Brian Kelly on the Potential Expansion of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit

With 14 million unemployed people in the U.S. today, President Obama has to put something in place to stimulate job creation or else our economy will continue to stagnate and cause more people and small businesses financial hardship.

We have been monitoring the job growth & unemployment numbers and I actually see the Obama administration taking several avenues, the first is to piggy back on the American Recovery act and add additional funding for U.S. infrastructure such as roads, highways, public buildings, etc. This could spark the construction sector which had an unemployment rate of 20.6% in 2010 up from 7.4% in 2007 *1.

The second item is to expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program to give incentives to employers who hire long-term unemployed individuals. We are already seeing expansion in the WOTC program with the new “Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits” under the Recovery act which hopefully will give employers and an incentive and veterans coming home for military service and get them back into the workforce.

The third item is to follow the lead of Jerry Brown, Governor of California, the nation’s second-highest unemployment rate at 12% percent who has a proposal to change how businesses calculate taxes owed to the state. In Obama’s case reducing liabilities for businesses to spur job growth.

Some of this is already underway, one being headed by Rep Schock, Aaron which I strongly support. The Work Opportunity Credit Improvements Act – Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) extend through 2014 the work opportunity tax credit, (2) allow employers to certify certain employees as members of a targeted group for purposes of such credit in lieu of obtaining certification from a state employment security agency, (3) expand the definition of “qualified veteran” for purposes of such credit to include any recently discharged veteran and any veteran receiving specified benefits, and (4) allow such credit for the hiring of high-risk youth who begin work during the period of 2009 through 2014.

Directs the Department of Defense (DOD) or the National Guard, as applicable, to provide individuals discharged or released from the Armed Forces or the National Guard with information and documentation necessary for qualifying for the work opportunity tax credit as a recently discharged veteran.

Brian Kelly, Managing partner with CMS, believes this bill is missing the one key component and that is the need to expand the WOTC program and add a category for Long-term unemployed (i.e. over 6 months). Evidence of this is to look at the job fairs around this country http://abcnews.go.com/Business/thousands-show-job-fair-jobless-rate-rises/story?id=14336519. The Obama administration needs to put meaningful programs in place to start supporting businesses and stimulate job growth.

*1 U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, unemployment rate by industry by year.
*2 U.S. Department of Labor US Statistics of unemployed by state.

CMS helps companies of all sizes save money by taking advantage of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Call Brian Kelly at 1-800-517-9099 today to see if it makes sense for you.

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