Bill’s Sponsor Kills Colorado State WOTC Proposal

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on April 21st, 2016

Ed Sealover of the Denver Business Journal reports today that State Representative Dianne Primavera has killed her state tax credit proposal HB 1372. Yesterday, Colorado’s House Finance Committee voted 9 to 0 to postpone the bill indefinitely.

Sorry, for now there will be no state Work Opportunity Income Tax Credit for Colorado employers.

Read more:  Denver Business Journal,


Colorado Work Opportunity Income Tax Credit

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on April 20th, 2016

Colorado House Bill 1372, legislation proposing a State of Colorado Work Opportunity Income Tax Credit, has been working its way through the Colorado State Legislature.

HB 1372 was introduced on March 16th. The House Committee on Public Health Care and Human Services passed an amended version of the bill on April 5, sending it to the House Finance Committee for further hearings.  Apparently, the sole amendment was to delay implementation of the program until January 1, 2018.

Finance is scheduled to hold its hearing today (Wednesday, April 20th) but we have no further information so far this afternoon.

Colorado’s WOTC program would mirror the federal WOTC. Target groups and other aspects of the program are actually defined by referencing the pre-existing federal WOTC code .

An example from Colorado HB 1372:



Read more in the Denver Business Journal.


Investing in Older Workers Act of 2016 Would Increase WOTC Tax Credit Earned for Hiring Older Workers Suffering Long Term Unemployment

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on April 7th, 2016

Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey has sponsored a bill to increase the amount of Work Opportunity Tax Credit generated by wages paid to older Long Term Unemployment Recipients.


This bill, known as the Investing in Older Workers Act, would increase the maximum qualifying wage from the current $6,000 to $14,000 for qualifying Long Term Unemployment Recipients who are age 55 or older.  As a result, the maximum tax credit amount that could be generated by hiring an an older long-term unemployment recipient would increase from $2,400 to $5,600.

The current law does not distinguish long-term unemployment recipients based on the age of the worker.  Under this proposal, however, the wage basis and tax credit amount generated would not change for long-term unemployment recipients who are younger than age 55.

The Investing in Older Workers Act also proposes an annual adjustment for inflation that would increase the $14,000 wage basis by increments of $50 as inflation raises the cost of living.



IRS Issues Revised Form 8850 – Includes WOTC Target Group J

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on March 30th, 2016

irs8850_TOPThe IRS has issued a revision of IRS Form 8850 “Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit.”  This revision was made necessary by the recent Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), which added a new target group to the WOTC program. The form now includes a question to screen for Long Term Unemployment Recipients.

Question number 7 at the bottom reads:

“Check here if you are in a period of unemployment that is at least 27 consecutive weeks and for all or part of that period you received unemployment compensation.”

The form’s instructions include guidance that defines the new target group:

Qualified long-term unemployment recipient. An individual hired after 2015 who on the day before the individual begins work for the employer, or, if earlier, the day the individual completes Form 8850 as a prescreening notice, is in a period of unemployment that: Is not less than 27 consecutive weeks, and Includes a period (which may be less than 27 consecutive weeks) in which the individual received unemployment compensation under state or federal law.

Please share this news with your friends and business associates!


Hire For a Second Chance Act of 2016 Would Increase WOTC Ex-Felon Tax Credit (and Make WOTC Permanent)

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on March 25th, 2016

Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey has sponsored a bill to increase the amount of Work Opportunity Tax Credit generated by wages paid to qualifying ex-felons.  Her bill, known as the Hire for a Second Chance Act of 2016, would increase the maximum qualifying wage from the current $6,000 to $14,000.  As a result, the maximum tax credit amount that could be generated by hiring an ex-felon would increase from $2,400 to $5,600.

With little fanfare, Representative Coleman’s bill also proposes to delete Internal Revenue Code Section 51(C) paragraph 4, which currently reads:

“The term ‘wages’ shall not include any amount paid or incurred to an individual who begins work for the employer after December 31, 2019.”

In other words, this bill would make make WOTC permenant by deleting the expiration date from the code.

You can read her bill here.

Cosponsors to the bill include three other Democrats: Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Charles B. Rangel,  of New York, and Donald M. Payne, Jr. of New Jersey.

Edited 03/31/2016


Thank you Kentucky WOTC for Today’s Update

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on March 16th, 2016

I received a system-generated update from the Kentucky Work Opportunity Tax Credit Office this morning.  If you have dealings with that office, perhaps you also received it.

It looks like the guidance provided in IRS Notice 2016-22 regarding the new WOTC Target Group (Long Term Unemployment Recipients) might be a little obsolete already.  Here’s the language I received this morning.

Notice the subject line says, “Waiting for IRS Guidance”.  Aren’t we all?

