At CMS, as Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) experts and service providers since 1997, we receive a lot of questions via our website’s chat box that we try to answer:
I don’t know how to determine the answer on form 8850; Target Group 4 OR 6?
CMS Says: Refer to instructions on the IRS Form 8850 Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit available as aPDF on the IRS Website. Here’s what it says about the target groups:
Members of Targeted Groups
A job applicant may be certified as a member of a targeted group if he or she is described in one of the following groups.
- Qualified IV-A recipient. An individual who is a member of a family receiving assistance under a state plan approved under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act relating to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The assistance must be received for any 9 months during the 18-month period ending on the hiring date.
- Qualified veteran. A veteran who is any of the following.
A member of a family that has received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (food stamps) for at least a 3-month period during the 15-month period ending on the hiring date.
Unemployed for a period or periods totaling at least 4 weeks (whether or not consecutive) but less than 6 months in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date.
Unemployed for a period or periods totaling at least 6 months (whether or not consecutive) in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date.
Entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability and is hired not more than 1 year after being discharged or released from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability and was unemployed for a period or periods totaling at least 6 months (whether or not consecutive) in the 1-year period ending on the hiring date. Note. Requesting the information in box 4 or box 5 of Form 8850 is an exception to the Americans with Disabilities Act’s prohibition on pre-offer disability-related inquiries. The purpose of this request is to support the hiring of certain disabled veterans, which will entitle the employer to a larger work opportunity credit than the hiring of other targeted group members.
To be considered a veteran, the applicant must:
Have served on active duty (not including training) in the Armed Forces of the United States for more than 180 days or have been discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability, and Not have a period of active duty (not including training) of more than 90 days that ended during the 60-day period ending on the hiring date.
- Qualified ex-felon. An ex-felon who has been convicted of a felony under any federal or state law, and is hired not more than 1 year after the conviction or release from prison for that felony.
- Designated community resident. An individual who is at least age 18 but not yet age 40 on the hiring date and lives within an empowerment zone or rural renewal county (defined later).
- Vocational rehabilitation referral. An individual who has a physical or mental disability resulting in a substantial handicap to employment and who was referred to the employer upon completion of (or while receiving) rehabilitation services by a rehabilitation agency approved by the state, an employment network under the Ticket to Work program, or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Summer youth employee. An individual who: Performs services for the employer between May 1 and September 15; Is at least age 16 but not yet age 18 on the hiring date (or if later, on May 1); Has never worked for the employer before; and Lives within an empowerment zone.
- Recipient of SNAP benefits (food stamps). An individual who:
Is at least age 18 but not yet age 40 on the hiring date, and Is a member of a family that:
a. Has received SNAP benefits for the 6-month period ending on the hiring date; or
b. Is no longer eligible for such assistance under section 6(o) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, but the family received SNAP benefits for at least 3 months of the 5-month period ending on the hiring date.
- SSI recipient. An individual who is receiving supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of the Social Security Act (including benefits of the type described in section 1616 of the Social Security Act or section 212 of Public Law 93-66) for any month ending during the 60-day period ending on the hiring date.
- Long-term family assistance recipient. An individual who is a member of a family that:
Has received TANF payments for at least 18 consecutive months ending on the hiring date; or
Receives TANF payments for any 18 months (whether or not consecutive) beginning after August 5, 1997, and the earliest 18-month period beginning after August 5, 1997, ended during the past 2 years; or
Stopped being eligible for TANF payments because federal or state law limits the maximum period such assistance is payable and the individual is hired not more than 2 years after such eligibility ended.
- Qualified long-term unemployment recipient. An individual hired after 2015 who on the day before the individual begins work for the employer, or, if earlier, the day the individual completes Form 8850 as a prescreening notice, is in a period of unemployment that:
Is not less than 27 consecutive weeks, and
Includes a period (which may be less than 27 consecutive weeks) in which the individual received unemployment compensation under state or federal law.
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