Speaker of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner (R-Ohio) has recently repeated his vow to make comprehensive tax reform a top priority of the new Congress this year. Symbolic of that end, Speaker Boehner has reserved the designation of House Resolution 1 (HR 1) for the coming tax reform bill. (more…)
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) target group known as Disconnect Youth was created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. (See “New WOTC Tax Credit Opportunities Arise from Stimulus Bill”)
For purposes of WOTC eligibility, a disconnected youth is someone who at the time of hire: (1) is between the ages of 16 and 24 inclusive, (2) is not regularly attending any secondary, technical, or post-secondary school during the 6-month period prior to hire, (3) is not regularly employed during the same 6-month period, and (4) is not readily employable by reason of lacking a sufficient number of basic skills.
While very successful as part of the work opportunity program, it was also very short lived. An expiration date of December 31, 2010 was built in from its beginning. Since that time, however, many of us have held out hope that the Disconnect Youth target group would be renewed. The WOTC Coalition, among others, has been pressing for its renewal.
Early this morning, I received the following correspondence from Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition. In it, Paul addresses current efforts to restore the Disconnected Youth target group. It is published here with permission.
From: “Paul Suplizio”
Date: Wed, February 06, 2013 1:13 am
Subject: WOTC Disconnected Youth Target Group
February 6, 2013
Since expiration of the disconnected youth target group in 2010, our Coalition has been pressing for its restoration. “Disconnected youth,” broadly defined as youth ages 16 through 24 who are out of school and out of work, are approaching 7 million in number today. In the brief 18 months of 2009-2010 when they were a WOTC target group, 362,561 disconnected youth found jobs, and we were easily on the way to a half million a year when their target group was terminated.
Our Coalition’s efforts helped bring about appointment of an inter-agency task force, headed by OMB, in 2011, and a “request for information” was sent to around 800 government agencies and NGO’s, culminating in a webinar conference in June of last year that, regrettably, hasn’t produced much so far. Our dialogue with OMB staff has continued since that time, with the goal of getting the President to address the serious disconnected youth problem in the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, and propose WOTC as the solution.
We are enclosing a copy of our latest message to OMB, sent on January 31st.
We haven’t received a reply to this message and don’t expect one till after release of the President’s budget.
Regardless of the budget, we will go all out way for restoration of disconnected youth this year. If there’s a sequester deal between now and March 1st, we will have a chance to get in the deal. Please bring this up with your White House contacts and ask them to support it—no need to ask them to extend WOTC, just present disconnected youth as major labor force problem that needs to be addressed, that restoring it in the jobs tax credit which proved very effective in 2009-2010 makes sense and should be included in the President’s proposals.
You should also bring it to attention of Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, and ask other Finance Committee senators to urge Senator Baucus to get it in the Democrats’ revenue proposals for a sequester deal. Senator Reid wants revenue in any sequester bill, so if the political stars align, there may be a tax title which can carry both disconnected youth and Hurricane Sandy WOTC to passage.
If sequester doesn’t work, we’ll try again on the next tax vehicle to come along.
We will keep you informed.
PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition (more…)
Catching up with the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which was signed by President Obama in November of last year, the Internal Revenue Service has issued an updated Form 8850 and some very important guidance.
Disconnected Youth: Although not unexpected, I should note that in preparing the updated IRS 8850 Pre-screening Notice, the IRS has removed the questions related to qualifying Disconnected Youth. This category expired on December 31, 2010.
We’ve been clinging to the hope that it would be added-back with the extension of WOTC. I personally have not given up on that hope. Also, if I am not mistaken, the Department of Labor’s current instructions to State Workforce Agencies still requires them to reserve disconnected youth applications on file pending future instructions.
Notice 2012-13: Notice 2012-13 provides guidance on a number of important issues and should not be overlooked. I suggest a thorough reading. Major topics covered include:
- Background of the new veterans categories
- Transition relief (a grace period extending the 28-day submission deadline for IRS 8850 for qualified veterans hired between November 22, 2011 and May 22, 2012)
- The use of electronic signatures for IRS 8850
- Signing or filing IRS 8850 by FAX transmission
- Guidance for tax-exempt organizations claiming WOTC
Request for Comments: In addition to the guidance provided by the IRS on these topics, the IRS is also requesting comments about (1) alternative methods for certification of qualified veterans and (2)alternative methods of filing Form 8850.
In summary, with this notice the IRS has given us a lot to think about and a lot of work to do.
The Huffington Post published an article by Leo Hindery, Jr. this morning in which Mr. Hindery tells about his task force’s new report, “Vision of Economic Renewal: An American Jobs Agenda.” This report includes a series of 15 recommendations (issued by The Task Force on Job Creation) for reversing America’s economic crisis. (more…)
I received an update from Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition today. There is recent progress on the legislative front for an extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
The WOTC program is currently slated to expire on December 31, 2011. While that might at first seem alarming if your company has been relying on the program to offset hiring costs, its par for the WOTC game. Over the years, Congress has repeatedly allowed the program to expire or nearly expire before renewing it for another term. (more…)
The US House is schedule to vote on the tax bill today. The House Rules Committee, however, is allowing a vote on only one proposed amendment – an amendment to increase the estate tax. The rule allows no other motions or amendments on the bill.
While we hoped for an extension of the HIRE Act payroll tax exemption, that program will end for new hires (as it was originally scheduled) on December 31. Do not forget, however, that the HIRE Act’s worker-retention tax credit remains in play — many employees who qualified for the payroll tax exemption in 2010 will generate an additional income tax credit for their employer in 2011 after working for 52 weeks.
Some employers who participate in the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program will experience a small decrease in qualifications in 2011 as the Disconnected Youth and Unemployed Veteran target groups also expire. We are consoled, however, by the fact that the WOTC program itself has been renewed through 2011.
So, far now — for now — the fight is temporarily over. In 2011, we will be working with the new Congress to renew and extend as many of these provisions as feasible. If you’re interested in joining the WOTC Coalition and playing some role in the effort, contact Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition. Visit the Coalition’s website at www.WOTCCoalition.com.
The Senate today passed the much anticipated tax bill without renewing the HIRE Act Payroll Tax Exemption, federal Renewal Communities, or the WOTC provisions for disconnected youth, unemployed veterans, or Gulf Opportunity Zone employers. This is a disappointment, but not unexpected.
Now that HR 4853 has been passed to the U.S. House of Representatives, eyes turn to susceptible House members seeking an amendment to add these provisions. If these incentives are important to you, please consider contacting House Members from your jurisdictions and urge them to support including these 5 provisions with any amendments to the tax bill. Make a special effort to contact Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin.
Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, pointed out today that these 5 programs are “current-law job creation incentives” — so we are not urging the creation of any new program. In summary, what we seek:
- Extension of the HIRE tax credits
- Extension of the Renewal Community program
- Extension of WOTC for disconnected youth
- Extension of WOTC for unemployed Iraq-Afghanistan era veterans
- Extension of WOTC for Gulf Opportunity Zone employers
On the bright side, the bill passed by the Senate does include reauthorization of:
- The WOTC Program through 2011
- The Research and Development Tax Credit
- The Indian Employment Credit
- The Empowerment Zone Program
- The District of Columbia Enterprise Zone
See my previous post on this.
As noted in my most recent post, some key employment incentives were left out of the Senate version of the tax bill being discussed in Washington D.C. I received a correspondence today from Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, detailing current efforts to include the missing programs in the House version of the bill. (more…)
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