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Tax Credits Blog

Commitment to Inclusive Workplaces Brings Strong Benefits

Greetings everyone, and Happy Valentines Day!

I wanted to share an article that we received regarding inclusivity in the workplace and the benefits that making your corporation friendly and accessible to individuals with disabilities brings.  This article nicely addresses a piece of the beneficial circle that we're always talking about.    

 

Comptroller DiNapoli Calls on Major Corporations to Report on Disability Inclusion

Commitment to Inclusive Workplaces Brings Strong Benefits

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that he has called on 49 of the largest U.S. companies, including Apple, McDonald’s, Nike and Twentieth Century Fox, to report on their inclusion of people with disabilities across the enterprise.

“We want the companies our pension fund invests in to be desirable places to work for everyone,” DiNapoli said. “Studies have shown that businesses that commit to disability inclusion outperform their peers. Companies should seize the opportunity to join the growing number of corporations that recognize the benefits of disability inclusion and are reporting their efforts.”

In his letter, DiNapoli urged the companies to register and participate in the Disability Equality Index (DEI), an initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN. The DEI addresses the lack of information and disclosure of corporate policies on disability inclusion by creating a benchmarking tool that allows companies to self-report their disability policies and practices. It can also identify areas where they can improve their policies and strengthen their reputations as inclusive companies and employers of choice. The deadline for participating in the 2019 DEI is January 31 and any inquiries can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“Including people with disabilities in the workplace is not just the right thing to do – it’s also good business,” said AAPD Board Chair Ted Kennedy Jr. “Companies should be aware of the significant economic and shareholder benefits of hiring and promoting people with disabilities in the work force. Corporate participation in the DEI is a concrete step for executives to communicate to investors that they are serious about the issue.”

“It is crucial to have people with disabilities working as part of your talent pool to ensure your products and services work for everyone including more than one billion people with disabilities,” said Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft and Disability:IN Board Chair. “Our own inclusive hiring programs at Microsoft has brought untold benefits to Microsoft. We encourage every organization to focus on this space and leverage the Disability Equality Index in that learning journey.”

“We’re honored to be among the companies included in the 2018 DEI, and to be recognized for our efforts to support people with disabilities, as well as their families and caregivers,” said Voya Financial Chairman and CEO Rodney O. Martin, Jr. “We know that disability inclusion everywhere, including the workplace, is good for our customers, our employees and society. People with disabilities have a right to equal opportunities and they have a right to unlimited opportunities. Voya’s inclusion in DEI validates our efforts to make a real difference in the lives of our employees and customers living with disabilities.”

Research has shown that disability inclusion is a financial benefit. A recent report from Accenture, AAPD and Disability:IN, “Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage,” concluded that companies with best practices for employing and supporting people with disabilities in their workforce outperformed their peers. The report found that persons with disabilities remain woefully underrepresented in corporate America, representing 10.7 million potential skilled employees. Strong company policies are needed to ensure their workforce is inclusive of people with disabilities or risk missing out on an enormous pool of talented employees.

Samples of the letters DiNapoli sent are available at https://osc.state.ny.us/press/docs/disability-inclusion-sample-letters.pdf.

Tax Extenders Bill introduced to Congress

November 27, 2018

 

Chairman Brady introduced his tax extenders and technical corrections bill last night, and the Rules Committee has scheduled the bill for a House vote this week.

The bill extends most expired provisions—including Empowerment Zones Employment Credit and Indian Employment Credit—to the end of 2018.

Brady’s playing his hand means we can give our full attention to the Senate Finance Committee to get a better bill.

A copy of the bill is attached. 

  

Provisions related to WOTC:

  • Section 138 extends Indian Employment Tax Credit for 2018.
  • Section 143 extends Empowerment Zone Employment Credit for 2018.
  • Section 203 authorizes an employee retention credit for disaster areas, including Hurricanes Florence and Michael, designated wildfires, and Hawaii/Pacific territories.  Check the bill for disaster areas and dates for which the credit is allowed.

The bill contains matters other than extenders and technical corrections, such as retirement funds and electronic filing with IRS.  There’s an up-front index you can check for matters of interest.

 

Should you have any questions, write or call 703-587-4566.

Elections Improve WOTC Position in Congress

Democrats’ taking control of the House increases the odds of winning permanent WOTC in the new Congress that’s seated in January.

 

Current Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady will become the ranking member of Ways and Means, and Congressman Richard E Neal (D-MA), the present ranking member, will take the chair.

 

Contrasted to Congressman Brady’s declared aim to end WOTC, Chairman Neal and committee Democrats rallied around Congressman Ron Kind’s amendment to make WOTC permanent during markup of tax reform last year.

 

Now Democrats will form the majority of Ways and Means in the 116th Congress and Chairman Brady may be leading the minority without two strong allies, Dave Reichert (R-WA) who is retiring, and Peter Roskam (R-IL) who is in a race too close to call.

 

Overall, we can expect a favorable attitude toward WOTC by Ways and Means Democrats provided we continue to stress its effectiveness and stick to evidence-based statements when communicating with members and staff.

 

We don’t know who’ll form the leadership of the House next year—there may be a challenge to Minority Leader Pelosi.  However, we can be confident the Ways and Means tradition, of advancing by seniority, means that Congressman Neal will succeed to the chair and currently-serving Democrats will retain their seats.

