IRS Pressing Congress to Pass Tax Extenders Before End of November

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on October 8th, 2014

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D, OR) regarding the expired tax extenders:

To avoid . . . serious problems, I respectfully urge you and other Members of Congress to address this issue expeditiously…. it would be detrimental to the entire 2015 tax filing season and to millions of taxpayers if Congress fails to provide clear policy direction before the end of November.

While Commissioner Koskinen’s letter maintained neutrality on the policy question of whether or not to renew the tax extenders, he urgently states that a clear decision needs to be quickly made.  It should be noted that he is writing to Chairman Ron Wyden, whose Committee has already come out strongly in favor of passing an extenders bill.  Indeed, the Senate itself favored the EXPIRE act in a vote of 96 to 3 when contemplating cloture back in May.

While asking Chairman Wyden to communicate this urgent request to his colleagues, Commissioner Koskinen also confirms he is personally contacting Senator Orin Hatch (D, Utah) and Congressmen Dave Camp (R, Mich) and Sandy Levin (D, Mich).  Senator Hatch is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. Congressmen Camp and Levin are the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

I am getting the impression that they are, in fact, listening.

 

 

House Republicans will Determine WOTC Future – State-by-State Lobbying Plan

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on October 6th, 2014

If you have been following WOTC in the news lately, there hasn’t been much to follow.  The political process has been occupied elsewhere.  You might, however, have notice a few interesting odds and ends.

For example, ADP has a new mobile tool for WOTC screening.”  Click here.

Max Shenker of The EZ Policy Blog has also passed along a few interesting WOTC-related stories.

 “The National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) is highlighting a new study from an economist with the Wharton School of business showing that states collectively save $1.7 billion a year because of WOTC.”  Here.

Senator Hatch (Republican of Utah) predicts that tax-extenders will pass during the lame-duck session after the November 4 elections.

“[M]ake no mistake, Republicans want to pass this legislation. We know how important these extenders are to the business community. We’re going to get it done. I’m confident that it will pass, likely during the lame duck session after the midterms.”

And, the “IRS Wants Extenders Passed With Minimal Changes” in order to minimize potential complications for the upcoming 2015 tax-filing season.

Each of these items is uplifting in its own WOTC-sort-of way.

If you want to actually do something about passing a WOTC extension, Paul Suplizio of the WOTC Coalition offers some specific direction today.  The following is published here with permision.

*****


From: “Paul Suplizio” <wotc@cox.net>
Date: Mon, October 06, 2014 7:56 am
Subject: WOTC Coalition Lobbying During Election Period 

Every member of the House not retiring will be campaigning at home for re-election this month, the best time to visit and get their attention.

Attached is our state-by-state target list for lobbying House Republicans during the election period. We’ve included senators you’ll need to lobby as well, but give priority to House Republicans because they’ll determine the future of WOTC.

We cannot win a temporary extension after the election, or permanent extension in the tax reform bill to be written in the new Congress, without support of the Republican-controlled House.

In every state our Coalition has members who know how to be effective, and you are the people congressmen have a duty to listen to when you have a legislative interest. They will be home the entire month so go around to see them in their district office or at town meetings and campaign events and make the case for WOTC.

Start with your own congressman if he or she is a Republican—you don’t need to look at the lobbying plan for their name—you know who they are.

If you are a firm or organization that operates statewide, go to the target list for your state and make an effort to see those congressmen on the list.

If you are a firm or organization with branches or operations in more than one state, start with the state where you are headquartered, then work on the target list for states where you have a significant presence. So long as your organization has an impact on people in the district, you can represent their interest when speaking to their congressman.

Here’s the type message to deliver in your own words:

“We are concerned because Congress has yet to act on a tax extenders bill renewing programs like the work opportunity tax credit that have expired. Many of these programs have been part of the tax code for two or three decades, like WOTC, and Congress has always renewed them retroactively when they expire. But this year only the Senate has taken up and approved a bi-partisan bill on a first vote of 95-3. The House has passed bills for tax measures to be included in future tax reform, but has done nothing on the most immediate need—a bill to renew WOTC and other expired provisions.”

“A tax reform bill isn’t around the corner—it’s going to take all of next year and perhaps longer to finish. In the meantime, the tax filing season is almost here and the House, which has the constitutional duty to initiate revenue measures, has so far done nothing. This defeats the purpose of WOTC which is to help veterans, the disabled, the homeless, long-term unemployed, at-risk youth, low-income seniors, ex-felons, welfare and food stamp recipients find jobs and save the government money at the same time.”

