Several state and federal programs available through the Texas Workforce Solutions initiative of the Texas Workforce Commission provide incentives for hiring from certain groups of workers. For example, a total of $5,400 in benefits can accrue to an employer that hires an unemployed military veteran and obtains a Texas Back to Work subsidy, Work Opportunity Tax Credit and a HIRE (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment) Act benefit. Details as follows:

Texas Back to Work

Employers can offset the costs associated with hiring and training new workers through the new TWC initiative Texas Back to Work. This wage-subsidy program is funded by the Texas Legislature and administered through 28 Texas workforce boards. When employers hire from a qualified pool of unemployed Texas workers, employers may be eligible to receive up to $2,000 to subsidize part of the wages paid to the newly hired worker. The monthly subsidies are provided for the first four months of employment. Local workforce business services representatives can help employers identify qualified job seekers and offer recruitment and prescreening of eligible applicants. A brochure with more information on Texas back to work is available on the TWC Web page at Texas Back to Work.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal business income tax savings program available to employers who hire from 12 select groups of eligible workers. This tax credit is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor for private, for-profit employers and can represent a direct savings to a business ranging from $1,200 to $9,000 per qualifying employee. WOTC serves as an incentive to select job candidates who may face barriers in their efforts to find employment.

Within each target group there are specific requirements which must be met. Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) WOTC specialists verify whether newly hired workers meet the eligibility requirements for the tax credit and issue certifications to employers. Forms to apply for the credit are available on TWC’s WOTC Web page and must be postmarked within 28 days of an employee’s start date. For more information, access the WOTC Web page.

HIRE Act Tax Benefits

Two federal tax benefits are available to employers who hire unemployed workers through the 2010 HIRE Act which offers Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment. A social security payroll tax exemption on wages paid between March 19 and December 31, 2010 can mean a savings of as much as $6,622 per qualifying worker. The HIRE Act also provides for an income tax credit of either $1,000 for each eligible employee hired after February 3, 2010, and retained for at least 52 consecutive weeks, or 6.2 percent of the wages paid over the 52-week period, whichever is less. While both of these incentives can be applied for each qualifying employee, the HIRE Act payroll tax exemptions cannot be used in combination with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. For more information, go to the Internal Revenue Service HIRE Act Questions and Answers for Employers Web page.

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