Tax Credits Blog

Now's the time!

With the goverment wrestling for positioning on the budget now is the time to ask your legislator to support the permanent extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credits. A simple letter explaining how important these tax credits are to your business should get their attention. In most states, you can send an email directly to your Congressman or Senator or both simply by going online and typing in the person's name. Even though it is my opinion that this part of Obama's budget will survive whatever political wars happen over the next week, additional support can never hurt. Ken Brice .

There's nothing that says you can't

Many companies are wrestling with how to match credits with income since the credits for 2012 hires are still not determined by many states.  Can you book them in 2013 or do you loose them if you don't file an amended return for 2012 when they all sort themselves out.

I talked to one of the authors of IRS Notice 2013-14 which is the authority to eliminate the 28 day filing requirement and the requirement that the forms be signed on or before their hire date for all hires in 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.  She stated the standard IRS policy which said you must match the credits to the earnings. When I challenged her on the fact that the IRS notice allowed companies to go back to 2012 hires and file the paperwork with the state agencies up to and including 4/29/13, a time when most corporations should have filed their returns her reply was to file an amended return to capture those credits.  When I told her that companies don't want to file amended returns her reply was "there is nothing writen that says companies cannot report the 2012 credits in 2013".

I've also heard that ADP is telling its clients that there is a ruling to the effect that the IRS has allowed a company to file their 2012 credits in 2013 - I'd love to get a copy of that ruling - if anyone has one, please email it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


New 9600 Forms Are Coming!

In our perpetual and persistent quest for Tax Credits for our clients, we have found that some of the target groups are more difficult to get certified than others. The more information we can extract from each employee at the time they sign the forms, the faster they will be certified. Not to mention that trying to get target group proof from a recently (or long) terminated employee can be an awkward process, one that I’m sure their employer would rather not undertake especially if the termination wasn’t pleasant. This is a great way to increase your certification rate, as some state agencies will deny people if the supporting docs don’t come in on time.

To this end, we are in the process of submitting a new form 9600 for approval. This new 9600 will be more detailed, and will prompt the employer to submit supporting documentation if the employee checks off certain target groups. This way we can submit the docs to the State Workforce Agencies sooner and head them off at the pass, sort of speak.

But, with this new form everyone must realize that the 28 day window still applies. Ask the employee for the supporting docs, but you still have to mail us the 8850 and 9600 with enough time for us to process and file them. If the employee doesn’t get you the docs in time, that’s ok. We can submit them later, as long as the original forms are there in time.

So, be on the lookout for a new form in your inbox, and be sure to replace the current 9600 you are using. Increase your certification rate, increase your credits, increase your free money, and lower your bottom line.


Behind the Scenes at Employer Incentives

Tax Credits are a tricky business. Lots of paperwork, record keeping and following up.  Here’s a look at what we do behind the scenes at Employer Incentives.

From when your new hires sign the forms, the clock starts ticking. We have 28 days to receive the forms, do all our in-house processing, and file them with the individual States. WOTC and the VOW To Hire Heroes Act are federally mandated programs and tax credits, but the states control the processes. When we receive the 8850 and 9600, our staff goes through each form and searches several federal and state government databases on each applicant. Once we feel we have researched each applicant to the fullest, we then file the applications with the state within the 28 day window. After this, we play the waiting game.

Some states are faster than others, some are lenient, and some are very strict with the rules. This is why some states have a higher certification rate than others. We are in constant contact with all the SWA’s (State Workforce Agencies) making sure that they are doing all they can do to get your employees certified.

The states will then send us one of 3 letters for each individual: Certified, Denied, or Needs more Info.  When we receive a denied letter, there really isn’t anything we can do. The state has decided that this person isn’t eligible for whatever reason. When we get a needs letter, we go to work exhausting every resource possible to get the supporting documentation to the state in order to certify this employee. We have contacts at the National Records Center and Social Security Administration for verifying veterans and disability records. We will sometimes contact our clients for the supporting documentation. The documentation can be as simple as a copy of the employee’s records (Driver’s License, W4 or I9), or something more difficult to obtain such as Proof of Veteran Status, disability income, conviction/release dates, or vocational rehab services (these are job programs run by the government and Veteran’s Administration). To get the most employees certified, if an employee checks off any of these hard to prove target groups PLEASE ask them for documentation and send us a copy. In fact, it would really help us help you get all the credits you can.

When we get Certification letters in, the other side of our service kicks in. We will start sending you a monthly Excel Spreadsheet with the names of the certified employees and some blank cells asking for payroll data. In order to calculate the correct amount of credits, we need the hours worked and gross pay for the employees over certain specific time periods. The time periods are important on this worksheet, as WOTC has different levels of tax credits for each target group and hours worked. Some are even credits you can take again during the employee’s second year with you. We also use these monthly worksheets to keep track of the credits already earned in prior months, so you can be assured you are getting the correct credits as well as the maximum possible.

At the end of the tax year, you will get a report that details your credit activity for the year, a copy of the certification letters for your records, and a filled out IRS Form 5884 that you include with your tax return. Give that to your accountant (or file it yourself), and Voila! You have just put money, FREE MONEY, back in your pocket! (And who doesn’t want free money????)


WOTC Program Permanency

President Obama submitted his budget for 2014 in April this year, and with it he outlined his plan to cut funding for Social Security, univeral access to pre-kindergarten education for children, cuts to the defense budget, among other things. But, one proposal caught our eye:

"The Administration also continues its support of tax credits that will help employ veterans. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit, which provides up to $5,600 to employers, and the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit, which provides up to $9,600 to hire long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, were recently extended for one more year in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. These credits are a part of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which contains other categories targeted to hiring veterans. The Budget proposes to permanently extend the WOTC."

From the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2014, as reported at  http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview

Permanently extending WOTC would be a boon to all employers in this company and greatly increase hiring and the pace of American job creation. Of course, the budget has to go through the debate process and both the Senate and House of Representatives will undoubtedly have objections. But if WOTC becomes permanent, never will we have to go through a hiatus period like we did in 2012, and it seems like this administration wants to make it a priority.