WOTC-eligible employees must be certified by SWAs

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program promises big financial benefits to employers who hire disadvantaged job-seekers. In order to claim the benefits, however, employers must obtain WOTC certification from the appropriate state workforce agency for each WOTC-eligible employee. 

We’ve helped hundreds of businesses claim over $650 million in WOTC credits over the last decade-plus. In this blog, we will answer five common questions about the process of WOTC certification.

Why do I need WOTC certification?

WOTC credits are calculated as a percentage of wages paid to new hires from certain disadvantaged target groups. During an audit, the IRS may request verification that WOTC credits were claimed on legitimate grounds. To comply with this request, businesses need documented WOTC certification for every WOTC employee. 

How to get WOTC certification

Employers obtain certification for their WOTC-eligible employees by: 

  • Screening new hires for WOTC eligibility on or before the day the job is offered
  • Submitting completed paperwork to the appropriate state workforce agency before the required deadline
  • Providing any necessary documentation
  • Maintaining good records of issued certification

Arvo Tech clients enjoy peace of mind because our dedicated state workforce agency team manages communications with SWAs  and ensures compliance with all requirements, deadlines, and requests.

What paperwork do I need for WOTC certification?

To obtain WOTC certification, employers need to file IRS Form 8850 with the appropriate state workforce agency within 28 days of each WOTC-eligible employee’s hire date, as well as either forms 9061 or 9062. Employers may also need to file Form 9175, depending on the targeted group the employee belongs to. Finally, employers must provide any supporting documentation the state workforce agency requests to complete the verification process. 

What is a state workforce agency?

Every US state, plus Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, operates a workforce agency as part of its Department of Labor for the purpose of reviewing WOTC certification requests. Establishing effective communication practices with your state workforce agency is crucial for success with WOTC, since SWAs process many thousands of certification requests each year.

How long does WOTC certification take? 

WOTC certification processing times vary by state, but businesses should plan for it to take at least three months. In cases requiring supporting documentation or other communication, it can take from twelve to eighteen months. 

How Arvo helps

Arvo’s dedicated state workforce teams handle the process of WOTC certification for you. We leverage our long-standing and positive relationships with state workforce agencies to speed up processing times, all while ensuring compliance with requirements and deadlines. 

Businesses who work with Arvo receive up to 50% more WOTC certifications, which can double or even triple their total WOTC profit. Contact us today to discuss how we can optimize your WOTC certification process.