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Work Opportunity Tax Credit

WOTC is a federal income tax credit of up to $9,600 per employee that encourages employers to hire job seekers who meet the qualifications for specific targeted groups. The credit is designed to help job seekers most in need of employment gain job experience and move toward economic self-sufficiency. The credit is also available to tax-exempt organizations under specific conditions.

Keep in mind:

  • All qualified employees must be new hires. They cannot have worked for the employer previously.
  • All applications must be postmarked within 28 days of the employee's start date.
  • Idaho Department of Labor needs to receive supporting documentation in order to process applications for the veteran, vocational rehabilitation, supplemental security income and long-term unemployment recipient target groups.
  • All qualified employees must work a minimum of 120 hours for a 25 percent tax credit or 400 hours for a 40 percent tax credit.


Apply online for work opportunity tax credit

This option is currently only available to employers, but we are looking into an online option for consultants.

Targeted hiring groups

Veterans *

To be considered a veteran for any of the groups listed below, the applicant must have served on active duty (other than active duty for training) for a period of more than 180 days in the Armed Forces of the United States or have been discharged or released from active duty for a service-connected disability, and not having, during the 60-day period ending on the hiring date, any day of extended active duty.

Veteran receiving food stamps - A veteran who is a member of a family that received food stamps for at least a 3-month period during the 15-month period ending on the hiring date.

*Documentation of veteran status (usually Form DD-214) must be submitted.

Unemployed veteran - A veteran unemployed for at least four weeks in the year prior to hire or a veteran unemployed for at least six months in the year prior to hire.

*Documentation of veteran status (usually Form DD-214) must be submitted.

Disabled veteran - A veteran who is entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability AND has a hiring date which is not more than one year after having been discharged or released from active duty OR has aggregate periods of unemployment during the one-year period ending on the hire date that equals or exceeds six months.

*Documentation issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying the veteran has a service-connected disability must be submitted.

Long-term Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients

Members of families that have received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments for at least 18 consecutive months ending on the hiring date; OR have received TANF payments for any 18-month period since Aug. 5, 1997 and the earliest 18 month-period ended during the two years prior to the hiring date, OR whose family within the two years prior to hiring became no longer eligible for TANF payments because federal or state law limited the maximum time those payments could be made.

Other Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients

Members of families that received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) payments for a total of at least nine of the 18 months before date of hire. The nine months do not have to be consecutive months.

Food stamp recipients

Individuals 18-39 years old who are members of a family that received food stamps for at least six consecutive months before their date of hire, OR for at least three of the five months before date of hire and their food stamp eligibility expired, who are able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) and are no longer eligible due to not meeting the work requirement of the Food Stamp Act of 1977.

Vocational rehabilitation referrals *

Persons who are employed within two years of their last date of service approved by a state or the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or received services under the Ticket to Work program.





*For veterans, please submit documentation of rehabilitative service dates. This information can be obtained through the Department of Veteran Affairs. No additional documentation is required for the Ticket to Work program or for persons working with the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Ex-felons *

Individuals whose date of conviction or release is not more than one year prior to date of hire or are currently enrolled in a work release program.

* Due to the large volume of requests received by the Idaho Department of Corrections, employers, especially those working with the work release program, are encouraged to submit documentation for this target group. Your assistance with this greatly decreases our turnaround time.

The Federal Bonding program provides fidelity bonds to anyone who is not eligible for commercial bonding. Bonding for six months – at no cost to the employee – may be obtained through the Idaho Department of Labor. Click here to learn more.

Supplemental security income recipients (SSI) *

Individuals who received supplemental security income (SSI) benefits for any month during the 60 days before date of hire. Please note that Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI) is not the same as SSI.



* The SSI target group requires a benefit verification letter, which is available to the employee through the Social Security Administration website at socialsecurity.gov. The employee must request that this letter reflects the 3-month period prior to the hiring date.

Long-Term Unemployment Recipient*

Individuals who are in a period of unemployment which is not less than 27 consecutive weeks and includes a period in which the individual was receiving unemployment compensation under State of Federal law.



*The applicant must complete the Long-Term Unemployment Recipient Self-Attestation Form, ETA Form 9175.



* denotes additional documentation needed

Applying for the credit

Employers must:



  1. Complete the following two forms:




  2. If veteran, vocational rehabilitation, supplemental security income, or long-term unemployment recipient target groups were selected, attach the additional documentation required for the target group. Please see Targeted Hiring Groups above for the specifics.


  3. Submit the applications and all supporting documents, without staples, to:


  4. Idaho Department of Labor

    WOTC Unit

    317 W. Main St

    Boise, ID 83735



    Email: WOTC@labor.idaho.gov

    Fax: 208-639-3254

    IRS Form 8850 must be postmarked within 28 days of the employee’s start date. No exceptions can be made.

  5. Apply online


  6. Apply online for work opportunity tax credit

    This option is currently only available to employers, but we are looking into an online option for consultants.

    The Idaho Department of Labor will notify the employer if the hiring situation DOES or DOES NOT qualify for the credit.

    For more information on the program, contact the WOTC unit at wotc@labor.idaho.gov

    Read more about the program at the U.S. Department of Labor website.



Application and Forms

  • ETA Form 9061 (Individual Characteristics Form)  English | Spanish
  • Idaho Department of Labor does not accept ETA Form 9062

  • IRS Form 8850 (Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit)  English | Spanish | Form instructions

Tax credit amount

Tax credit calculator

The WOTC benefit claimed by an employer is determined by the number of hours worked by the new employee and the employee's WOTC target group. New employees who work at least 400 hours are eligible for a larger credit. The credit is 25% of qualified first-year wages for those employed at least 120 hours but fewer than 400 hours and 40% for those employed 400 hours or more.

Most target groups' maximum credit is $2,400. The following groups are eligible to receive higher credits:

  • $4,800 for each new disabled veteran employee hired within 1 year of leaving service,
  • $5,600 for each new veteran hired that is unemployed for at least 6 months,
  • $9,000 for each new long-term family assistance recipient employee hired over a two-year period, and
  • $9,600 for each new disabled veteran hired who is unemployed for 6 months.

Employer Rights

In some circumstances, the Department of Labor WOTC Unit must deny a request for a tax credit. The denial letter will state the reason(s) for denial and may include instructions for a possible reversal. The denial can be overturned with proper supporting documentation.



If the request for reversal is denied and you still feel that you may be entitled to the tax credit, you then have the right to appeal to the U.S. Department of Labor regional office and/or the U.S. Department of Labor national office. The mailing addresses for these offices are:

WOTC Regional Office

U.S. Department of Labor

Employment & Training Administration

200 Constitution Ave., NW Rm. C-4510

Washington, DC 20210-0001

WOTC National Office

U.S. Department of Labor

Employment & Training Administration

90 7th Street

San Francisco, Ca 94103-1516


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