Are there tax incentives for hiring people with disabilities?

In the U.S. employers can apply for three different tax incentive programs meant to encourage hiring qualified people with disabilities and to defray certain costs associated with providing accommodations.

Through the Small Business Tax Credit: IRS Code Section 44, Disabled Access Credit, certain small businesses may take an annual tax credit for making their businesses accessible to persons with disabilities. The amount is based on a company's expenditures and has a maximum benefit of $5,000, which is subtracted from the total tax liability. For more information on what expenditures are covered and how to make a claim, contact the Office of Associate Counsel, IRS, Passthrough and Special Industries at 202-622-3110.

Businesses may take an annual deduction for expenses incurred to remove physical, structural, and transportation barriers for persons with disabilities at the workplace with the Architectural/Transportation Tax Deduction: IRS Code Section 190, Barrier Removal. This takes the form of a tax deduction of up to $15,000 a year for expenses incurred to remove barriers for persons with disabilities. For more information on what expenditures are covered and how to make a claim, contact the Office of Associate Counsel, IRS, Passthrough and Special Industries at 202-622-3110.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) provides a tax credit for employers who hire certain targeted low-income groups, including SSI recipients or certified vocational rehabilitation (VR) referrals. The local State Employment Security Agency (SESA) provides the WOTC certification. For more information on how this program works, consult the U.S. Department of Labor Employment & Training Administration.

Employers should also check with state, county and municipal agencies to determine if these entities provide tax incentives for employing people with disabilities.

Date Updated: 

1/18/2013