 

In sum, the odds have improved significantly for winning permanent WOTC when 116th Congress takes up an extender measure next year, when several tax provisions including WOTC expire. 

 

This doesn’t mean our job will be easy.  Democrats who voted against the tax cuts of TCJA made hay during the election by denouncing the resulting budget deficits; they’ll make deficit reduction a top priority when they take charge of the House.  In that situation, Congress chose in the past to extend WOTC a few years at a time, impairing its effectiveness over the years.

 

Congress returns on November 13th to take up a “technical corrections and extenders” bill to deal with expired tax provisions, including  Empowerment Zone employment credit and Indian employment tax credit.  Members should also continue pressing the case for applying WOTC to the recent hurricane disaster areas, to the new Opportunity Zones, and to repeal the BEAT tax or remove its impact on WOTC.

Do the Right Thing

****Make November the Hire Veterans Month.

With Veteran’s day on November 11th, let’s be proactive and hire a veteran for an open position in your company.  Not only is it the right thing to do considering all they gave for our freedom, but the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program will help pay for the hiring/training of the vet by giving the company a federal income tax credit as per the below schedule.

For-profit companies can get the following tax credit when they hire an unemployed veteran:

A.     If unemployed for at least 4 weeks but less than 6 months, with no service connected disability, the company will earn a tax credit equal to 40% of the first $6,000 paid to the vet - $2,400.

B.     If unemployed for more than 6 months with no service connected disability, the company will earn a tax credit equal to 40% of the first $14,000 paid to the vet – $5,600

C.      If the vet has a service connected disability and is hired within 1 year of separation from active duty, the credit is 40% of the first $12,000 - $4,800

D.     If the vet has a service connected disability and has been unemployed for more than6 months, the credit is 40% of the first $24,000 - $9,600

* unemployed periods are within the year prior to being hired and do not need to be consecutive.  Employees must work a minimum of 120 hours to qualify

Non-profit companies can also take advantage of this incentive as a reduction in the employer’s portion of Social Security (FICA) taxes.  Refer to the categories above:

A.     26% of the first $6,000 in FICA Earnings or $1,560

B.     26% of the first $14,000 in FICA earnings or $3,640

C.      26% of the first $12,000 in FICA earnings or $3,120

D.     26% of the first $24,000 in FICA earnings or $6,240

* unemployed periods are within the year prior to being hired and do not need to be consecutive.  Employees must work a minimum of 120 hours to qualify.

There are many organizations that can help you hire the right veteran including the Veteran organizations in your city or town, online organizations like www.Veterans2Work.com and others.

Veterans bring discipline, teamwork, mission focus and the ability to learn quickly.  Hiring a vet is just good business.  We want to make sure you also get the icing on the cake – all the credits you’re entitled to. If you need help in qualifying a veteran for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Ken Brice, President

EmployerIncentives.com

US Navy, Vietnam Vet

Latest News from WOTC Coalition's Paul Suplizio

September 16, 2018 Last Thursday, House Ways and Means approved the cornerstone of Tax Reform 2.0, the “Protecting Families and Small Business Tax Cuts Act,” (H.R. 6760) without action by either Republicans or Democrats to include business tax extenders. Senate Finance Committee members now hold the key to whether business tax extenders will be enacted before the end of the month or deferred until after the election. Our goals remain: • Establishment of new WOTC target groups for Dependents of Active Duty Military Personnel and Transitioning Foster Youth; • Reauthorization of Empowerment Zone tax credits and the Indian Employment Tax Credit; • Repeal including WOTC and other Section 38 tax credits in the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT); • Expand the Food Stamp Recipient target group to cover recipients above the age of 40; • Authorize WOTC for all recipients of cash Social Security Disability Insurance payments (not just those referred by a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency or Employment Network under the Social Security Act); • Raise the wage base for people in the WOTC disability target groups from $6,000 to $12,000 to increase the low rate of workforce participation by people with disabilities by enhancing the incentive for employers to reach out to and hire these workers; • Allow WOTC to be claimed against FICA tax by employers with insufficient taxable income to allow their credits to be fully claimed (with Treasury reimbursing the Social Security trust funds). • Allow private non-profit employers to participate in WOTC to expand opportunity in good healthcare and education jobs to veterans, long-term unemployment recipients, people with disabilities, ex-felons, and others. The above goals have strong evidence-based support, as provided in our detailed statements to Congress. Our tasks for the critical week ahead, then, are to renew contacts with Senator Hatch and other members of the Finance Committee and instill a sense of urgency that time is running out, allowing the business tax extenders listed by the Joint Committee on Taxation in JCX-5-18 to remain expired is wasteful of private sector investments in these programs, harmful to the trust required to continue cooperating with the government, and a blow to the goals and beneficiaries of these programs. The bottom line is, “Please act soon to report a bill extending the expired tax provisions and work for passage, if at all possible, before Congress adjourns for elections. When the Finance Committee meets, please consider important improvements recommended by the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coalition in correspondence with the Committee.” Please call us, 703-587-4566, or reply to this message, if you have any questions or need assistance with your lobbying. PAUL E SUPLIZIO President, WOTC Coalition