$44 million tax break projected for Washington businesses

Washington employers are expected to reap $44 million in 2008 federal tax credits because they hired certain hard-to-place job seekers.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides up to $2,400 in tax savings per worker to businesses that hire veterans, the disabled, ex-inmates, high-risk teens and young adults, food-stamp recipients and those who receive Supplemental Security Income.

To receive the tax credit, the employee must work a minimum of 400 hours during the first year of employment and earn at least $6,200. Additionally, businesses that hire long-term welfare recipients can save as much as $9,000 per person over two years.

“This program benefits both employers and employees,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “We can put disadvantaged people who need a job back to work and reward the business who gave them a chance.”

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is obtained by submitting an application to the Washington State Employment Security Department, which works with other governmental agencies to certify the eligibility of hired workers.

The department received more than 32,000 applications for the 2008 credit from 4,200 Washington businesses, a 27 percent increase in participating employers compared to 2007. Some 18,500 workers were certified as eligible for the credit in 2008.

Businesses certified for the credit must complete IRS Form 5884 when submitting their federal income taxes.

Employers that want to participate in the program should visit their local WorkSource office or call (800) 669-9271.