The WOTC is available to employers who hire individuals from certain targeted groups, including:
To claim the WOTC, employers must complete Form 8850, "Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit," and submit it to their state workforce agency within 28 days of the employee's start date. The state agency will then determine the employee's eligibility and issue a certification if the employee is eligible. The employer can then claim the credit on their federal tax return.
The maximum WOTC credit an employer can claim varies depending on the targeted group of the employee. For example, the maximum credit for hiring a veteran who is unemployed for at least six months is 40% of the first-year wages paid to the employee, up to a maximum of $6,000. The maximum credit for hiring a TANF recipient is 40% of the first-year wages paid to the employee, up to a maximum of $2,400.
No, the WOTC is not a refundable credit. This means that the credit can only be used to offset the employer's federal tax liability, and any excess credit cannot be refunded to the employer.
The WOTC is available for a limited time and is generally authorized by Congress on a year-by-year basis. The current authorization for the WOTC expires on December 31, 2025.