************** begin quote:
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 7:21 AM
Subject: Waiting for IRS Guidance

This is a message from Kentucky Work Opportunity Tax Credit office

Information Update:


The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Workforce Investment, Division of National Programs, Tools, and Technical Assistance has contacted us regrading WOTC and a meeting with IRS is planned to discuss precisely how the State Workforce Agencies are going to verify eligibility in the new Target Group – Long Term Unemployed  Recipient.  There has been a shift from the guidance IRS already published Notice 216-22 and what IRS seems to require in addition to the Self-Attestation Form.

Updated information on this target group will be provided as soon as we are informed.

***** end quote.

Thank you Kentucky!


IRS Notice 2016-22 – WOTC Transition Relief and Guidance

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on March 8th, 2016

IRS Notice 2016-22 can now be found on the IRS website through a Google search.  Click the link to get your copy.

In a nut shell, for employees hired from January 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016 (inclusive), the usual 28-day application deadline has been extended through June 29, 2016.  That’s good.

Disappointedly, however, Notice 2016-22 does not provide definitive guidance about qualifying employees under the new Long Term Unemployment Recipient target group.  Rather, it defers this to the yet-to-be revised Form 8850 and ETA 9061.

“Those modified forms and instructions will indicate the information that must be provided on the forms for the employer to receive certification from the DLA that the individual is a qualified long-term unemployment recipient.”

“The Treasury Department and the IRS anticipate that the modified forms will include a requirement that the individual signing the form attest that he or she meets the requirements to be a qualified long-term unemployment recipient and a requirement that the individual attest to the period(s) during which the individual was unemployed and the period the individual received unemployment compensation.”

A few years ago, the IRS developed similar requirements for the Disconnected Youth target group (now discontinued).  To document an employee’s status as a disconnected youth, the employee signed a statement form provided by the Department of Labor.  I’m guessing there will be something similar promulgated for the Long Term Unemployment Recipient group.


WOTC Transition Relief and Forms Update – Almost There

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on March 8th, 2016

Paul Suplizio, President of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coalition, announced this morning that the IRS has released Notice 2016-22 providing for WOTC Transition Relief. I believe Paul but so far, I am unable to find the documents online.  Perhaps they’ll show up later today.

As soon as the nitty-gritty details come to light, you’ll be the first to know.


WOTC – Still Waiting for New Forms and Transition Relief

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on March 3rd, 2016

A few friends of the blog have contacted me recently, asking if the IRS has issued its notice on transition relief for the re-authorized WOTC program.  Not yet.  Nor has the Department of Labor or IRS issued revised forms for 2016 to reflect the new Long Term Unemployment Recipient target group.

Here’s to continued patience and hoping we see something soon….


Operation Underground Railroad

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on February 9th, 2016
Tim Ballard

Time Ballard with a child rescued by O.U.R.

Today’s post is a little different. Forgive me for parting from the usual tax-incentives news but this is something very important. I hope you’ll see why.

I dare you to click on the picture of Tim Ballard and the little boy he rescued — listen to him tell the true story of what inspired him. Personally, I can’t listen to it without also being overcome by the strongest of emotions.

For some time, I’ve been following a young organization called Operation Underground Railroad.  Known as O.U.R. for short, this organization puts boots on the ground around the world, saving children from the misery of sexual slavery.

In the future, I will write more about O.U.R.’s people, their methods, and the success they are having.  Let me say for now, however, that these people are modern heroes. They are my heroes.

“We’ve gathered the world’s experts in extraction operations and in anti-child trafficking efforts to bring an end to child slavery. O.U.R.’s Underground Jump Team consists of former CIA, Navy SEALs, and Special Ops operatives that lead coordinated identification and extraction efforts.” (link)

The organization’s founder, Tim Ballard, is also OUR’s Jump Team Commander for rescue operations.  He’s former CIA and Department of Homeland Security, where he was assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and an undercover operative for the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team.

A Modern Underground Railroad: The inspiration for the organization’s name comes from the American anti-slavery movement of the 19th century.  At that time, the historical Underground Railroad was a secret network of safe houses and friends that helped thousands of African American slaves escape from the south into the northern free states and into Canada.

The work Operations Underground Railroad does today is no less important.  Most people are unaware of how massive the illegal slave trade is today and of the misery its victims suffer. The most pitiful are defenseless children. O.U.R., and those who support it financially, are standing up to powerful predators and saving innocent lives.

My business provides employment tax-credit services for employers across the United States. The WOTC Planet is our blog. We’ve made a sponsorship commitment to donate $1 to O.U.R. for each employee we process.  I’m looking for donation partners who would like to join us in supporting O.U.R.’s work. Please contact me if you’d like to find out more about this effort.

email Vaughn Hromiko