Perhaps you remember a post with a very similar title from March of this year? On March 5, 2010, the Department of Labor published TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER NO. 03-09, Change 2, which purported to be
Final Guidance to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and Employers for the Implementation of the Two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Target Groups Requirements
I guess it was not so final after all.
What appears to the final, final guidance was published earlier today as TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER NO. 03-09, Change 3. This change letter provides some new “clarification” to the Final Guidance previously received.
In fact, is does provide some very important clarification — not about the substance or definitions of qualifying employees — but rather, about the deadlines and procedures for submitting the official “Disconnected Youth Self Attestation Form” or SAF. The original SAF, published with Change 2, included instructions that seemed to require the SAF and ETA 9061 to be submitted together all within 28 days of the qualifying employees start date. Today’s publications clarifies that the 28-day deadline does not apply to the SAF or ETA 9061. That’s good news.
Earlier, I had in fact noticed the questionable instructions on the SAF and had silently asked myself, “Are they serious?”
It would be a big deal if they were, since previously the only form with a 28-day deadline attached was the IRS 8850 “Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit.” All other forms, including the Department of Labor’s ETA 9061 Personal Characteristics form and all other supporting documentation could be submitted later without jeopardizing an employee’s eligibility.
The less heartwarming aspect of Change 3 is that a new version of the Disconnected Youth SAF has now been published (to accommodate the revised instructions). Furthermore, after 90 days, WOTC certifying agencies throughout the United States are instructed to no longer accept the old version.
Here’s where we all say “ugg” in unison.
On a positive note, the actual content of the SAF has not changed at all. The employee’s statement is identical in both language and appearance to the original form.
I suspect that we have not yet heard the end of this issue. In any case, my clients will begin now to incorporate the new SAF form into their processes. And as always, when the government throws a small boomerang like this, we’ll figure out how to catch it and redirect it to maximize our clients’ WOTC qualifications and tax benefits.
If you have questions about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, or any aspects of this discussion, please contact me. I am Vaughn Hromiko. You can reach me at vah@wotcPlanet.com or toll free at (800) 655-5281, ext 101.