“Studies have shown that savings on welfare, food stamps, and lower incarceration alone will more than pay for the entire cost of WOTC. It’s the most cost-effective jobs program because it operates through private sector employers and the government’s cost is capped so employers pay all but around $1,400 of compensation cost for each hire. Will you commit to work with House leaders to make passing an extenders bill that renews WOTC top priority when you return after the election? This is what we are asking and what the Congress needs to get done.”

We’ve enclosed the latest fiscal year 2013 Department of Labor statistics on job placements by target group for each state so you’ll be able to say to what extent your state participates.

We’ll be in touch with you daily to coordinate efforts on primary targets like House leaders and Ways and Means members. We can also answer questions your congressman may raise, and welcome any feedback from your contacts.

PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition

WOTC Coalition Republican Lobbying Targets For Election Period 2014

WOTC State Statistics For FY 2013

 

 

Chairman Wyden Amendment Includes EXPIRE Act in Senate Highway Bill

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on June 26th, 2014

With the support of Republican ranking member, Orin Hatch of Utah, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has presented an amendment to included the EXPIRE Act in the Senate’s highway bill.  The EXPIRE Act would renew the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and dozens of other tax extenders through 2015.

Paul Suplizio of the WOTC Coalition reports this morning that the Senate Finance Committee has adjourned for the Independence Day recess without a vote on the bill.

Between now and when the Senate reconvenes after July 7th, Senators Wyden and Hatch will be seeking a bipartisan agreement on the bill.  According to Mr. Suplizio, the probability is high that EXPIRE will be a part of the bill when it comes before the Senate.

This is not a reason, however, for WOTC supporters to relax.  It remains important to win support from additional Republican senators, whose leadership could still oppose including the extenders in the final bill to be sent to the House of Representatives.

The following is published here with permission.

*******

From: “Paul Suplizio” <wotc@cox.net>
Date: Thu, June 26, 2014 8:54 am
Subject: Finance Committee Adjourns Highway Markup Without Votes On Any Amendments

June 26, 2014

The Finance Committee has adjourned markup of the Highway bill, subject to call of the chair.

The Committee won’t meet again until after July 7—intervening time will be used by Senator Wyden and Senator Hatch to try to reach bi-partisan agreement on a final measure.

Chairman Wyden said he’s in touch with Ways and Means Chairman Camp on what the House approach will be on any measure sent to them by the Senate.

In view of Senate Democrats announcing their intention via the Wyden Amendment to include EXPIRE in the Highway bill, the odds are high EXPIRE will be in the bill that comes before the Senate.

We will have to continue working hard to win the support of Republican senators because Senator McConnell could make excluding the extenders a condition for his support of the bill. Senator McConnell has spoken in favor of the extenders, but we cannot take for granted what will come out of negotiations between himself and Senator Reid on the bill they’ll send to the House.

PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition

 

 

Urgent Chance THIS WEEK to Include WOTC in Senate Highways Bill Extension

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on June 23rd, 2014

The following update from Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, outlines a very time-limited potential opportunity to get WOTC back on track for 2014.  To have any impact, WOTC supports will need to act promptly.  Congress will wrap up its business and leave town by the end of this week for the Independence Day recess.

The following is published here with permission.

*******
Subject: Opportunity Opens This Week For WOTC Extension On Highway Bill
From: “Paul Suplizio” <wotc@cox.net>
Date: Mon, June 23, 2014 4:56 am

June 23, 2014

An opportunity has arisen and if we swing into action and go all-out this week to capitalize on it, we might just see WOTC extended till the end of the year.

The opportunity arises in the Senate Finance Committee which must mark up a bill to reauthorize the almost empty Highway Trust Fund from which Federal capital expenditures for roads and bridges are made.

The fund needs $90 billion over ten years, but $8 billion will cover it for the rest of the year. A bill has to be passed in July because the fund runs dry in August. Because nobody can see a way to produce $90 billion in revenue to pass a long-term reauthorization, Senator Wyden and Senator Hatch are almost certain to write a short-term extension till year-end—Hatch says he’s sure it will be a short-term extension.

Wyden and Hatch are also aware that many senators on the Finance Committee are looking at this bill as a vehicle for their renewing their favorite tax extender for the year—and it’s possible Wyden and Hatch would allow a limited number of extenders to ride along on the Highway bill if there were a clamor for this or that extender by Finance Committee members when the committee marks up the bill.

