There certainly has been a lot of buzz surrounding the trillion-dollar bipartisan Senate infrastructure bill. Passed on August 10, 2021, the bill promises to bring much-needed upgrades to the nation’s infrastructure. Yet, amid all of the headlines surrounding the bill’s passage, there is one detail of particular importance employers should not overlook. 

As reported by CNBC, the infrastructure bill would terminate important COVID-19-related tax credits earlier than expected. The tax credits, known as Employee Retention Credits (ERC), are refundable tax credits that provide financial relief to employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The window for claiming such credits previously ran through 2021, according to IRS guidance, but under the infrastructure bill, that window would close as of October 1, 2021. This does not mean, however, that employers cannot claim credits at all after September 30, 2021, but rather, as detailed in the Journal of Accountancy, “wages paid after Sept. 30, 2021 [would be] ineligible for the credit.”

We recently covered the timeliness of taking advantage of the ERC as the IRS recently made available a safe harbor that employers can leverage to increase eligibility and gross wages criteria.

While the infrastructure bill must still pass through the House of Representatives and on to the Oval Office for President Biden’s signature, employers should start preparing now for an early ERC end. One significant way to be proactive is to evaluate whether the process of claiming relief through federal programs other than ERC was put on the backburner. 

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) for instance, stands out as a program that employers should leverage if the ERC ends early.

The WOTC program is simple in concept: it incentivizes employers to hire individuals from specific target groups that historically face barriers in finding work. Organizations hire the individuals that they need and in turn, help support communities and generate additional tax benefits. 

The Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021 (CAA) reauthorized the WOTC program and will ensure that employers administering the program will continue to be able to earn up to $9,600 per qualified candidate. 

If your business or organization stopped its WOTC process to focus on ERC, now is the time to kickstart it back up. 

Trusaic’s TaxAdvantage® service handles all of the paperwork requirements, provides guidance on best practices for applying for tax credits, screens individuals online and via telephone to verify eligibility, and maximizes potential earnings by ensuring all new hires are properly vetted for WOTC qualification.