014, and leave the process of potentially eliminating some of the provisions to another time given the urgency of acting now that they have expired. Further, Mr. Wyden recently indicated that he will focus on tax extenders as a springboard into comprehensive tax reform. He said, “I’ve already been on the floor talking about the tax extenders. Clearly if you don’t take steps to address them it could be very damaging to some key parts of our economy. I do feel it is important to make them a bridge to comprehensive tax reform.”
In addition, the Administration held a White House briefing with major employers on an initiative to spur the hiring of the long term unemployed. Historically, Including the Vow to Hire a Hero Act of 2011, WOTC has been shown to be an excellent vehicle to extend hiring incentives to targeted groups. Indeed, renewing and expanding WOTC to include those who have exhausted their long term insurance benefits would encourage employers to hire the long term unemployed.
Separately, Rep Richard Neal (Mas.) and Rep Alan Grayson (FL) have each presented renewal bills. Neal’s includes all the extenders, and Grayson’s is WOTC specific. Neal’s bill, the “Invest in United States Act of 2014” would include a permanent extension of WOTC; While Mr. Grayson will extend WOTC for one year through December 31, 2014.
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