Senator Wyden has been planning to call a markup of the Highway Trust Fund measure for this week because Congress will leave this Thursday or Friday for the July 4th recess and not return until July 7th. We aren’t sure whether he’ll be able to do it—the bill is linked to a long-range highway bill in the Energy and Commerce Committee that could lead to snags postponing markup until after the recess.

But we must assume there will be a markup Wednesday or Thursday, so we have very little time. Fortunately we are well positioned with all of us linked to Finance Committee senators and their legislative aides since our campaign last December. Now we have to swing into action contacting these same Finance Committee senators, Democrats and Republicans, urging them to include a year-long extension of WOTC (for 2014) in the Highway Trust Fund bill.

We’ve already laid the groundwork for you with a letter that was faxed to Senator Reid and Senator McConnell and every Finance Committee senator early this morning. The letter is one way to lay out our case for giving WOTC high priority for attachment to the Highway bill. This is one approach, you may bring in other arguments. In your contacts, be sure to start by underlining how you as a business are using WOTC successfully to hire eligible workers in the senator’s state, or how you as a service organization (veterans, disability, minority, community, etc) are using WOTC to place people you serve into private sector jobs in the senator’s state (our letter doesn’t include this point).

Allowing WOTC to remain expired for this year would not only cost WOTC workers more than 300,000 jobs, but will cost our WOTC employers who’ve been continuing to hire since January 1st, but cannot get their certifications approved till WOTC is renewed, around $1.7 billion dollars in financial liquidity that could have been invested in their business this year rather than next year or later.

WOTC has a strong case for high priority consideration in the Highway bill. The rest is up to us. Most of us haven’t talked to senators about the Highway bill, so this is a good time to reach out anew about the opportunity this bill presents to get something done and press the idea that, since it’s a short term vehicle covering this year, it would be a suitable vehicle for an extender like WOTC, whose continued expiration imposes costs in lost hires to the people it’s meant to serve, as well as costs in delayed tax savings which could have been invested in states and communities our employers serve.

Remember, we want to take this message to members of the Senate Finance Committee, Democrats and Republicans, and to Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell via whatever routes you have available. It’s time to pull out all stops!

We will keep you informed. Please contact me if you have any questions, 703-587-4566.

PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition

 

Struggle for 2-year Tax Extenders Bill Continues in US Senate

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on June 3rd, 2014

As a potential Senate vote on the EXPIRE Act looms, the WOTC Coalition’s Paul Suplizio urges WOTC proponents to renew their contacts with Republican Senators.

“We believe several Senate Republicans who support EXPIRE will break with their leader and vote for cloture when another vote is taken.”

Those considered most likely to vote for cloture (and who therefore should receive particular attention from WOTC supporters) include the following Republican Senators.

  • Pat Roberts (Kansas),
  • Rob Portman (Ohio),
  • Jerry Moran (Kansas),
  • Susan M. Collins (Maine),
  • Mark Kirk (Illinois),
  • Chuck Grassley (Iowa), and
  • Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)

If you or your clients are NOT doing business in states represented by these Senators, then by all means still reach out to your own Republican Senators. Urge them to vote for cloture when the vote is taken on the EXPIRE Act.

 

The following is published here with permission.

*************

Subject: EXPIRE Bill Still High Priority For Reid, Wyden
From: “Paul Suplizio”
Date: Tue, June 03, 2014 1:53 pm

June 3, 2014

We are bending every effort to break the deadlock over amendments to the EXPIRE bill and get it passed by the Senate and sent to the House for final passage without further delay.

To this end, we are urging Senator Reid to bring EXPIRE to the Senate again for another vote as soon as possible. We do this because Senator Reid and Senator Wyden have made crystal clear what they will accept by way of amendments—their only requirement is for amendments to be germane to the bill. It’s now up to the opposition to decide whether to accept these terms or keep the bill bottled up.

Faced with this choice, we believe several Senate Republicans who support EXPIRE will break with their leader and vote for cloture when another vote is taken.

The odds are strong that, on another vote, Republican Senators Roberts, Portman, Moran, Collins, Kirk, Grassley, Ayotte, and others will vote to advance the bill—more than enough to add to 55 Democrats and Independents to reach the 60 votes required to end debate and move to final passage.

It’s important for everyone to re-connect with the above-named senators and other Republicans from your state, or states where you have operations, urging them to vote for the EXPIRE bill when the Majority Leader brings it before the Senate again. Stay in touch with the tax legislative assistants of these senators to get a reading on whether they’re willing to vote for EXPIRE when it’s brought up again and open to germane amendments. Let us know any objections you may hear—we may be able to help resolve them.

