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Work Opportunity Tax Credit

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program provides tax credits for businesses each time they hire a new, eligible employee. The program is simple. Businesses make the hiring decision and complete minimal paperwork to apply for the credit. With absolutely no limit on the number of qualified hires your business can claim, you may receive a maximum credit anywhere from $1,200 to $9,600 for each one of your eligible employees. A complete WOTC submission includes IRS Form 8850 and ETA Form 9061.

To earn the credit, your business must receive a certification from the state WOTC office and the new employee must meet minimum retention requirements. It is recommended that you track the employee’s hours and earnings in preparation for calculating the credit when it is time to file your business taxes. Refer to the WOTC Calculation Chart for minimum retention requirements and wage cap information found in the tools section below.  

A great way to pre-screen individuals to identify if they are eligible for the tax credit is to include page one of the IRS Form 8850 in your job application or new hire process. Once an applicant is hired, review the completed 8850 pre-screening form to see if they indicated they are a part of one of the target groups. If the newly hired applicant indicated possible eligibility, complete the ETA Form 9061 and submit both the 8850 and the 9061 within 28 days of the start date. If the new hire does not indicate eligibility, the company does not need to submit the forms.  

Please note that rehires do not qualify. The IRS Form 8850 and ETA Form 9061 should be retained at your business for auditing purposes for a period of four years. Both forms can be found in the tools section below.

A for-profit entity will also need to file for the WOTC with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using IRS Forms 3800 and 5884. Non-profit 501(c) entities will file for the WOTC using IRS Form 5884-C. These forms can be found on the IRS website. For more information regarding filing for the credit, please consult with your business’ licensed CPA or the IRS at https://www.irs.gov/.

WOTC certification requests must be submitted within 28 days of the employee’s start date via the S.C. WOTC online portal or by mail. Businesses can create a WOTC online account at https://sc.wotc-web.net/wa_login_emp.html. If you need assistance, you can contact a member of the S.C. WOTC staff via email at WOTC@dew.sc.gov. Work Opportunity Tax Credit consultants must contact the WOTC office to establish a new S.C. WOTC online portal account.

The mailing address is:
S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
Attn: WOTC Unit–Room 515
P.O. Box 995
Columbia, SC 29202 

If your business opts to mail in WOTC certification requests, they must have an official U.S. Postal date stamp on the envelope, box or Certificate of Mailing. Office meter equipment date stamps do not satisfy the timeliness requirement (i.e., Pitney Bowes, FP, Hasler, NeoPost, etc.).

Your company may choose to employ a third party to manage your WOTC process. If that is the method of choice for your company, the S.C. WOTC staff will be glad to provide, at your request, a complete list of WOTC consulting firms currently doing business with companies in South Carolina.

You can benefit from hiring within the following groups:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipient
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients
  • Empowerment Zone residents
  • Marlboro County Rural Renewal Community residents
  • Vocational Rehabilitation or Ticket-to-Work Participants
  • Recently released ex-felons
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients
  • Disabled veterans who within the last year were discharged or unemployed for more than six months
  • Unemployed veterans
  • Veterans receiving SNAP
  • Long-term unemployment recipient

Take advantage of the WOTC program, and increase your return on investment while helping targeted employees become self-sufficient and earn a steady income.

Click the links below to view and print the forms you will need to participate in this program.  

For more information, email WOTC@dew.sc.gov or click here to visit the Department of Labor's website.