The President has signed into law the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 that extends the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) retroactively for hires from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2019. The legislation also added a new target group to WOTC for long-term recipients of unemployment benefits. The measure also includes a retroactive extension of other federal hiring credits – both the Federal Empowerment Zone and Indian Employment Credits for two years, through December 31, 2016. This positive result will create certainty for employers as they plan their tax and business strategies going forward.
Despite the hiatus, Equifax Tax Credit management systems have continued to assist our employer clients with screening their employees in accordance with the legislative regulations of the WOTC program, and Equifax has been processing and submitting WOTC certification requests on behalf of our employer clients to the State Workforce Agencies since the inception of the hiatus.
Equifax is working closely with the Department of Labor (DOL) to encourage an expedient notification to the State Workforce Agencies to release certifications earned during 2015. Until now, companies have been dutifully screening their employees for WOTC without any guarantee that these valuable tax credit programs would be renewed and that the potential credit would be realized. During the hiatus, the State Workforce Agencies have been processing all WOTC certification requests up until the point of certification, but have been unable to issue such certifications for individuals who began work after January 1, 2015. We anticipate that the DOL will take action outside of the normal Training Employment Guidance (TEGL) issuance procedure in order to speed along the certification process following this lengthy hiatus.
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