Monday, May 9, 2016



Exciting News on the WOTC front!

The government has decided to extend the deadline for retroactive WOTC claims (anyone hired from January 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016) to June 29, 2016.  This includes all target groups except the new Long-Term Unemployed.  This is great news for giving felons a new chance because we can submit the correct forms dating back to new hires from January 1, 2015.  Therefore, make sure you act fast and get the correct documents, IRS Form 8850 and Form 9061, executed and submitted by the new deadline, June 29, 2016.

Quick and accurate answers to WOTC questions can be obtained by emailing them to: Info@WOTCSolutions.com or by calling 888-313-5696 and following the directions for employers.  For additional WOTC cards click: Order WOTC Cards

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SUCCESS IN OHIO!

We are pleased to announce the roll-out of a genuinely innovative job-assistance model harnessing the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a process that has been in development in Ohio since 2011, beginning with the efforts of Dr. Ed Rhine and former APA Director Sara Andrews. Getting to this point has been something of a tortuous process. But, we think the results will prove well worth the time and effort we have all spent in reaching this juncture.

Simply put, TNS/WS has worked together with re-entry professionals from the ODRC to create a database of “felon-friendly” employers across Ohio.  (Think of it as “Match.com” for those with a felony on their record and employers who have demonstrated a willingness to consider hiring felons.)  The felons’ individual credentials and backgrounds are matched to what the employers captured in the database are seeking in employees using sophisticated proprietary matching software technology.  

This offering is unique for numerous reasons including being able to serve the many thousands of felons Ohio must deal with every year--in fact, this model can potentially serve every one, something no other re-entry employment model can even begin to approach.  And, we’ve figured out how to do this at no cost to the offender seeking work, or the corrections system.  We utilize the badly underused tool of the federal WOTC--those employers who choose to hire us to assist them in actually obtaining the credit underwrite the costs of the service to the benefit of every Ohioan.

One of the reasons for the delayed implementation is the fact that Congress has repeatedly used this law as a political football, allowing it to lapse and then renewing it and back-dating it.  While the way they’ve mismanaged it might be inconsequential to the Wal-Marts of the world, it has made utilizing it in the way our service model was designed cumbersome and difficult.  Thankfully, as part of the federal budget “deal”, in December 2015 President Obama signed the latest renewal into law through the end of 2019, giving this tool the stability needed to do what we are now doing with it under our partnership with the ODRC.  

We are now in the process of coordinating this service with the new case management system called the OCSS which is now being rolled out across Ohio, which will make the delivery of this unique and much-needed service to all Ohio felons and re-entry professionals  far more efficient.

We have the members of the powerful Ohio Congressional delegation to thank for the improvement in the law, many of whom are in attendance, as well as ODRC Director Gary Mohr to thank for that agency’s cooperation.  We also have your Business Re-Entry Summit Coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Boswell, to particularly thank for her many efforts toward reaching this point.    

Finally, we are also pleased to brag that this model is garnering interest from corrections systems across our country.  This interest comes from the breadth of our service in terms of the numbers we can serve, and, from the fact that it comes without cost to the job seekers or the budget-strapped re-entry systems trying to help them reintegrate into society.

We welcome your interest, input and your questions.  Also, we welcome the opportunity to work together to make this good idea a reality for all Ohioans.

Respectfully,

Your friends at The Next Step and WOTC Solutions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016



The IRS has released the new revised Form 8850 “Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit”.  This revised Form now includes the new WOTC Target Group Long-Term Unemployed.  The new addition to the Form reads:

7. Check here if you are in a period of unemployment that is at least 27 consecutive weeks and for all or part of that period you received unemployment compensation.

This comes after the new law put into place in December 2015 added the new category.  The new categories instructions are for individuals hired after 2015. We want to emphasize the importance for reentry efforts as employers of felons who were released more than a year ago will often be eligible under this additional category.  

Quick and accurate answers to WOTC questions can be obtained by emailing them to: Info@WOTCSolutions.com or by calling 888-313-5696 and following the directions for employers.  For additional WOTC cards click: Order WOTC Cards

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT LAW

  • The WOTC law was renewed as part of the “budget deal” signed into law by President Obama on December 16, 2015.   (Click here for full text of Rules Committee Print Order 114-40.)

  • This renewal is for 5 years, back-dated to January 1, 2015 through the end of 2019.  The renewal period now provides this employer incentive with much needed stability.

  • A new category was added: “Long-term unemployed” (LTU) is defined as someone seeking work for more than 27 weeks and received unemployment benefits during all or part of that 27 weeks.. This is important for reentry efforts as employers of felons who were released more than a year ago will often be eligible under this additional category.

  • Per newly-issued IRS Regulation 2016-22 (linked below), employers have until June 29, 2016 to submit employees under this new category.

  • Employers who hired a WOTC-eligible employee since January 1, 2015 are not subject to the normal requirement of applying for the credit within 28 days of the employee’s “start date.” Per Regulation 2016-22 (linked below) employers now have until May 31, 2016 to submit employees under the categories other than the LTU.  (Remember: This means all employers who hired a felon in 2015 are still eligible to obtain this incentive.)


  • As the new Rule references, the IRS is in the process of developing new filing forms to encompass these changes.  As they are published we will get them to you.

