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Tax Breaks Employers Who Hire Felons

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Getting a job with a felony is not impossible.  It just seems that way, but felons can find work in a variety of areas.

Many employers are reluctant to hire felons, but there are many compelling reasons for companies to hire felons.

This blog post will cover what an employer tax break for hiring a felon is.

  • What is an Employer Tax Break for Hiring Felons?
  • How Can a Tax Credit Benefit Employers?
  • Reasons for Hiring Felons
  • Making Their Case for Employment


What is a Tax Breaks Employers for Hiring Felons?

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal program started by the Small Business Job Protection Act in 1966 to encourage employers to hire veterans and persons from other target groups that have significant barriers to employment.

Felons are one of those specific groups that have difficulty finding jobs and are covered by this program. Felons that are hired within one year of their release are eligible to be hired through the WOTC.

Employers hiring a felon must submit paperwork from the U.S. Department of Labor within 28 days of hire. This is then sent to the state workforce agency WOTC coordinator for processing.

Employers may hire as many felons as they want under this program and will receive up to $2400 for a two-year period for each one employed, depending on how many hours the employee works. In the first year, an employer can claim a tax credit of 40% of the employee’s wages and 25% of their wages in the second year for those employees working at least 400 hours.

How Can a Tax Credit Benefit Employers?

There are a number of benefits for employers through the WOTC.

  • Minimizes a company’s tax liability
  • Increases cash flow to an employer’s business
  • Offsets the need for cutbacks and allow funding for other projects
  • HR and tax departments can generate additional revenue

When candidates are hired, both the state and the federal government save taxpayer dollars by taking people off public assistance. Continued savings may result in further reduced taxes for businesses.

Another benefit for employers of hiring felons through the WOTC program is that felons are eager to work. Most of them have attended a wide variety of training programs designed to make them more educated and employable. Their focus is on obtaining employment and getting a start back in society.

Once they find employment, they tend to be very loyal and devoted workers. They are not hesitant about starting at the bottom of the organization and working their way up.

An additional benefit is that many felons have developed a strong understanding of authority from their incarceration. Additionally, their ability to cope with stressful situations and environments is improved.

When employers provide felons an opportunity to return to work and rebuild their lives, they’re not only gaining the loyalty of the felon but of that person’s family, too.

Reasons for Hiring Felons

What makes felons good workers? They have been gone from society for a number of years on a long prison sentence. This has given them the chance to reflect on the years they have spent incarcerated and how much of their lives they have wasted because of their crime.

For many, they are grateful to those willing to give them a chance and are motivated to succeed. Years of incarceration has made them punctual due to the rigid schedule that they had to maintain in prison.

They are accustomed to hard work. While in prison most felons learned job skills that could be used in a new position.

Now they have the opportunity to show others that they can adapt to working in society again and can get the education they need and learn new skills. Also, many are on probation and have to be accountable to their Probation Officer for finding and holding a job.

Those who are hired are the ones who have faced and dealt with the frustration of finding employment. They have understood it would be a struggle to get a job but maintained a positive attitude. They convinced themselves they would be employed once again.

They came to the job interview appropriately dressed and groomed. They were on time, polite, respectful, and made a good impression. They persisted until they found a job.

These are exactly the types of qualities a good employee exhibits and demonstrate reasons for employers to hire felons.

Making Their Case for Employment

No, it won’t be easy for a felon to get hired. But there are jobs available to those who want them, and the tax credit for employers provides that chance.

Doing what it takes to get that job will be challenging, but what hasn’t been since leaving prison? Felons need to be willing to do what is required to find a job.

There are a number of steps felons can take to help themselves in getting a job:

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to get hired by an employer for a tax break? What was that like for him or her, and how did he or she achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below. 

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