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Media contact: Mark Varadian, Communications Manager, 360-902-9454

OLYMPIA – Tax-filing season is bringing $35 million of good news to Washington employers who hired certain hard-to-place job seekers in 2009.  That’s the amount of Work Opportunity Tax Credits that more than 4,300 employers in Washington can deduct from their 2009 federal income taxes. 

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides an incentive for employers to hire people who need the most help finding work. These include the disabled, ex-felons, food-stamp recipients, people on welfare and recipients of Supplemental Security Income.  And beginning in 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act added two more groups to the eligibility pool: unemployed veterans and youths aged 16 to 24 who were not in school, not working and lacked the skills to get a job.

Altogether, Washington employers will get tax credits for 13,100 eligible hires last year. 

Employers can reduce their taxes by up to $2,400 for each new qualified adult hired, up to $1,200 for each youth hired for a summer job, $4,800 for each disabled veteran, and up to $9,000 over two years for each qualifying long-term welfare recipient who is hired.  

The state Employment Security Department is responsible for processing employers’ applications for the tax credit. In 2009, the department approved more than 13,000 applications. 

“We’ve seen a significant increase in applications since the program was expanded last year,” said Employment Security Commissioner Karen Lee. “The tax credit encourages and rewards employers for taking a chance and putting disadvantaged people to work.”

Employers who are interested in earning the tax credit in 2010 should visit their local WorkSource office or call 800-669-9271, then submit an application to the Washington State Employment Security Department within 28 days after the new employee starts work. Employment Security works with other governmental agencies to certify the eligibility of hired workers.  

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


Employment Security Web site: www.esd.wa.gov 

Tax-credit Web page: https://esd.wa.gov/about-employees/WOTC 

Broadcast version

Washington employers are expected to reap 35-million dollars in federal tax credits for 2009 because they hired more than 13,000 hard-to-place job seekers. 

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit provides up to 24-hundred dollars in tax savings for each eligible worker who is hired. These workers include people who are military veterans, disabled, ex-inmates, high-risk teens, food-stamp and welfare recipients, and others. The program was expanded in 2009 to include unemployed veterans and youth who are neither in school or employed.

Businesses that are interested in applying for the credit should contact their local WorkSource office.  Applications are reviewed and certified by the state Employment Security Department.