  • Quick and accurate answers to WOTC questions can be obtained by emailing them to: Info@WOTCSolutions.com or by calling 888-313-5696 and following the directions for employers.  For additional WOTC cards click: Order WOTC Cards

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hello again from WOTC Solutions:

It’s well-worth taking a moment to learn the recent changes Congress made to the Work Opportunity Tax Credit law which you have used to save money in the past.  As of December of 2015 this law has finally become stable.

As a result of these changes (which probably put money in your pocket!):
  • All your 2015 hires are potentially eligible to earn you substantial reductions to your tax bill.  
  • There is a new category of tax credit eligibility -- the Long Term Unemployed. To be eligible they only have to be unemployed for the 27 weeks before you hired them!  Many of your 2016 hires will be eligible for this additional tax bill offset. [NOTE: this credit is so new the IRS has not updated their form so WOTC Solutions has designed a temporary form to harvest these savings until the new form is published.  We make this form available to all our present and former clients.]
  • There is an additional tax credit your company may qualify for -- hiring a person who lives in what’s called an Enterprise Zone. It’s a tax credit for hiring someone who lives in a high unemployment area. We screen all your employees for EZ eligibility. Please note that Congress has phased this credit out at the end of 2016 so don’t miss out on the money savings you can obtain this year and this year only.

What do I do to make sure I get this money?
  • The POA you issued previously has to be renewed. Click here to download the updated IRS POA form that we need to file with your state’s WOTC Coordinator to do the work to obtain these savings for your business. Fill out and sign the form and then scan and email it to us at johnw@wotcsolutions.com.  [As a reminder, this form 2848 is strictly limited to enabling us to communicate with the IRS to obtain the tax credits you are entitled to by law and nothing else.]  
  • Or, if you prefer, suited to your specific schedule, we’ll call you to answer any questions about all these changes.  You can set that call by clicking here 

Just a reminder that we do the work for you and charge only a small portion of what you actually receive in the credit.  And, it’s also important to remember that there is no charge if you do not receive the credit, and no charge until your tax credit is actually obtained and in hand.

In addition to handling all necessary appeals of WOTC Coordinator denials of an employee’s eligibility for you to get you the credit, our services include the following:
  1. Create, maintain and store all client forms necessary for WOTC Certification and earning the credit for your business. Screen new hires for WOTC eligibility, and manage the entire process necessary to obtain all credits your company is due.
  2. Manage all communications on your behalf with your state’s WOTC office and the IRS regarding the verification process and your application’s status. (And we keep them available for the dreaded audit.)
  3. Track your WOTC-eligible employees’ hours and wages to provide you with the maximum value of credit.
  4. Provide you with regular updates.
  5. Keep your company current with all changes in the WOTC law. (For example, did you know that since January 1, 2016 any of your employees who was unemployed for 27 weeks and earned a little unemployment  makes you eligible for this money?)
  6. Create IRS forms necessary to claim any earned tax credit Certification.
We look forward to hearing from you either by your returning the POA form to start the process or by scheduling a call (on your schedule) to answer any questions you have.

Respectfully,

Your friends at WOTC Solutions.

P.S. Don't forget to fill out and return the updated IRS POA form so we can submit your WOTC eligible employees!

Monday, February 8, 2016

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NEW WORK OPPORTUNITY TAX CREDIT LAW

  • The WOTC law was renewed as part of the “budget deal” signed into law by President Obama on December 16, 2015.   (Click here for full text of Rules Committee Print Order 114-40.)

  • This renewal is for 5 years, back-dated to January 1, 2015 through the end of 2019.  The renewal period now provides this employer incentive with much needed stability.

  • A new category was added: “Long-term unemployed” is defined as someone seeking work for more than 27 weeks. This is important for reentry efforts as employers of felons who were released more than a year ago will often be eligible under this additional category.

  • The IRS is not current on the necessary forms as of this date (1/19/16).  They have issued a temporary authorization allowing the state WOTC offices to continue to use the current forms until the new ones are issued.
    [NOTE: THESE FORMS WILL CHANGE WHEN THE IRS ISSUES ITS REGULATIONS
ON THE RENEWED WOTC LAW WHICH WILL HAPPEN SOMETIME IN 2016]

  • Employers who hired a WOTC-eligible employee since January 1, 2015 are not subject to the normal requirement of applying for the credit within 28 days of the employee’s “start date.”  (Remember: This means all employers who hired a felon in 2015 are still eligible to obtain this incentive.)

  • There is some confusion about whether 2016 new hires are subject to the 28-day rule. The WOTC Coordinators have asked that we treat 2016 hires as if they are subject to that rule to make certain eligible employers are not disqualified under a subsequently adverse administrative decision.

  • Quick and accurate answers to WOTC questions can be obtained by emailing them to: Info@WOTCSolutions.com or by calling 888-313-5696 and following the directions for employers.  For additional WOTC cards click: Order WOTC Cards

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Friday before Christmas President Obama signed the budget deal hammered out by Congress under the leadership of Paul Ryan.  The GREAT NEWS for the reentry community and employers willing to give a felon a second chance is that the Work Opportunity Tax Credit was renewed and stabilized through the end of 2019.  There will be discussions in the interim about making the WOTC a permanent part of the Tax Code.  But, for now, employers who hire a felon within a year of release will be eligible for the WOTC--and we are there to help make sure they get it!

Happy New Year!