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Maximize Your Savings with the 2023 Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Unlocking Financial Advantages for Inclusive Employment


The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) represents a significant stride in encouraging diversity and inclusivity within the workplace. For employers, it offers a compelling financial incentive to hire individuals from specific groups who face barriers to employment. As we progress through 2023, understanding how to leverage WOTC can result in substantial tax savings and support social responsibility initiatives within your business.

What Is the WOTC?

The WOTC is a federal tax credit available to employers who hire and retain individuals from certain targeted groups with significant employment barriers, such as veterans, ex-felons, or long-term unemployment recipients. The credit aims to promote equal job opportunities and enrich our workforce diversity.

Qualifying for the WOTC:

Your eligibility hinges on hiring new employees from the prescribed groups. The process involves state workforce agency certification and adherence to specific IRS and DOL protocols. Notably, the credit is not applicable for rehires or relatives.

Calculating the Credit:

The WOTC is calculated based on qualified wages paid to the new hire in their initial year. Employers can claim 25% for employees who work at least 120 hours and 40% for those clocking in over 400 hours. However, there's a cap of $6,000 per employee for most certifications, with variations for certain categories.

The Benefits:

A direct reduction of your payroll tax liability can bolster your financial bottom line. Moreover, for tax-exempt organizations, the WOTC offers a pathway to claim credits against payroll taxes, fortifying the fiscal framework of non-profit operations.

Key Considerations:

The credit's actualization is contingent upon meeting the requirements of state agency certification. Employers must be diligent with paperwork, including IRS Form 8850 and DOL ETA Form 9061 or 9062, and adhere to timelines to optimize their benefit.

Strategic Approach for 2023:

In 2023, it's paramount to streamline the process of claiming WOTC. Employers should integrate the certification process into their hiring protocols to ensure no eligible credit is overlooked.


The Work Opportunity Tax Credit stands as a testament to the tangible benefits of inclusive employment practices. As we navigate 2023, the WOTC not only affords employers a chance to improve their bottom line but also to make a difference in the lives of many who are seeking to overcome employment hurdles. It's a win-win for the economy and social equity. By staying informed and proactive, businesses can reap the rewards of a diverse workforce while contributing positively to the broader social fabric.

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