Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program (WOTC)


This federal tax credit was designed to help individuals from certain targeted groups who consistently face significant barriers to employment move from economic dependency to self-sufficiency. Businesses are encouraged to hire targeted group members in order to claim the tax credit against wages paid to eligible new hire(s) during their first year of employment. WOTC joins other workforce programs that incentivize workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for American workers.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
A - Formula Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2021 In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) distributed grant funds totaling $18,485,000 to 53 state workforce agencies for the administration of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Additionally, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 authorized an additional $2,500,000 in funding to WOTC, which ETA distributed to 12 states with the most critical needs to alleviate processing backlogs and assist states in adopting or modernizing information technology for processing of certification requests. In FY 2020, a total of 1,620,806 WOTC certifications were issued to eligible employers. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, SWAs were able to resume normal certification request processing capabilities, and issued 2,081,474 WOTC certifications at the close of FY21, an increase of 22 percent from certifications issued in FY20.
Fiscal Year 2023 In Fiscal Year 2023, ETA distributed grant funds totaling $21,000,000 to 53 state workforce agencies (SWAs) for the administration of the WOTC and to 14 states for alleviating processing backlogs and modernizing WOTC processing systems. As a result, SWAs have successfully decreased their backlog of certification requests, and more SWAs are utilizing automated systems to increase processing efficiency. As of quarter ending 6/30/2023 (FY 2023 Q3), the SWAs have issued over 1,021,000 certifications.
WOTC is authorized until December 31, 2025 (Section 113 of Title III, Division EE of P.L. 116-260 -- Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021)., Title Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Part Division EE - Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, Section Section 113 of Division EE of Public Law 116-260, Public Law 116th Congress-Public Law 116-260 (December 27, 2020), 26 USC 51: Amount of Credit / (26 USC 52: Special Rules) U.S.C. Subtitle A, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Part IV, Subpart F, Section 51 (P.L. 104-188)
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is set forth under section 51 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (26 U.S.C. sec. 51), and is authorized until December 31, 2025, by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260), Division EE, Title 1, section 113. The U.S. Department of the Treasury, through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), administers all tax-related provisions and requirements of the tax credit. The U.S. Department of Labor, through the ETA, awards grants to states for administration of the WOTC certification process.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
States (not individuals), the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The "designated local agency," also known as the State Workforce Agency (SWA), is the designated state employment security agency (established in accordance with the Wagner-Peyser Act of June 6, 1933, as amended (29 U.S.C. 49-49n)) authorized to administer the WOTC.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Beneficiaries are all employers seeking to hire members of WOTC targeted groups, and members of those targeted groups seeking employment. The ten different targeted groups have statutory definitions (Public Law 104-188, as amended) with specific eligibility requirements that must be verified by the State Workforce Agency before a WOTC certification can be issued to an employer. Participating employers and/or their authorized representatives must submit their certification requests to the appropriate State Workforce Agency using IRS Form 8850 within 28 calendar days of the new hire's start date. IRS Form 8850 should be submitted with ETA Form 9061/9062, and any required supporting documentation to prove targeted group eligibility.
State grantees must meet the application requirements detailed in the applicable Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) that authorizes the fiscal year funding. ETA requires grantees to submit an electronically signed copy of the SF-424 Form, Application for Federal Assistance, for the linked funding opportunity within 30 days of the funding opportunity announcement. No additional credentials nor documentation is required. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program.
Award Procedure
WOTC grant funds are provided to State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) on an annual fiscal year basis. Grant amounts are determined by administrative formula.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
States are to use these formula grants to administer the WOTC in accordance with the grantee requirements outlined in the WOTC statement of work. Required activities include: accepting WOTC applications from employers; determining eligibility of individuals as members of targeted groups; issuing employer certifications or denials; developing working agreements with partner agencies in American Job Centers (also called One-Stop Career Centers) or other State agencies to verify or document eligibility of new hires, including issuing Conditional Certifications; and coordinating efforts to promote WOTC with employers, job seekers and other Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) partners. ETA develops procedural guidance and program technical assistance, awards funding to states, and provides general administrative oversight to the states. See above for additional information.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Program Reports: Program performance reporting by quarterly data submission is required via ETA Form 9058 in the tax credit reporting system EBSS.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. See below.
Standard recordkeeping for periodic internal audits are required. ETA's procedural guidance for WOTC administration, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) require that the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) keep and maintain certification records for three years, and denial records for one year in the event of an employer audit by IRS or an employer appeal to the SWAs.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Funding is provided by annual formula allotments with a two-year period of performance cycle. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Notice of Award (NOA) letter. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Letter.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Contact information for WOTC State Coordinators and ETA Regional Officers is available on the WOTC program website at
Headquarters Office
Steven Rietzke
200 Constitution Ave. NW, Room C-4510
Washington, DC 20210-0001 US
Phone: 2026933912
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Formula Grants) FY 22$22,000,000.00; FY 23 est $21,000,000.00; FY 24 est $21,000,000.00; FY 21$21,000,000.00; FY 20$21,000,000.00; FY 19$18,000,000.00; FY 18$18,000,000.00; FY 17$18,000,000.00; FY 16$18,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
After allocating $20,000 to the U.S. Virgin Islands, ETA distributes the remaining funds to state grantees (SWAs) by administrative formula with a $66,000 minimum allotment. For Fiscal Year 2023 allotments, grants to states ranged from $66,000 to $2,463,406.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Section 51 of the Internal Revenue Code, Title 26 U.S.C. Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) No. 16-20, WOTC Procedural Guidance. TEGL 16-20 and applicable U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration policy directives are available on the WOTC program website at
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.