Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) eligibility

Private-sector employers and tax-exempt organizations (e.g., 501(c) or 501(a) non-profits) may participate.  Tax-exempt organizations may apply for credit only against the employer part of the Social Security tax liability on qualified veterans.

Note: Employers cannot claim Work Opportunity Tax Credit for their relatives, former employees or undocumented aliens.

For partial tax credit
Eligible workers must work at least 120 to 399 hour during the course of their employment.

For full tax credit
Eligible workers must work 400 or more hours during the course of their employment.

 

Categories of eligible workers


Veterans

The credit is available for qualifying veterans who meet the criteria for one or more of the following categories at the time of hire.

  • Veteran who received food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) for three consecutive months within the last 15 months.
  • Veteran who is entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability and was discharged from the military within one year prior to the hiring date.
  • Veteran who is entitled to compensation for service-connected disability and was unemployed for at least six months during the year prior to the hiring date.
  • Veteran who was unemployed for at least four weeks but less than six months during the year prior to the hiring date.
  • Veteran who was unemployed for at least six months within one year prior to the hiring date.

 

Long-term unemployed

  • Individuals hired on or after Jan. 1, 2016 (must have been unemployed at least 27 consecutive weeks).

 

Individuals receiving public assistance

Employers who hire long-term public-assistance recipients may claim a credit of up to $9,000 in the first two years of employment. WOTC for other non-veteran target groups is up to $2,400 for the first year. The new hire must meet one of the following criteria at the time of hire.


1. Must be an individual or a qualifying family member who received Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) cash benefits for at least nine months of the last 18 months.

2. Must be an individual or a qualifying family member who received long term TANF:

  • For the previous 18 consecutive months; or
  • Received TANF for any 18-month period starting after Aug. 5, 1997, and ending within two years of applicant's hire date; or

3. Must be an individual or a qualifying family member, age 18 to 39, who received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly food stamps) for six consecutive months including the hire date.

4. Must have received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for any month in the 60 days prior to being hired.


Individuals who were convicted of a felony

  • Individuals who were convicted of a felony and hired within a year after their date of conviction, work release, or release from prison or jail.


Individuals with disabilities

  • Individuals participating in state or federal vocational-rehabilitation programs who have had an "individual written plan" for employment in the two years before being hired. 

 

WOTC resources:
WOTC home How to apply | Application deadlines

For more information: email ESDGPWOTC@esd.wa.gov or call 360-902-9326