One big obstacle to passage of EXPIRE has been removed—it’s now clear there’s no stomach in either Senate or House for requiring a revenue offset to the $80 billion cost of a two-year retroactive extension for WOTC and other extenders. The House may make changes to the Senate bill, but raising revenue to offset the cost won’t be one of them.

Any changes the House makes to any of the extenders are likely to be quickly resolved with the Senate—it shouldn’t slow final passage. Our biggest job is getting the bill un-snared in the Senate.

PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition

 

Senate Hits Procedural Breaks on EXPIRE Act – Hatch and Wyden Working on Solutions

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on May 16th, 2014

[Updated 05/16/2014 at 12:15 P.M. Pacific Time.]

Not withstanding the Senate’s overwhelming bipartisan support for the EXPIRE Act as demonstrated on Monday, a procedural move by Senate Democratic leaders has resulted in a (hopefully temporary) Republican revolt against the bill.

Yesterday, after amending HR 3474 to include the full language of the EXPIRE Act, Senate leadership called for a cloture vote. They did this, however, after blocking Republican attempts to bring up amendments. As a result, the cloture vote failed 53 to 40 with Republicans loudly protesting their exclusion (60 votes are necessary).

As reported by CNN Capital Hill reporter Lisa Desjardins,

“It is a rare, strange day when Senate Republicans vote to block billions in tax cuts. But that’s what happened Thursday when they chose to freeze a massive tax credit package in order to protest how Democrats are running the chamber.”

Republican Senate leaders, of course, express a very different view of the situation. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the floor,

“This is bigger than any one bill. What (Democrats are) doing is muzzling the people of this country, a gag order on the people we were sent here to represent.”

Paul Suplizio of the WOTC Coalition reports this morning, however, that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (Dem of Oregon) and Ranking Committee Member Orin Hatch (Rep of Utah) are working together to broker amendments.

“Finance Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch are committed to working together with other senators who are proposing amendments, and accommodating them if possible. Wyden and Hatch are energetic and respected by their colleagues so we have reason to be optimistic; both made floor statements agreeing to work together to get the extenders back on track.”

Frequently, amendments can be resolved without a floor vote, for example, by promising a vote on another bill. Wyden and Hatch aim to produce a short list of amendments to be voted on, which will then be cleared with Senator Reid and Senator McConnell.

It remains uncertain how long it will take Wyden and Hatch to deal with around a hundred amendments, but the process can move quickly if senators cooperate. We have the top leaders and two of the smartest minds in the Senate tackling this problem—we must give them a chance.

 

EXPIRE Act – Tax Extenders and WOTC Now on their Way in US Senate

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on May 13th, 2014

Earlier today, the US Senate voted overwhelmingly (96 for, 3 against) to take up HR 3474, the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act.

This procedural vote of cloture means that a final vote on the bill may be coming soon.  In the mean time, amendments will be considered and negotiations concluded. We anticipate a vote on the floor of the Senate as early as this week.

Of course, passage by the Senate does not make it law.  It must still pass before the House of Representatives where support is not so dramatic. The overwhelming support for this bill in today’s cloture vote, however, bodes well for a strong passage by the Senate. This unexpectedly high level of support in the Senate may in turn become a persuasive message to our Republican leadership in the House.

The language of this tax extenders bill will renew the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) and Empowerment Zone tax incentives (and numerous other programs) through 2015.  It also includes an expansion of WOTC by adding a new target group — the Long-term Unemployment Recipient.  To be precise:

The term qualified long-term unemployment recipient means any individual who is certified by the designated local agency as being in a period of unemployment which– (A) is not less than 27 consecutive weeks, and (B) includes a period in which the individual was receiving unemployment compensation under State or Federal law.

This definition is more restrictive than the original version included in an earlier draft of this bill.  For one, the required length of unemployment is longer – a minimum of 27 instead of 26 weeks.  Moreover, the new employee must have received unemployment compensation benefits at some time during that 27-week period.  Finally, the individual must be currently unemployed at the time of hire and the 27 weeks must be consecutive, leading up to the hire date.

The consecutive-weeks requirement is troubling because it could produce inequitable results for many people. It depends on how strictly the language will be interpreted by the IRS. If the word “unemployed” means no work at all, it would rule out struggling but responsible individuals who have accepted even the most temporary work opportunities.

