This week, the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration issued new instructions to State Workforce Agencies (SWA’s). Agencies needed instructions in the wake of the WOTC re-authorization provided by the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015. President Obama signed this bill on December 18, 2015.
The document summarizes the program changes and other effects created by the PATH Act. It also guides SWA’s on what to do with applications that were submitted timely (within 28 days from start of employment) in 2015 during the 49-week WOTC authorization lap. As a result, employers nationwide should now begin receiving certifications for their 2015 qualifying hires.
While these instructions are important and helpful, we are still awaiting further guidance about WOTC’s newest target group, dubbed “Long Term Unemployment Recipients.”
Also, the IRS has not yet issued a notice about the much anticipated transition relief. In prior years, transition relief has temporarily waived the 28-day application deadline for WOTC applications not submitted timely during the program’s authorization lap. For example, last year we were able to submit applications for 2014 hires, without penalty, all the way through April 30, 2015.
While these instructions do not tell us how to qualify or document employees eligible under the new target group, it does inform us that the Department of Labor and IRS are busy modifying WOTC forms to include the new target group.
Furthermore, employers are “encouraged to postpone certification requests for the New Target Group until the revised forms are available.” If we just can’t wait, the SWA’s will accept applications for the new target group if employers write “Long-term Unemployment Recipient in the top margin [of the ETA 9061 or 9062], right corner underneath the expiration date.”
You can read the entire document for yourself.
(Thank you to Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, for sending us a copy of the ETA’s interim instructions.)