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What's New in WOTC

IRS Transitional Relief Period for 2014 New Hires

IRS just published a notice of transition relief for WOTC, meaning that employers have additional time to submit their requests for 2014 WOTC certification. The relief period allows employers to submit WOTC certification requests until April 30, 2015, if they hired a member of a targeted group between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

Any State Workforce Agency (SWA) that has already issued denials to an employer that would otherwise have been approved under the transitional relief period should revisit those denials and re-process them, applying the IRS relief period, and reissuing determinations to those employers or consultants. SWAs should only issue a certification, if the certification request otherwise met all other requirements, including that new hires were employed between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014, and that the new hire met all the target group's eligibility criteria.

IRS Notice 2015-13 is available here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-15-13.pdf.

Guidance on WOTC Program Status

The legislative authority for the WOTC program, which had expired on December 31, 2013, has been extended. President Obama signed the tax extension bill (the Act) on December 19, 2014. The current Act extends the WOTC program through December 31, 2014, and retroactively reauthorizes the program for new employees hired on or after January 1, 2014. At this time, the Department of Labor is working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to issue reauthorization guidance to the state workforce agencies and the employer community. Employers should continue to submit WOTC applications to state workforce agencies within 28 calendar days after the new hire's start date. For further information, visit the IRS WOTC Website, view ETA's Interim Instructions on the 2014 Reauthorization and 2015 Hiatus, or look for updates on ETA's national WOTC website at www.doleta.gov/WOTC/ under "What's New."

New WOTC Customer Service Email

Have a question on WOTC? Send your question to Ask.WOTC@dol.gov. This new email makes it possible to provide timely and expert advice to anyone with questions about the program. Staff look forward to providing any requested information and assistance. We encourage you to contact us via this email address.

Guidance on Empowerment Zones Issued

On September 12, 2013, the Employment and Training Administration issued guidance to State Workforce Agencies (SWA) on Empowerment Zones (EZs). TEGL No. 24-12, Change 1 provides an update on the status of EZ designations and instructs SWAs to start processing certification requests for the two target groups, Summer Youth and Designated Community Residents, which require its eligible members to reside in EZs.

Guidance for ARRA Target Groups

On December 7, 2012, the Department of Labor issued guidance, Training and Employment Guidance Letter 10-12, regarding the two WOTC target groups established under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The legislative authority for the two temporary ARRA target groups, Unemployed Veterans and Disconnected Youth, expired on December 31, 2010. The guidance provides instructions to State Workforce Agencies on final processing of WOTC applications for the ARRA target groups.

Guidance on Veterans Target Group

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 was signed into law by President Obama on November 21, 2011. This act extended and expanded the Qualified Veteran target group. Additionally, qualified tax-exempt 501(c) organizations can now participate by hiring qualified veterans. For additional information on the changes, see the WOTC Veterans Brochure. The changes and new provisions in this Act apply to veterans that began to work for an employer on or after November 22, 2011.

The Department of Labor issued TEGL 30-11 to provide guidance on the provisions in the VOW Act.

Misrouted WOTC Applications

EMPLOYERS and CONSULTANTS: Your certification requests for each new employee hired must be sent to your state workforce agency -- NOT to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in Washington, D.C.

DOL returns all misrouted mail received directly to the employer or consultant. Submitting the application to your state's workforce agency will ensure you have timely filed your application within 28 days after each new hire's start date.