Consider this in light of the 2010 HIRE Act’s payroll tax exemption. If you recall, the HIRE Act provided a benefit to employers when they hired individuals who had been unemployed for at least 60 days.  Even though the unemployment requirement was much shorter, a person could still have worked up to 40 hours during that period and still be considered unemployed for purposes of the tax benefit.

[This post was updated with minor corrections 05/16/2014]
 

Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Association, reported on the Senate’s cloture vote this morning.  The following is published here with permission.

****************************************

From: “Paul Suplizio” <wotc@cox.net>
Date: Tue, May 13, 2014 9:47 am
Subject: Senate Votes To Advance Tax Extenders Bill

May 13, 2014

The Senate voted 96-3 today to take up H.R. 3474, the tax extenders bill.

This success is largely due to efforts of new Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and his team for reaching out to every senator to accommodate their interests in the bill. Since the bill was approved by the Finance Committee on April 3rd, Senator Wyden has been actively reaching across the aisle to Republicans to gain their support.

Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader McConnell, and the bill’s managers, Senator Wyden and Senator Hatch, can now determine which amendments, if any, will be voted on and move to final passage of the bill.

We will be watching for amendments that may impact WOTC—so far there are none, but Senator Coburn, who voted against the bill, has made WOTC a target in the past.

Those of us in touch with Speaker Boehner, Chairman Camp, or others in the House leadership can note the overwhelming vote in the Senate and urge the House to move on the bill when it comes before them.

It’s understood the House will want to make changes—what’s important is that they bring a bill to the floor soon to provide certainty to taxpayers and boost the economy.

The biggest risk at this point is for House Republicans to sit on the bill till after the election because they cannot get the President to agree to something they want, in particular, terminating the medical device tax imposed by the Affordable Care Act. Repealing this tax is a high priority for Republicans and we know it’s one of the amendments Senator Reid is being asked to allow a vote on.

Many thanks to Coalition members who’ve been lobbying Senate Republicans non-stop for two years to get WOTC extended and made permanent in tax reform. The job isn’t finished but you can see your efforts are paying off.

PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition

*********

 

Tax Extenders Update – Urgent Need for Action to Support WOTC in US House

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on April 30th, 2014

On Monday, the EXPIRE Act of 2014 was introduced to the Senate and placed on the Senate Calendar.  Find detailed information at Congress.gov here.

The EXPIRE Act proposes to extend WOTC through 2015 and support for the bill in the Senate is strong; HOWEVER, proponents of the Work Opportunity Credit face a serious challenge in the House where the Ways and Means Committee is now taking up individual tax extender programs for evaluation.  Among committee members, Republican support for extending WOTC is weak.

Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition, issued an urgent call to action this week.  The following is published here with permission.

********************

From: “Paul Suplizio” <wotc@cox.net>
Date: Mon, April 28, 2014 9:22 am
Subject: Winning Ways And Means Republicans Imperative While Senate Debates Extenders Bill

April 28, 2014

Congress returns today and at 2:00 PM Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may say when the Senate Finance Committee’s bill, “Expiring Provisions Improvement, Reform, and Efficiency Act (EXPIRE Act)” will come to the floor. The bill includes a two-year retroactive extension of WOTC and empowerment zones, and adds the long-term unemployed as a new WOTC target group. The extension covers workers hired between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2015.

The Senate bill will likely be brought up as an amendment to a House bill, since revenue measures must originate in the House; H.R. 2575 has been cleared for this purpose. H.R. 2575, “Save American Workers Act,” changes the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to make 40 hours per week the requirement for a full-time worker. It’s likely this provision will not be part of the amended bill Senator Reid brings to the floor.

Tomorrow, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp continues his plan for a hearing on tax extender, followed by markup and vote on a separate bill for each extender. Go to www.waysandmeans.house.gov and, under “Committee Schedule” click on April 29. You will note the following seven bills to be voted on:

  • H.R. 4058, To prevent and address sex trafficking of youth In foster care;
  • H.R. 4429, To permanently extend the Subpart F exemption for active financing income;
  • H.R. 4438, To simplify and make permanent the research credit;
  • H.R. 4453, To make permanent the reduced recognition period for built-in gains of S corporations;
  • H.R. 4454, To make permanent certain rules regarding basis adjustments to stock of S corporations making charitable contributions of property;
  • H.R. 4457, To permanently extend increased expensing limitations, and for other purposes;
  • H.R. 4464, To make permanent the look-through treatment of payments between related controlled foreign corporations.

