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October 19, 2010

A Waste of a Perfectly Good Federal Tax Credit

By John Hess, VP Sales, RetroTax a division of Associated Consultants Inc.

What a waste! Some companies are sitting on thousands of dollars of unused tax credits.

All for-profit employers are entitled to receive tax credits for hiring employees with certain demographics or backgrounds who live in designated geographic areas. Companies are either unaware of the programs or have not pursued them because of the administration involved.

This list of people is long, and it includes those who have been disconnected from the workforce for a variety of reasons. Veterans, ex-cons, recipients of food stamps or in TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) all qualify. So do teens who had summer jobs but are not going back to school in the fall (other criteria apply).

Residents of the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone and those who live and work in federally designated Empowerment Zones and Renewal Communities are also eligible. The complete list is here:

Companies who hire anyone from this long list of people who face significant employment barriers are eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program (WOTC), a federal tax credit incentive.

The main objective of WOTC is to enable these disenfranchised workers to gradually move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency as they earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers. WOTC joins other workforce programs that encourage workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for American workers.

At the same time, participating employers reduce their federal income tax liability. Federal tax credits range from $1,500 - $4,800 per eligible employee and can be used by companies to offset their federal tax liability. Companies can even capture tax credits retroactively from employees they've hired up to three years prior.

Additional information about these valuable incentive programs is available from your tax professional or contact John Hess at (815) 893-0498 or, or visit

Posted by: CRFUSA


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