Work Opportunity Tax Credit Informational Notice – Updated Forms Requeired

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on November 19th, 2015

The Department of Labor has issued Training and Employment Guidance Letter Number 9-15 regarding updated forms. This morning, we received a notice about the update from the Karen Marberry, Minnesota’s Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coordinator. Marberry’s notice is copied below.

Please notice, the ETA 9061 has been renewed without substantive change BUT the Revision Date and Expiration Date have been updated.  Effective February 16, 2016 the new revision of the form must be used and the old revision will no longer be accepted.

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Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Informational Notice

Dear Consultant:

We have been advised by the U.S. Department of Labor to notify employers and consultants participating in the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program the required use of the newly revised ETA Form 9061 (August 2015) for all new hires effective February 16, 2016 and later. We ask that you discontinue using any outdated forms you currently have.

The 8850 and 9061 forms are available on our website at under the tab “How to Apply”. The website lists all of the target groups covered by the tax credit for individuals hired before January 1, 2015.

The WOTC is currently in a program hiatus; however please continue to submit applications timely throughout the hiatus to ensure applications will not be denied for being late once the program has been reauthorized.

This form change requirement includes applications submitted to the WOTC online application system.

Thank you for your cooperation. If you have any questions, please call 651-259-7507 or 1-888-234-5521.

Karen Marberry | Work Opportunity Tax Credit Coordinator
Department of Employment and Economic Development
1st National Bank Building, 332 Minnesota St., Suite E200, St. Paul MN 55101
Direct: 651-259-7521 l TTY: 651-296-3900 l Fax: 651-297-7722
Web | Twitter | Facebook

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We’re Still Waiting – Tax Extenders Omitted from the Two-Year Budget Deal

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on October 29th, 2015

I’m sorry, I should have posted this sooner.

The Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 as worked out by Speaker Boehner and other leaders this week does not include WOTC or other tax extenders. The extenders will likely become a priority for the new Speaker in coming days. They most certainly ARE a priority for tens of thousands of businesses and tax payers, all of whom have their eyes on Congress this week.


Tax Extenders Almost Here?

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on October 26th, 2015

Leaders are closing in on a budget. Word has it that we might get news about tax extenders after tonight’s meeting of House Republicans.  Speaker Boehner is trying to wrap up business before vacating his seat on Thursday.


Congressional leaders and White House closing in on a budget deal

Congress and White House Near Deal on Budget

Congress, White House close to releasing two-year budget agreement



Apprenticeship and Jobs Training Act of 2015 – Tax Credits for Offering Apprenticeships

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on September 10th, 2015

From The Hill yesterday:

A bipartisan group of senators are introducing legislation to create a $5,000 tax credit for employers that provide apprenticeship programs to train workers in high-demand fields.

Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) unveiled the Apprenticeship and Jobs Training Act of 2015 on Wednesday

For the particulars of the Apprenticeship and Jobs Training Act of 2015, see its coverage at


Senate Finance Committee Reports on Tax Extenders Bill

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on August 11th, 2015

Last week, on August 5th, the Senate Finance Committee reported its version of the 2015 tax extenders bill, S 1946, The Tax Extension Relief Act of 2015.

 ”The Committee on Finance, having considered an original bill, S. 1946, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend certain expiring provisions, and for other purposes, reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.”

This bill would authorize the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for 2 additional years, retroactively beginning January 1, 2015.  It would also extend WOTC to cover a new target group — long-term unemployment recipients.

“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.’’

That sounds simple enough.  It will still be some time before we find out where the House of Representatives will stand on the issue.


Here’s the Senate Finance Committee’s page to track this legislation.  Click through to find the legislative text, the Committee’s Report, and other items.


Tax Extenders Bill Scheduled for Consideration in Senate Finance Committee Next Week

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on July 17th, 2015

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing to consider the Chairman’s markup of a new tax extenders bill.  The Committee will consider the bill on Tuesday, July 21.  In its current form, the bill would give the Work Opportunity Tax Credit a 2-year retroactive extension — January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2016.

The bill will extend federal Empowerment Zone tax benefits for the same period.

Read the Chairman’s markup here.


Senator Tom Udall Introduces Bill to Extend Parts of WOTC Through 2018

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on June 11th, 2015

Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico has reintroduced legislation that would extend the Work Opportunity Tax Credit’s veteran target groups through 2018 (and retroactively to January 1, 2014).  The bill would not extend non-veteran target groups.

Read the bill here.

