Photography by Suzy Hazelwood.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 10,000 former prisoners are released every week across America. They need jobs. In fact, the Prison Policy Initiative reports that 2 years after release, more than 30% are still unemployed.
Gratefully, the State of Iowa offers a special tax benefit to small businesses that hire ex-felons residing in that state. In addition to the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), Iowa small businesses can receive a tax deduction of up to $20,000 per qualifying hire. Since this is a deduction (not a tax credit), the actual tax effect depends on the business’ tax rate.
Missouri State Representative Michele Kratky has proposed a state tax deduction for small businesses that hire qualifying disabled and previously incarcerated ex-offenders. The $5,000 deduction can be claimed for up to 3 consecutive years while minimum employment standards are being satisfied. (more…)