By Jason Fry
Is your company leaving free money on the table? The answer is likely to be “yes” if you’re not screening 100 percent of your new hires for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).
WOTC is a government incentive program used to encourage private-sector employers to hire people from certain groups who face employment barriers. In return, the employer gets a credit for each qualified individual on their tax return.
WOTC really is about helping people. It gives an opportunity to people who weren’t an employer’s first pick for the job, have been unemployed for a while or simply need an extra boost to get a position within a specific field or company.
The important thing to note is that an employer can’t tell by looking at a candidate that they qualify for WOTC. The government’s list of target groups include, but are not limited to, food stamp recipients, family assistance recipients, some veterans and ex-felons. This information doesn’t come out in a job interview. And that’s why screening for WOTC is so important.
Many employers say they haven’t hired any employees from WOTC target groups. But the data says otherwise. In fact, our internal numbers and national averages show that every third or fourth employee is eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. In other words, somewhere between 20-30 percent* of a company’s employee base qualifies for WOTC. So, if your company is not striving for 100 percent WOTC screening, you’re losing out on a dollar-for-dollar reduction on your income tax at the end of the year. And that money is just sitting there, waiting for you to claim it.
Listen to our podcast for how to help unlock some best practices for screening at 100%. You’ll hear just how easy it is to bring up your screening numbers. And while you’re there, check out our other episodes, and don’t forget to subscribe if you like what you hear.