And, from the Senator’s website:

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall announced that he has reintroduced legislation to extend and streamline hiring incentives for unemployed and disabled veterans. The VOW to Hire Heroes Extension Act of 2015 would renew and extend the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), which provided employers with tax credits for hiring unemployed or disabled veterans until its expiration in 2014. Udall said the bill is good for veterans, businesses and New Mexico’s economy. For example, some veterans have been overlooked for jobs because they have limited private sector experience — but their skills and discipline make them valuable, fast-learning employees.

Udall is a longtime champion of initiatives to hire veterans. The first piece of legislation he successfully passed in the U.S. Senate expanded tax incentives for employers who hired recently returned veterans. Udall cosponsored the original VOW to Hire Heroes Act to build on that progress, and it was signed into law in 2011. This new bill would renew and extend the program so more unemployed and disabled veterans can find good jobs.

“Transitioning out of military service and back to the civilian workforce can be daunting, especially for veterans who were disabled overseas,” Udall said. “Our veterans have sacrificed for our country, and we owe it to them to help make sure they can transition smoothly back into civilian life. I was proud to champion the original VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which helped thousands of veterans apply their valuable skills to civilian positions. Extending this program will show that our country remains committed to veterans and their families, while helping businesses find good employees and boosting New Mexico’s economy.”

The VOW Act would extend the program through 2018 and simplify the WOTC application process to ensure that paperwork hurdles do not create disincentives that prevent businesses or veterans from taking advantage of the important benefit.

Specifically, the VOW Act would:

- Extend the veterans hiring tax credit for 3 years.

- Simplify the certification of veterans’ status.

- Make the credit available against payroll taxes in certain circumstances.

- Ensure parity for tax exemptions in U.S. territories and possessions.

- Require the Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor to report annually to Congress on the cost-effectiveness of the credit increasing veterans’ employment.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is leading the legislation, which is also supported by Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Calif.-26) introduced the House companion legislation of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.


IRS Revises Form 8850

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on April 22nd, 2015

It is time to think about updating your Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) pre-screening documents.

The IRS’ latest revision to Form IRS 8850, “Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit” is dated March 2015.  I do not notice any material changes to the form.

Keep alert for possible instructions from the IRS regarding deadlines for switching over.  In the past, the IRS has continued to allow the use of older versions of the form, although this can be problematic if the program’s eligibility criteria have changed.  In this case, however, there are no program changes reflected on the form.

Interestingly, the IRS issued this revision during a period when the WOTC program itself has not yet been reauthorized by Congress for 2015.

For my firm’s clients, we will be updating your screening materials in a manner convenient for you, as you continue to use your current stock of screening packets.


Florida Enterprise Zone Program May be Allowed to Expire

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on April 3rd, 2015

From the Florida Times Union,

The state Enterprise Zone program is scheduled to end at the end of the year, according to state law. So far, no lawmakers have filed bills that would keep the program going, although House Bill 7067 would allow local governments to control similar programs without state help or money.

“They’re going to basically push it down to the cities as an unfunded mandate,” said Rep. Reggie Fullwood, D-Jacksonville, a champion of the program.

Read more here.


Opportunity Alert! IRS Notice 2015-13 Providing Transition Relief for Employers Submitting Late WOTC Applications

Written by Vaughn Hromiko on February 19th, 2015

We have been waiting for this!

The IRS has released IRS Notice 2015-13, which provides transition relief given the late retroactive renewal of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program in December 2014.

Notice 2015-13 waves the 28-day deadline for submitting IRS Form 8850 (the WOTC Pre-screen Notice) for qualifying employees hired in 2014.  The extended deadline for submitting the applications for affected employees is now April 30, 2015.  From the Notice:

Because [Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014] extended the WOTC retroactively for 2014 for members of targeted groups, employers need additional time to comply with the requirements of § 51(d)(13)(A). Accordingly, a taxable employer that hired a member of a targeted group (as defined in §§ 51(d)(2) through (10)), or a qualified tax-exempt organization that hired a qualified veteran described in § 51(d)(3), on or after January 1, 2014, and before January 1, 2015, will be considered to have satisfied the requirements of § 51(d)(13)(A)(ii) if it submits the completed Form 8850 to the appropriate DLA to request certification not later than April 30, 2015.

A timely request for certification does not eliminate the need for the employer to receive a certification before claiming the credit.

What does this mean in practical terms?

    • Employers who were sitting on the fence in 2014 may now submit WOTC applications for employees hired in 2014.
    • Moreover, employers who were actively screening and submitting WOTC applications during 2014 — but who declined to submit one or more applications because the 28-day deadline had been missed — may now reconsider and submit those “late” applications.
    • All applications for employees hired in 2014 must be submitted on or before April 30, 2015.