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Tax Alert: WOTC, IEC, FEZ, and Disaster Relief Extension Passes House Ways & Means Committee

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Yesterday the House Ways & Means Committee passed the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 3301) proposing to extend a vast array of individual and corporate tax provisions. This bill, introduced by Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) would extend through 2020, the Federal Empowerment Zones Program (FEZ), the Indian Employment Credit (IEC), the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), and would provide temporary tax relief via an employee retention credit to employers in areas affected by certain major disasters declared in 2018 and a portion of 2019.

During committee discussions, Rep. Thompson said that extending these programs “helps taxpayers in too many ways to list this afternoon,” and Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) pointed out that the bill “provides an important economic boost for middle-class families who continue to struggle in this economy.”

Importantly, this passage at Committee means that this bill still faces many legislative hurdles and votes before it would become law. Based on the political dynamics on the Hill, the proposed payment for the extensions, and the timing, this bill is likely a starting point for ongoing negotiation on these issues. Lawmakers in both the House and Senate are interested in passing an extenders package this year, and the necessity of bipartisan support in order for any bill to pass in the currently divided Congress cannot be overstated. We at First Advantage are continuously monitoring tax legislation status and work to keep our clients informed. If you have any questions, please contact your First Advantage Tax Account Manager or your legal counsel.

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