By: Dawn Jameson, WOTC Coordinator
Each year, State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) provide details to the Department of Labor on the activity they’ve experienced for the previous calendar year in administering the WOTC program. Beyond listing their total workload, each SWA provides the number of certifications and denials that were issued and the breakdown by target group category. 2012 was an unusual year for employers and tax credit consultants, due to the hiatus of the WOTC program. During that time, the only authorized target groups were the Veteran groups which had been previously created by the Vow to Hire Heroes Act. Despite the hiatus, most tax credit consultants continued to submit applications on behalf of their clients for all target groups in anticipation of the program’s renewal, and this practice is apparent in the total workloads reported by the SWAs.
Historically, food stamp (SNAP) recipients have accounted for the majority of WOTC certifications, and 2012 was no exception. Of the over three and a half million WOTC applications submitted nationwide during 2012, 67.5% were for the SNAP target group. To put this into perspective, the second largest target group was for the Long Term Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) category, which accounted for only 8% of all 2012 certifications issued.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are some target groups that account for a relatively small number of certifications issued by the SWAs. The Veteran, Summer Youth and Ticket Holder target groups each account for less than 1% of certifications issued. Although the percentages for the Veteran group certifications are low in comparison, it is important to note that they are demonstrative of over 19,300 Veterans, some disabled, that have been returned to the workforce.
Not surprisingly, Texas lead the way again last year with a total workload of well over 385,000 WOTC applications, followed by California with 262,550 applications. Because SWAs are state agencies working with tight state budgets, they must work as efficiently as possible. As a result, many states are moving toward process automation. Currently, there are 17 SWAs that use online filing systems, greatly reducing the manpower required to manage the process. The most recent convert to e-filing was Utah, which saw over 40,000 WOTC applications submitted last year.
Understanding the magnitude of the SWAs workload is key for successfully navigating the WOTC world. Because many external factors influence the volume and speed with which a SWA can process an application, it is important to have an advocate that can work closely with the SWAs and deliver aid when possible. Tax Credit Co. is proud to work with all SWAs and maintain close relationships with the state WOTC Coordinators. If you have questions about your WOTC program or would like more information on how Tax Credit Co. can be your advocate, visit us at www.taxcreditco.com or at 1-800-481-0669.