If you or your clients would be adversely affected by the expiration of the WOTC program on December 31 (just one month away), then NOW is the time to contact your member of Congress.
You don’t have to speak with the member directly. Speak with the staff member that answers the phone. Send them a fax. Send them a letter. (Unless, you have an existing relationship with a specific member of your Congress person’s office, I don’t recommend relying on email.) Tell them your story and ask them to support including WOTC in the year-end tax extenders legislation.
Contact information for members of Congress is available at www.senate.gov and www.house.gov or (202) 224-3121 or (202) 225-3121. An online directory I recently discovered, provided by the Conservative Caucus appears to be a thorough resource also, including fax numbers, email addresses, and links directly to each Member’s website. http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm
Below are some informational points that I sent to my Congressman Dan Lungren just this morning. Since we already know each other, I sent my correspondence directly to Congressman Lungren’s District Director in California. She very kindly responded to my e-mail in less than twenty minutes.
“I am going to forward your email to our Legislative Counsel in DC as he will brief the Congressman on the legislation and the latest developments.”
As the year’s end approaches, Tax Extenders are, or will soon become a topic of discussion for Members of Congress. WOTC will be included in that discussion as one of the tax provisions to be extended.
I have three points that the Congressman may find important.
1. All Non-Veteran Job Categories Will Expire. While the VOW to Hire Heroes Act extended through 2012 the WOTC categories for veterans, all other WOTC job categories are still slated to expire on December 31. The categories for disabled workers, at-risk youth, people living in distressed communities, etc. will all expire abruptly THIS YEAR unless WOTC is included in a tax extender bill.
2. Ending WOTC = Crushing Tax Increase on Employers: An abrupt end to these WOTC categories will result in a large tax increase to employers who have incorporated WOTC’s public-private sector partnership into their hiring practices.
3. Tax Extender Now – Followed Later By Due Diligence. The future of the WOTC program ought to be determined by a reasoned discussion in Congress – – not by letting it slip through the cracks at year-end. The recent VOW to Hire Heroes Act demonstrates that the effectiveness of WOTC is still recognized on both sides of the aisle — after 15 years in operation! If the rest of the WOTC program is to be discontinued, it should be done in an orderly way that allows employers to anticipate the change . . . after Congress has given due consideration to the issues.
Bottom Line: extend the entire WOTC program now for at least 12 months, giving Congress time to discuss its merits in 2012.
For my readers, I would also point out that if WOTC is not extended by the end of the year, it is still far from over. There will be additional opportunities for reauthorization in 2012. Although inconvenient, this would not be at all unusual for the WOTC program.
WOTC has been extended 7 times already since it’s origination in 1996. Frequently, that process has involved “retroactive” reauthorization during the calendar year after its technical expiration. In each such case, business continued as usually, with the exception that WOTC certification offices nationwide had to keep back their certifications until the reauthorization legislation finally went through.
My point: Be diligent now, but don’t worry yet.