Employers secure $82M in tax credits from program

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Washington employers earned a record $82 million in federal tax credits in 2013 for hiring certain hard-to-place job seekers, according to the state Employment Security Department.

The tax credits are available through the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which is granted to employers who hire military veterans, the disabled, ex-inmates, food-stamp and welfare recipients and those who receive Supplemental Security Income.

The tax credit can range from $2,400 to $9,600, depending on the eligibility category of each eligible new hire. The credit is deducted from employers' federal income taxes.

The Employment Security Department, which administers the program in Washington, received more than 56,000 applications from 2,632 Washington businesses last year.

Some 30,744 of the hires qualified for the tax credit. Food-stamp recipients represented 73 percent of all certifications. Welfare recipients and veterans were another 16 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Employers apply for the credit through Employment Security's website, esd.wa.gov (enter WOTC in the search box).