Last week, the Senate Finance Committee completed markup of the Baucus/Hatch tax extenders bill by approving the bill on a vote of 19-5. The bill contains a two-year retroactive extension of the work opportunity tax credit (WOTC) in its present form, through December 31, 2013.
The WOTC Coalition applauded the passage, noting that none of the hostile amendments some senators had put down—eliminating the ex-felons target group, terminating empowerment zone tax credits—came to a vote. Those amendments had been withdrawn prior to the bill’s approval.
Only one of the amendments the coalition opposed—the Coburn amendment prohibiting tax benefits of the bill to recipients of the New Markets tax credit—was put to a vote and it failed.
Senate Finance Chairman Baucus (D-MT) modified the bill to restore the wind tax credit and AMT relief for 2013, to bring the total cost of the bill to $205 billion over a decade.
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a Federal tax credit incentive that Congress provides to employers for hiring individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The main objective of this program is to enable the targeted employees to gradually move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency as they earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers, while participating employers are compensated by being able to reduce their federal income tax liability. In November 2011, the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 amended and expanded the definition of WOTC’s Veteran target groups. (NACS: www.nacsonline.com)