On February 8, the IRS released its Exempt Organization Newsletter, Issue Number 2012-04. Topics include the following:

  1. Work Opportunity Tax Credit Now Available to Qualified Tax-Exempt Organizations that Hire Qualified Veterans
  2. IRS Worker Classification Webinar Feb. 15th
  3. StayExempt Redesign Improves User Experience

 1.  Work Opportunity Tax Credit Now Available to Qualified Tax-Exempt Organizations that Hire Qualified Veterans

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 provides an expanded Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans and for the first time also makes the credit available to certain tax-exempt organizations.
The Act allows employers, including qualified tax-exempt organizations, to claim the credit for qualified veterans who begin work on or after Nov. 22, 2011, and before January 1, 2013.
The credit is claimed as a credit against the employer’s share of social security tax by separately filing Form 5884-C, Work Opportunity Credit for Qualified Tax-Exempt Organizations Hiring Qualified Veterans.
IRS Notice 2012-13 contains additional guidance for tax-exempt employers claiming the credit.
Note: For purposes of the credit, a qualified tax-exempt organization is “an employer that is an organization described in section 501(c) and exempt from taxation under section 501(a).”
For more information, including how to claim the credit, read the IRS news release and related materials (including FAQs).

 2.  IRS Worker Classification Webinar Feb. 15th

A critical issue for all businesses is properly classifying workers as employees or independent contractors.

The Internal Revenue Service presents a webinar, Worker Classification, on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 2 p.m. ET.

Program Manager for Employment Tax Compliance Policy, Anita Bartels, will present information about worker classification issues and the Voluntary Classification Settlement Program including:

  • Defining workers as employees and independent contractors
  • What to consider in determining a worker’s status
  • Looking at important Forms SS-8 and 8919
  • How to treat corporate officers
  • Determining if you qualify for federal employment tax relief under Section 530

Viewers can register online anytime before the start of the webinar and download a calendar reminder.

A Certificate of Competition will not be offered for this webinar.

The webinar will be available on demand on the IRS Video Portal three weeks after the original program airs. Also as a part of its outreach delivery suite, IRS offers National/Local Webinars for Small Businesses and video and audio presentations on a variety of tax topics, all of which are free.

 3.  StayExempt Redesign Improves User Experience

The IRS recently launched a new look and improved navigation for its educational website for exempt organizations, StayExempt. The redesigned home page greets visitors with three easy gateways to the information they’re looking for. A “New Organizations” tab leads to information on how to apply for tax exemption as well as a shortcut to the valuable “Life Cycle of an Exempt Organization” page. Organizations that wish to apply for tax-exempt status also will find links to information about Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption. An “Existing Organizations” tab is the door to such topics as “Maintaining Your Tax-Exempt Status,” “Unrelated Business Income,” “Employment Issues,” “Form 990” and “Required Disclosures.” For a greater level of detail, click on the In-Depth Topics tab. Here, users will find presentations on how to navigate various IRS resources, information on political campaigns and charities, deductible contributions, preparing the Form 990 and Form 990-EZ, and various courses on disaster relief efforts. Stay tuned to StayExempt.irs.gov throughout the year for additional courses and interactive workshops. This website was designed for all tax-exempt organizations, so user suggestions and comments are encouraged. Simply use the survey/evaluation links at the end of each course to tell the IRS what you’d like to see.