Another Tax Incentive Available for Businesses Hiring People with Disabilities
As you may know by now from our past issues, companies that hire people with disabilities may be eligible for tax credits or deductions. Pennsylvania offers a variety of tax credits and programs for large, medium and, yes, even small businesses. Some of the programs that may apply include:
Because there are so many great financial benefits and incentives, we can’t cover them all in one issue; so we vowed to focus on one incentive at a time. You may remember reading about the Small Business Tax Credit, Architectural/Transportation Tax Deduction, Employment Incentive Payment Tax Credit, and the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) in the November 2010, March 2011, June 2011and September 2011issues of this newsletter. Well, today we would like to inform you about the Independent Capital Access Network (ICAN) Program.
If your company is SMALL and you would like to hire a person with a disability, but it requires a few expenses, there is financial help through the ICAN Program! The ICAN Program assists small businesses (no more than 100 employees) to pay for disability-related expenses associated with hiring or employing Office of Vocation and Rehabilitation (OVR) customers. This means that employers meeting certain qualifications may apply for financial assistance through the ICAN Program.
So, what are the employer requirements? In addition to being a small company, the employer’s business must be a functional, operating business at the time of application. Also, it is important to note that the employer is not otherwise obligated under the ADA, or any other legal mandate, to provide the accommodations for which the funding is sought.
In addition to the employer requirements, there are just a few qualifications for the employee. The employees, or prospective employees, for whom ICAN worksite accommodations are proposed, must be persons with one or more disabilities and must be active customers of OVR. Also, the approved accommodation to the current worksite must address the primary vocational goal designated in the employee’s OVR Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
If your business and the person with a disability fall into these categories, significant financial assistance may be available for the purchase of items such as specialized adaptive equipment, including training for the adaptation, if required, and worksite and vehicle modifications. In fact, the ICAN grant reimbursement could reach up to $40,000. However, the employer must pay at least 20% of the cost of the proposed disability-related workplace accommodations.
The ICAN Program is designed to help and encourage small businesses to overcome the financial barriers and hesitations associated with hiring people with disabilities. In exchange for the financial assistance, the employer agrees to register a three-year lien with the PA Department of State, establishing OVR as first claimant against the value of ICAN-financed accommodations. Also, the employer agrees to retain the employee for a period of three years.
To get started with the ICAN Program, employers need to fill out an application and send it to the attention of the District Administrator of the local OVR District Office covering the locality where the business operates. Local OVR District Office Personnel and OVR’s ICAN Program Coordinator review the ICAN application, determine acceptance, and are responsible for administrative oversight of ICAN Funds.
To obtain a detailed and current version of the ICAN Program Guidelines, please visit www.dli.state.pa.us, Keyword: ICAN.
To review a list of state and federal tax incentives that your business may qualify for, please visit http://www.employmentincentives.com/. Also, we invite you to visit the Works for me webpage for employers at http://worksforme-pa.org/new/employer/index.php.