Are you a business owner thinking about hiring? Be aware that a recent law extended a credit for hiring individuals from one or more targeted groups. Employers can qualify for a tax credit known as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) that’s worth as much as $2,400 to $9,600 for eligible employees. The credit is limited to eligible employees who began work for the employer before January 1, 2026.
Generally, an employer is eligible for the credit only for a percentage of qualified wages paid to members of a targeted group. These groups are:
- Qualified members of families receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program,
- Qualified veterans,
- Qualified ex-felons,
- Designated community residents,
- Vocational rehabilitation referrals,
- Qualified summer youth employees,
- Qualified members of families in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP),
- Qualified Supplemental Security Income recipients,
- Long-term family assistance recipients, and
- Long-term unemployed individuals.
There are a number of requirements to qualify for the credit. For example, each employee must have completed at least 120 hours of service for the employer. Also, the credit isn’t available for certain employees who are related to or who previously worked for the employer. There are also business income limitations.
There are different rules and credit amounts for employees in the various targeted groups described above.
For example, for summer youth employees, the wages must be paid for services performed during any 90-day period between May 1 and September 15. The maximum WOTC credit available for summer youth employees is $1,200 per employee.
There are additional requirements and limitations. And in some limited circumstances, the rules may prohibit the credit or require an allocation of it. However, for most employers hiring from targeted groups, the credit can be valuable. Contact us with questions or for more information about your situation.