Maryland’s state credit match program supercharges WOTC profitability

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program rewards employers who hire and retain disadvantaged job-seekers. The amount of credit an employer can claim is calculated as a percentage of wages paid to WOTC-eligible new hires, after the employee reaches certain hours-worked milestones.

Employers in Maryland received 2.6% of total WOTC certifications in 2023. No matter your industry, business type, or size, the WOTC promises to ease your tax liability and boost your bottom line if smartly integrated into your hiring process.

What’s more is that the State of Maryland passed legislation in 2022 which grants a nonrefundable state income tax credit match equal to 50% of an organization’s federal WOTC credit! For this reason, there’s never been a better time for Maryland businesses to start claiming WOTC, or to optimize their current WOTC process.

Which employees in Maryland qualify for the WOTC? 

In order to claim WOTC credits, employers in Maryland must screen applicants on or before the day on which they extend a job offer. Screening applicants determines whether or not the applicant belongs to a WOTC target group

In 2022, approximately 80% of employees for whom employers gained WOTC certification were eligible for receiving various forms of government assistance, including SNAP, TANF, and SSI benefits. 

Approximately 10% of WOTC certifications were issued for employees deemed to be part of the Designated Community Resident targeted group. The Designated Community Resident target group makes residents of federally-designated Empowerment Zones or Rural Renewal Counties eligible for WOTC. Residents of the Baltimore, MD Empowerment Zone, which includes parts of the City of Baltimore, qualify in the State of Maryland. 

Qualified veterans accounted for an additional 7% of WOTC certifications in Maryland in 2022.

How much WOTC credit can I claim in Maryland?

The amount of WOTC credit you can claim depends on a number of factors, including your industry, the number of WOTC-eligible employees you hire, the number of hours those employees work, and the basis of their WOTC certification.

Companies within different industries tend to demonstrate unique hiring behavior, which affects the amount of WOTC credit they can earn. You may estimate the total WOTC credit you can earn within your industry using Arvo’s WOTC calculator. Popular industries for claiming the WOTC in Maryland include staffing, trucking, manufacturing, and restaurants. 

The amount of WOTC credit you can claim per eligible employee is capped according to the employee’s basis for eligibility, or target group. A list of maximum allowable credits for the five most commonly certified target groups in Maryland in 2021 follows.

  1. Qualified SNAP Recipient: $2400
  2. Qualified Long-Term Unemployment Recipient: $2400
  3. Designated Community Resident: $2400
  4. Qualified SSI Recipient: $2400
  5. Qualified Veteran: $9600

Employers can’t control every factor that helps determine the amount of WOTC credit they can claim. One factor they can exercise some control over, however, is the certification rate of their WOTC-eligible new hires. According to the Department of Labor, the State Workforce Agency in Maryland issued certification for approximately 11% of WOTC eligibility applications in 2023. Maryland businesses who work with Arvo Tech, on the other hand, enjoy certification rates of 56%. 

What is the process of claiming the WOTC in Maryland?

You can claim WOTC credits in Maryland by following six simple steps.

  1. Determine eligibility
    You must screen applicants to determine eligibility on or before the day on which a job offer is made
  2. Complete certification forms
    Employers request WOTC certification from the appropriate state workforce agency (SWA)
  3. Submit forms to SWA
    Forms must be submitted to your SWA within 28 days of the WOTC-eligible employee’s hire date
  4. Receive documentation
    The SWA will issue documentation substantiating their certification or denial of the employee’s WOTC eligibility
  5. Claim the WOTC
    WOTC credits are claimed on an annual basis along with a business’s tax return
  6. Seek professional help
    Businesses who achieve optimal WOTC benefits often do so with the help of experts like Arvo Tech

How Arvo helps

Ready to claim the WOTC in Maryland? Arvo Tech has helped over 75 businesses in Maryland navigate the lucrative but complicated world of employment tax credits. Whether you are brand new to WOTC, or seek to optimize your current WOTC participation, our team of tax experts is here to help you boost your bottom line by up to 40%. 

Plus, our seamless integration with major applicant tracking systems and payroll providers make claiming the WOTC in Maryland easier than ever. 

Contact us today to get answers or expert support for WOTC.