The federal program provides tax credits for employers who hire certain targeted categories of individuals.
In 1996, Congress created the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program as part of the Small Business Job Protection Act. This program replaces the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit (TJTC) program which expired at the end of 1994.
With the new WOTC program, employers who hire certain targeted categories of individuals will be eligible for tax credits.
Targeted Categories of Individuals
Veterans under specific circumstances
Long-term temporary assistance for needy families recipient (TANF)
Referrals from vocational rehabilitation
Food stamp recipients
Tax credits are also available for employers who hire certain economically disadvantaged youths during any ninety-day period beginning May 1st and September 15th and for persons receiving state assistance with minor children, youths living in empowerment zones or enterprise communities, and economically disadvantaged youths. For a list of qualifications required for an employee to be considered a member of a qualifying group see the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Target Group Eligibility chart from the United States Department of Labor (https://www.doleta.gov/business/incentives/opptax/PDF/Target_Group_Eligibility.pdf).
Determining Who Qualifies for Program
To determine if an individual is a member of a targeted group, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has developed Form 8850, Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit. Call the IRS at 1(800) 829-3676 for ordering Form 8850. Form 8850 can also be found online (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8850.pdf).
Using Form 8850
If employers believe that any new hire is a member of a target group, they should complete Form 8850 on or before the day the job is offered to the applicant.
Both the employer and applicant should sign Form 8850 and the employer must submit it to the state employment service office no later than the 28th calendar day after the applicant begins work.
The employment service then reviews Form 8850 and determines whether the applicant is a member of a target group.
If eligible, the state employment service certifies the applicant.
The United States Department of Labor has a list of the contact information for the WOTC coordinator in each state, available at https://www.doleta.gov/business/incentives/opptax/State_Contacts.cfm.
Labor Relations Bulletin No. 512, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, Orlando, FL, October 31, 1996
Responsible Agency (Tax Credit)
United States Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Washington, DC 20224
United States Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210
Responsible Agency (Certification)
Department of Economic Opportunity
WOTC Tax Credit Program
MSC #G-300, Caldwell Building
107 East Madison Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
For local offices, see telephone directory under
Florida, State of
Business and Professional Regulation, Department of
Florida, Jobs and Benefits Center