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Congress revamps job training (sidebar)

What steps do employers need to take to earn these tax credits?

Employers must apply for and receive certification from their state employment agency that their new hire belongs to one of the nine groups of job seekers eligible for the Welfare-to-Work or Work Opportunity Tax Credit before claiming it on their federal income tax return. To apply for certification that a new hire qualifies for one of these tax credits employers need only complete two one-page forms: * IRS Form 8850 by the day the job offer is made and * U.S. Department of Labor ETA Form 9061 (or ETA 9062 if the applicant has already been conditionally certified). Then the employees must mail the signed IRS 8850 and ETA 9061 or 9062 to their state employment agency WOTC Coordinator; the IRS 8850 must be mailed to the State WOTC Coordinator not later than 21 days after the new hire's start date. To get IRS Form 8850 (Pre-Screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity and Welfare-to-Work Tax Credits) download it from or call IRS at 1-800-829-3676. To get ETA 9061 (Individual Characteristics Form) download it from or call your state employment agency WOTC Coordinator (see below). For more information about the Welfare-to-Work and Work Opportunity Tax Credits: * Visit the WOTC website at http:// or call 202/219-9092. * Call your State WOTC Coordinator (to get a directory of all State WOTC Coordinators visit WOTC website or call 202/219-9092). * For information on the tax-related aspects of these tax credits call Robert Wheeler at IRS at 202/622-6060. * For information on the Department of Labor's Welfare-to-Work Grant Program visit its website at or call 202/208-7281. * For information about Empowerment Zones or Empowerment Communities visit their website at or call 1-800-998-9999.

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