As an employer, you should always take pains to avoid disqualifying any applicants because they have a disability that would prevent them from performing tasks that are essential to the function of their job. Discriminating against disabled people will leave your company open to severe civil penalties and potentially devastating negative press attention. However, if you are concerned that adding a disabled worker to your staff would put your business under financial strain due to the accommodations you may have to make, you should know that the government offers a few different tax incentives to offset such costs.
Helpful accessibility tax incentives
Companies that meet the government’s standard for eligible small businesses can take advantage of the Disabled Access Credit. This incentive offers companies a 50 percent credit on eligible accessibility alterations to their facilities that cost between $250 and $10,250. Given the size of this particular credit, it could be for accommodations such as accessibility software or the construction of a ramp. It’s also worth noting that this particular tax credit can be used every year you make eligible accessibility alterations to your business.
The federal government also offers employers who hire disabled people a tax incentive, called the Tax Deduction to Remove Architectural and Transportation. It allows for a tax deduction of up to $15,000 to offset the cost of “qualified architectural and transportation barrier removal expenses”. This refers to modifications you might have to make to your business or business vehicles so that they are more accessible to the elderly or those with a disability.
Incentives for employing the disenfranchised
Another tax incentive that cost conscious entrepreneurs should take advantage of is the Work Opportunity Credit. It’s designed to help individuals that belong to certain disenfranchised segments of society get good jobs that will help them achieve economic stability. Veterans with service-related disabilities or disabled people who have taken part in a state-sanctioned rehabilitative program are among the groups that this tax incentive is designed to empower.
Depending on the type of disenfranchisement that your new hire has experienced and how many hours they worked in their first year of employment, your company could receive a 40 percent tax credit on that individual’s first year salary. This entry on the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training’s Administration’s website provides information on this tax incentive and a Work Opportunity Credit calculator.
This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse