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Proposed Legislation to Increase WOTC Minimum to $5,000 per Employee for All Targeted Groups

May 21, 2021

(Florence, SC – May 21, 2021) Legislation has been proposed to increase the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a proven business incentive that helps disadvantaged groups find jobs. The program, that was recently extended until December 31, 2025 per the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, rewards employers for hiring applicants representing various target groups. Depending on the qualifications of the individual, companies may be eligible to receive $1,200 to $9,600 per eligible employee upon hiring.

This week, Representatives Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Don Beyer (D-VA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), and Gwen Moore (D-WI) introduced legislation that would increase the amount of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to help disadvantaged groups who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Occupations hit the hardest with prolonged unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic overlap considerably with those most helped by WOTC.

Under the legislation, WOTC would be increased to 50% for the first $10,000 in wages, for two years, for all WOTC targeted groups. This would increase the minimum tax credit for employers to $5,000 per eligible new hire.

“The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a proven program that has long given veterans and vulnerable Americans the help they need to get back to work. This expansion will make it even better and more effective!” said Congressman Tom Suozzi. “I’m proud to lead this legislation that will help a diverse group of long unemployed individuals find a job. Although the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter each day, we need to continue to support workers until we fill every job lost during the pandemic.”

“In Southern Nevada and across the United States, hard-working people are struggling to find good jobs that pay living wages. By temporarily increasing the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), Congress can make it easier for employers to bring on new workers and accelerate our economic recovery,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “I’m glad to sponsor the Hiring Incentive to Return Employment (HIRE) Act of 2021, which will make the largest difference for those hit the hardest by pandemic unemployment, including people of color, young workers, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and underserved communities.”

“This enhancement of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit would help put Americans back to work as the country recovers from the pandemic, and directly assist the long-term unemployed, who were left behind by our economy even before the pandemic began,” said Congressman Don Beyer. “The legislation would modernize this critical program, which has remained relatively unchanged in decades, by expanding the value of the credit over a two-year period to maximize the incentive to hire the long-term unemployed, veterans, individuals transitioning off of welfare programs, and other groups. I thank Rep. Suozzi and my other colleagues for their leadership in introducing this important bill.”

“The pandemic has given Americans a wakeup call that we have for too long taken advantage of unemployed and frontline workers. Veterans and vulnerable Americans need help getting back to work, and Congress has a chance with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to give employers the nudge they need to safely bring them back into the workforce,” said Congressman Brad Schneider.

“The Build Back Better approach leaves no one behind – that includes Americans who were vulnerable before the pandemic such as veterans, formerly incarcerated individuals, TANF and SNAP recipients and long-time unemployed. These are people who too often face multiple barriers to employment, including stigma. The pandemic has exacerbated long-term unemployment, putting more people at risk of becoming locked out of the jobs market through no fault of their own. Enhancing the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), including by expanding it to cover rehires, can make a real positive impact in helping those with the most employment barriers find work. With this legislation, we can encourage businesses to hire these workers as the economy reopens and business picks up,” said Congresswoman Gwen Moore.

According to the Department of Labor, the goal of WOTC is to “incentivize workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for American workers.” The WOTC program encourages and rewards employers to hire individuals that have faced significant employment barriers by offsetting a portion of wage costs.

The WOTC amount has not changed since its initial enactment 25 years ago. Due to wage inflation, the value of credit has significantly eroded over time. The proposed legislation would help place qualifying employees at a disadvantage during a critical time when high unemployment continues.

Employers may qualify for WOTC by hiring individuals that include: long-term unemployed (unemployed for at least 27 weeks and have received some UI benefits); veterans; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients aged 18 – 39 (the largest group); recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); SSI recipients; summer youth; designated community residents; vocational rehabilitation referrals; and ex-felons.

Groups that support the legislation include:

“The HIRE Act is key to accelerating economic growth as the nation heals from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Matt Haller, Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Public Affairs at the International Franchise Association. “Not only will the bill help get more Americans back to work, it will go a long way to alleviating the labor demand issue facing employers as businesses grow and customers return.”

Synergi Partners is prepared to assist you in determining eligibility, calculating, and monetizing the ERC. Our experienced team has developed a proprietary methodology, proven to be efficient and maximize your credits. For more information on how to take advantage of these valuable tax credits, please contact Synergi Partners at 843-519-0808 or

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About Synergi Partners

Comprised of tax credit veterans with many years of experience serving clients of all sizes and in virtually all industries, Synergi Partners specializes in helping employers take advantage of federal and state tax credit programs, as well as disaster relief incentives.

With an executive team made up of thought leaders who have made significant contributions to the tax incentives industry, Synergi Partners’ main goal is to provide the best service available and to achieve maximum value for its clients.

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