While Congress passed, and the President signed, the extension to expired tax provisions several weeks ago, states do not typically start start issuing WOTC certificates that were submitted during a hiatus until they hear from the Department of Labor. The DOL, in turn, does not issue final guidance until they hear from the IRS. Nevertheless, I received the following email response to my inquiry of DOL on January 8:
Dear Mr. Shenker:
We thank you for your interest in the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program, and in the guidance issued to state workforce agencies (SWAs), who carry out the certification process.
In view of the tax extension bill being passed, and the program being reauthorized for 2014, ETA had already begun its consultation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to clear policy for states, with the intent of having the Training and Employment Guidance Letter (TEGL) for the reauthorization released in a shorter time period than the usual one to two months in clearance.
Apart from that inter-agency process, however, ETA also is issuing its own interim instructions to SWAs this week. The interim instructions issued will provide directions for SWAs until the TEGL is issued. Upon receipt of the interim instructions, states will be able to proceed with further processing of 2014 requests for certification. We should be able to post the interim instructions on the www.doleta.gov/WOTC website by sometime next week. And those interim instructions can be shared with you, once they have been issued to all the states.
Several states across the nation were able to automate their WOTC processes over the last year, and many were able to perform substantial amounts of preliminary processing, or verification and source documentation. So, most states should be well prepared to issue certifications and denials on a timely basis, once the guidance is issued to them.
The National WOTC Team