Washington businesses earned $66 million in WOTC tax credits

The state of Washington reports that employers in that state have received a record $66 million in work opportunity tax credits (WOTC) for the 2011 tax season.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit rewards employers who hire traditionally hard-to-place job seekers, including military veterans, the disabled, ex-inmates, food-stamp recipients and individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income. The tax credit can range from $2,400 to $9,600 for each eligible new hire.

The state’s Employment Security Department reports that they received almost 49,000 applications for the 2011 credit from more than 2,000 businesses, and it certified that 25,300 of the hires qualified for the tax credit. The average tax credit was $2,400.

“This program lives up to its name by encouraging employers to create work opportunities for people who really need them,” said Employment Security commissioner Dale Peinecke.

To receive the full WOTC credit, each new employee must work a minimum of 400 hours during the first year in the new job and earn at least $6,000 in wages.

In 2011, food-stamp recipients comprised 64 percent of all certifications. Welfare beneficiaries and veterans represented another 19 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

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