If these bills clear Ways and Means with Republicans voting in favor, smooth sailing to a House vote making them a permanent part of the tax code will follow. If they pass Ways and Means mainly with Democratic votes plus a few Republicans, the odds are against their even getting a vote in the House.

We’ve underscored the need to get Republican congressmen on Ways and Means into WOTC’s corner for this decisive vote. So much at stake means having to go the extra mile–the President or CEO of every organization or business committed to WOTC must call and meet with Republican congressmen on Ways and Means in states where you have operations. This cannot be left to Washington alone.

So far, the hearing and markup for WOTC hasn’t been scheduled so we still have time to get this done—all that’s required is for everyone to do their part and reach out to these key Republican congressmen who will decide WOTC’s future.

We’re already in touch with WOTC supporters targeting Ways and Means Republicans from California, Ohio, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Washington, Georgia, Florida, Minnesota, Arkansas, and Kansas. We still need supporters in Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee to come forward. Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and other states are being covered by our colleague, National Employment Opportunities Network (NEON).

If you’re ready to help and uncertain of what to do, contact us by return e-mail or phone 703-587-4566.

Here again are Ways and Means Republicans we are targeting:

Sam Johnson (TX)
Kevin Brady (TX)
Kenny Marchant (TX)
Pat Tiberi (OH)
James B. Renacci (OH)
Jim Gerlach (PA)
Mike Kelly (PA)
Paul Ryan (WI)
Devin Nunes (CA)
Dave Reichert (WA)
Charles Boustany, Jr (LA)
Peter Roskam (IL)
Tom Price (GA)
Vern Buchanan (FL)
Adrian Smith (NE)
Erik Paulsen (MN)
Diane Black (TN)
Tom Reed (NY)
Todd Young (IN)
Tim Griffin (AR)

Note: Aaron Schock of IL and Lynn Jenkins of KS are already WOTC supporters and are not to be lobbied. Chairman Dave Camp of MI is opposed to permanent WOTC but might vote for a short-term extension.

PAUL E. SUPLIZIO
President, WOTC Coalition

 

Tax Extenders Bill Survives Committee – Empowerment Zones and New Target Group Added!

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on April 3rd, 2014

Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition gave us an e-mail play-by-play this morning as the Senate Finance Committee considered amendments to the EXPIRE Act.

First, according to the Committee’s press release, the Senate Finance Committee approved the EXPIRE Act with a strong bipartisan vote.

Also, empowerment-zone residency was added back to WOTC’s designated-community resident target group.   It is not yet clear to me if the provision also extends the empowerment-zone program itself.

[05/16/2014: Update: The most recent version of this bill clearly DOES renew and extend the Empowerment Zone program.]

Lastly, the Committee approved an amendment offered by Senators Rob Portman, Ben Cardin and Mark Warner adding a brand new WOTC target group for the long-term unemployed.

 

 

Draft Senate Tax Extenders Bill Published Today – WOTC Yes, Empowerment Zones No

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on April 1st, 2014

The markup of the Senate Finance Committee’s tax extenders bill, which was scheduled for Wednesday, has been postponed until Thursday. The bill’s formal name is the “Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act.

The Chairman’s Mark was published today and is available on the Senate Finance Committee’s website.  It will be considered by the full Committee on Thursday, amendments offered and approved, etc. It will then pass before the entire Senate for a vote.

The EXPIRE Act was presented this morning as a bi-partisan offer by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and the committee’s Ranking Minority Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

The bill includes a retroactive 2-year extension of WOTC, mostly intact. The Empowerment Zone Employment Credit, however, is missing from the bill. If this omission makes it through Thursday’s markup, it will also mean that empowerment zone residents will no longer be recognized as designated community members for purposes of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).

Here is the Senate Finance Committee’s Press Release.

Here is a summary of the bill and here is the proposal in its entirety.

The bill gives each of the following employment based tax credits a 2-year extension:

  • Indian employment tax credit
  • Employer wage credit for activated military reservists
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Also of interest to many WOTC Planet readers, the Research and experimentation tax credit (aka R&D) also has a 2-year extension.

Action Required

Paul Suplizio, President of the WOTC Coalition recognized the delay as an opportunity for WOTC proponents to reach out to Republican committee members and to request their support for the bill in markup.

If a majority of Finance Committee Republicans join in approving the bill Thursday, it will significantly increase the odds of passing the Senate. Please contact your Committee Republican senators, other than Senator Hatch, and urge them to vote to approve the EXPIRE Act when it comes before the Finance Committee on Thursday.